The U.S. Department of Energy says that homeowners must get their HVAC inspected by a professional during the beginning of the hottest and coldest seasons of the year.
But unfortunately, most people don’t get their HVAC systems for a long time. So, if you are unable to hire a professional because of financial constraints, then there are a few things that you can do by yourself to ensure that your HVAC system stays in great condition. Even if you get your HVAC system inspected by a professional periodically, there are still some things that you can do in between inspections to ensure smooth running of your system.
A HVAC system that is maintained in peak condition is highly energy efficient and that leads to hefty savings on your EB bill. Moreover, it also minimizes the need for constant repair work. These are some of the most important benefits of regular HVAC inspection. Okay, now let’s take a look at some more reasons why it’s so important.
The Professional Approach To HVAC Inspection
Here’s how the pros do it:
To start with, they run a test on the components (or parts) of the system to find if there is any possible contamination. When there is a long-term accumulation of bacteria or dust and dirt, the HVAC system’s performance gets affected considerably.
The primary responsibility of an HVAC inspector is to analyze the efficiency of the components and keep the system clean. Extra moisture, dirt, microbial accumulations and any foreign obstruction will be removed to ensure smooth running of the system.
Remember This Before Hiring An HVAC Specialist:
Make sure your HVAC professional is certified. There is something called the Certified Ventilation Inspector (CVI) program for HVAC inspectors. People who have got the certification are well-trained on a range of aspects related to Repairing HVAC systems, maintenance, and installation – all of that in NACDCA’s standard. They are also trained extensively on IAQ issue diagnosis, rectifying, and reporting.
Along with certification, a few years of experience on real-time projects can also come in handy. So, look for HVAC experts who have both certification and experience.
How to inspect your HVAC system – DIY tips
In between expert visits, you might want to check your system occasionally to ensure it is running fine. Here are some things you should look for in your HVAC system:
Start with the air filters – Is your air filter clean? Is it too old? Make sure it’s cleaned regularly. Old filters must be replaced with new ones. Dirt or any clogging in the filters blocks smooth airflow, and this in turn puts more pressure on your HVAC. Ultimately, that leads to more electricity bills.
Check for loose connections – if, at any point, your HVAC system isn’t turning on after inspection, one of the first things you need to check is if there is any loose electrical contact. Switch off the circuit breakers and fix the loose connections.
Inspect the ductwork – Look for any gaps or disconnections in your ductwork. If you find any, make sure they are repaired immediately. They can be repaired with either seals or metal fasteners. This is to prevent air loss in the system.
Check for any blockage – obstructions can lead to water draining problems. And if left unattended, they can damage your HVAC system itself.
Watch the registers and grills – These are two common components that are easily susceptible to dirt and clogging. Keep them clean to allow free airflow in the system.
Visual assessment – This is more of a professional’s duty but there is nothing wrong in giving a try. Take a visual tour of your system and see if the components are in good condition. If not, they need to be repaired or replaced immediately.
Keep an eye on the flame as well – The flame you see in the HVAC furnace gives a clear indication of its condition. An issue-free HVAC system will show a blue flame that doesn’t flicker whereas on the other hand, a bad HVAC system will show red or orange flame with constant flickering.
Inspect the thermostat – See to that it operates well during heating, ventilating, and cooling. If not, they might need a battery replacement or cleaning using a Q-tip.
Keep the air conditioning coils clean – If there is any dirt buildup in your AC coil, then be quick to clean them. This will have a direct impact on your system efficiency.
Things You Will need to do it by yourself:
- Vacuum cleaner
- HVAC User Manual
For additional help, check out relevant forums, blogs, or YouTube videos and learn things from a beginner’s perspective. It could be time-consuming in the beginning, but if you are thinking long-term, then the efforts are worth the time invested.
If you wish to skip the above-mentioned steps and save your time, then the best option is to hire a professional HVAC contractor. To save some money in hiring, go for annual service and maintenance contracts with any HVAC professional. The benefits will most likely include repair, replacement, and service.
It’s a small investment you’re making to save hundreds of dollars on your energy bills in the long term. Ideally, it is advisable to get your HVAC system inspected by a local service professional twice a year.