HVAC Maintenance Guidelines for a Healthy Home

One of the most significant systems installed in your home is your HVAC filtration system. It includes all the important components necessary for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This air purifier works hard to remove dust, bacteria, viruses, and mold from the circulated air. The HVAC system installed in your ductwork captures particles through air filters before they make their way out of the air ducts and into various rooms of your home. This is done as air travels through the ductwork and arrives at the filter that traps the large debris and particles. Newer systems provide fresh air from the outdoors to provide better quality air for the indoors. HVAC systems are also designed to control the temperature of the environment they’re in. They also help control the humidity level by controlling the air distribution and movement inside that environment.

Another component of the HVAC system is the furnace. This piece takes up the majority of the space in the system and moves air from the heat exchanger to the air ducts. The evaporator coil, on the other hand, is part of the furnace but it absorbs the heat from air passing over it and blows now-cold air through the ducts throughout your home.

It is important to take good care of your HVAC system to ensure the longevity of the system as well as protecting the home occupants. Routine maintenance is always a good idea to ensure this.

  1. Replace filters every 1-6 months depending on what you see in the filters after a few months of routine inspections.
  2. Consider replacing older heat exchangers with newer models. Traditional heat exchanger models are constructed from copper and/or aluminum tubes whereas, thanks to recent scientific research, tubes made of metals, alloys, carbon, graphite, polymeric materials, and ceramics, may increase heat transfer. This, in turn, will reduce the heat exchanger size and reduce costs as well.
  3. Clean evaporator and condenser coils once to twice a year. Evaporator coils tend to grow mold and in addition to the constant humidity, dirt may not be getting caught by the filters as effectively. The trapped dirt causes the condenser coils to degrade rather quickly so cleaning both the evaporator and condenser coils at the same time will improve energy efficiency. Yearly or bi-yearly antimicrobial treatments for the coils are a good option to help slow down the growth of mold.
  4. Inspect bearings, fans, and belts twice a year as part of a preventative maintenance plan. This task takes up to a couple of hours depending on the size of the fan but may save you more time and money in the long run. You should look out for strange noises, heat, or vibrations coming from the bearings and if any of these occur, that might mean it’s time to lubricate the ball bearings attached to the fan. Belts should be aligned to prevent wear and tear and should maintain proper tension to prevent torque loss and speedy wear.
  5. Clean air ducts every 2 years. If dirt is found, the ducts won’t be sound.
  6. The most common issue in HVAC equipment is unsuitable damper operation. Make sure to clean and adjust dampers annually so your indoor air quality isn’t negatively affected. Dampers keep the compressor from running when the outside temperature is less than 60 degrees F. Failure to properly maintain dampers could result in overloading the cooling coil.
  7. Inspect the area around the air intake at least twice a year. It’s never a good sign seeing water pooling around air-handlers because mold can begin to grow there. In turn, this mold could be brought into your home.
Electronic Air Filter

It is vital, especially in the current times, to make sure HVAC systems are up to date and running smoothly. A great alternative to a regular pleated HVAC filter is an electronic air filter. These filters attach to your furnace and create electrostatic charges by creating friction and conditioning air flows through the filter. The electrically charged filter attracts dirt, mold, and pet dander particles and removes them from the recirculated air by electro-force means. With the ongoing concern of COVID-19, these electric filters are a great way to ensure particles containing viruses are being filtered out before they reach your living spaces. These filters will help reduce the airborne contaminants such as viruses and protect you from that exposure. The particles move through washable filters that contain layers of material that charge the particles as they pass through. Electronic air filters are more cost-effective than your standard filter at $50-60 and typically last as long as your whole system does. These filters also save you time and hassle considering you do not need to buy filters every three months. The electronic air filters have a high MERV (Minimum Efficient Rating Value) and truly do work to improve the air quality in your home when compared to pleated filters.