Category: Electrical

How to avoid having your HVAC system shutting down

Simple maintenance can save you thousands of dollars

Heating and Cooling systems account for one of the more expensive appliances in a home. Ranging in the thousands of dollars, it is ideal to keep the system up and running at peak levels in order to keep from costly repairs. However, many people simply buy the HVAC system and are content with doing nothing until there is a problem. Yet, if you follow these simple maintenance practices you are far less apt to have your system shut down.

Preventive Tip One: Change the filter every month

Think of the filter to your HVAC system as the mouth to your appliance. If the filter is cluttered with dust and debris, it is not going to be able to breath properly. This will in turn cause the unit to work harder and hotter than it is intended to run. As a result, you can quickly burn up the coils, run out your coolant, and in some cases actually melt wires within the unit. Given the choice of a $10 filter pack to a thousand-dollar fix, I choose the filter. To change the filter on the HVAC system:

  • Locate the furnace of your system
  • The front of the furnace typically has a simple lift vent door
  • On the door you will find the filter
  • Remove the old filter and replace with a new filter

Do not attempt to wash the old filter of debris as the water is not good for the furnace system (this is why it is always located indoors).

Preventive Tip Two: Set your thermostat to a higher cooling temperature

There is a general rule that you should set your HVAC system to a certain temperature during the summer and to another during the winter. And where these temperatures are a good guide, it is recommended that you keep an eye and ear out on how often the system kicks on. If you find that your HVAC system is continuously turning on and off, this is not a good thing. It could cause the breaker to wear out, ruin the compressor, blow a fuse, or damage the thermostat wiring. Set your thermostat to a comfortable level but ensure that the air does not cut off and on. Remember to adjust one degree at a time.

Preventive Tip Three: Clean out your air vents

Just like the filter, air vents should be cleaned regularly. Debris that falls into the vents can work their way back into the system causing a number of problems. To prevent debris accumulation in the vents you can use either a simple vacuumed to remove dust from the openings, a vent filtration device (which come in scented and unscented sheets), or have them professionally cleaned. It is important to note that when you are cleaning out the vents that close attention should be paid to the duct work. You do not want to puncture this, so take your time and be careful in your cleaning.

Preventive Tip Four: Cover when you cut

A commonly overlooked hazard to your HVAC system is found in your grass maintenance. If you have a yard with grass and that grass is anywhere in the proximity of the HVAC system, then there is a high chance that the grass is getting slung at the unit. Where the unit typically will not shut down from minimal exterior debris, an accumulation of grass and other external debris can cause the system to shut down. To prevent this from happening, turn off the HVAC unit. Then using a tarp or a large bag, cover the HVAC unit. Cut your grass as you normally would and then remove the cover. However, before you turn on the unit check around the unit for any clusters of debris, weeds, and such which may get sucked into the unit.

Preventive Tip Five: Have your HVAC tuned up yearly

Just like any major appliance, you will want to have it up kept professionally throughout its life. It is recommended that you have your unit professionally tuned up every year. Generally, these tune-ups will include a cleaning of the duct work, a cleaning of the coils, a replacement of the fuses, and a testing/releveling of the coolant in the Unit. Ensure that you always have a licensed technician perform your yearly maintenance. Get in contact with the experts at appliance repair phoenix.

Preventive Tip Six: Do not ignore weird noises

Loud running noises, grinding, rattling, and such are not natural to any system. If you hear a weird noise, have your unit checked out. Typically, your problem is minimal. However, if you leave (for example) a loose bolt unattended, it could snap and bust up your system. Do not ignore weird sounds. Where you may have to spend a bit to get the noise fixed it beats having to dish out thousands for a new system.

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