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DIY HVAC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners: Save Money and Increase Efficiency

A person changing their home's dirty air filter

When it comes to HVAC maintenance, not every fire requires an emergency dial. Savvy homeowners can often take care of minor system repairs on their own and maintain HVAC performance without needing professional assistance doing what we like to call DIY HVAC maintenance! 

At ACS, we’re always here to assist with your HVAC repair, replacement, and maintenance needs. However, we do encourage homeowners to maintain system upkeep with some DIY HVAC maintenance. That way, your system can maintain system efficiency in between professional tune-ups. So, if you want to take the reins on your home HVAC system, let us share some DIY HVAC maintenance tips! 

In this blog, our industry experts share their DIY HVAC maintenance tips for homeowners to save money and increase efficiency, including:  

    • Change air filters regularly
    • Remove debris from the outdoor unit
    • Inspect the thermostat
    • Clean vents and registers
    • Schedule routine HVAC maintenance 

Change Air Filters Regularly

Cleaning and replacing air filters is a simple task that almost anyone can do! Not only is this task super straightforward, but it’s also highly effective in maintaining a system’s efficiency and minimizing energy consumption. Your air filters’ job is to remove large contaminants and allergens from your indoor air before they reach air quality sensors. However, if the filters are dirty or damaged, your system will have more difficulty eliminating these contaminants, causing worsened indoor air quality and inefficient energy usage. 

The best rule of thumb is to change your air filter every 1-3 months. To replace an air filter, simply remove it from your system and insert a new one. You should also clean your air filters between replacements, which you can do using a hand vacuum and a cloth. Or, for a deep clean, wash air filters with warm water and vinegar and let them air dry before reinstalling. 

Remove Debris from the Outdoor Unit

Your system’s outdoor unit is highly susceptible to damage and dirt, particularly if you live in an extreme climate. Luckily, cleaning an outdoor unit is something any savvy homeowner can conquer. Before you start cleaning, turn your unit off and remove its fan grill. Then, use a vacuum cleaner to clean your unit. If you can’t reach some areas, use your vacuum hose attachment for deeper cleaning. Then, once you’re done, give your unit a final check and ensure there are no leaves, twigs, and other debris within two feet of the unit. It will need proper clearance to facilitate proper airflow! 

Inspect the Thermostat

Swapping out batteries and pushing buttons is about the extent of what you must do to maintain your thermostat. Simple enough, right? Your thermostat is essential to your indoor heating and cooling, as it is the communicator between you and your system. If its batteries are dead or its programming is off, it’ll take a toll on your indoor comfort. The best thing you can do is monitor your thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly and sending the correct signals to your system. 

If you’re encountering recurring issues with your thermostat, you might consider installing a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats, also known as programmable thermostats, automatically adjust indoor temperatures based on your heating and cooling patterns. For example, if you work a 9-5 in-office job, your smart thermostat will quickly detect when you’re not home and adjust temperatures accordingly to save energy. Then, when you arrive home in the evening, it will automatically adjust temperatures back to your desired default setting. 

Clean Vents and Registers

Cleaning your vents and registers is vital to your system’s performance. If these components are dirty or damaged from dust, dirt, or other debris, indoor air quality and system efficiency will be poor. As a result, you’ll notice your energy bill quickly increasing, along with more frequent system shutdowns and repairs. 

When cleaning your vents and registers, you’ll want to start where the debris concentrates the most. Then, you’ll use a brush to clear dust and dirt from openings, going from top to bottom and left to right for optimal removal. If remnants still remain after your brushing, use your vacuum cleaner to get the last bits. 

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Once you’ve taken care of simple DIY repairs, it’s time to call in the professionals! Scheduling an HVAC tune-up 1-2 times a year is one of the best things you can do for your system. That way, you won’t have anything to worry about beyond your at-home HVAC upkeep. During their visit, your certified HVAC technician will thoroughly inspect your unit and identify potential issues requiring repairs or system adjustments. This preventative maintenance will ensure your system operates at peak efficiency and is equipped to heat and cool your home for the long haul.  

HVAC Heating and Cooling with ACS

Are you looking for HVAC repair, replacement, or maintenance? You can count on ACS to get the job done! With decades of industry experience, our certified HVAC technicians ensure peak system performance and efficiency across the board. Connect with our team today for top-quality HVAC maintenance, installation, and repair in Covington, Milledgeville, and surrounding areas.