Erin Doman on May 9, 2016 2 Comments Is Your Air Conditioner Ready? Use This Checklist To Find Out. Your HVAC system is one of the most important parts of your home. It keeps your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but if the system doesn’t receive routine inspections and maintenance, it won’t work efficiently. Prolonged lack of maintenance could result in costly repairs or the need for complete replacement. Even worse, some HVAC problems could create dangerous situations. Proper maintenance ensures your system works efficiently and continues to keep your family comfortable and safe–and it might even save you money. Use this HVAC maintenance checklist to help you keep your unit up to date and functioning properly. Inspect the Indoor Unit Click Here to View All Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners The indoor portion of your unit is comprised of many moving parts that need to work well and in unison in order to be effective, so it is very important that you check each one thoroughly. You should check: 1. Air Filters Filters should be cleaned monthly and changed every three months to ensure they are not pulling dirt into the system. 2. Blower Assembly The blower assembly includes the blower wheel and blower motor and their housing. Keeping it clean ensures proper airflow in the home. 3. Burner Assembly Use a brush or a small vacuum attachment to clean and adjust the burner assembly if necessary. 4. Clean Exterior The unit’s shell should be clean. 5. Combustible Material Ensure there are no fire hazards near the indoor portion of your HVAC unit. 6. Combustion Blower Housing The combustion blower housing can easily collect lint and other small debris and should be cleared regularly. 7. Ductwork Check your ductwork for leaks that cause your home to lose air to the outside. Pay special attention to basements and attics. If you haven’t already done so, seal and insulate your ductwork to prevent leaks and ensure your home remains comfortable. 8. Electrical Components Electrical components include the electrical disconnect box, which should be safely installed and have the correct power rating, as well as the wire connections, which should be inspected and tightened as needed. 9. Evaporator Coil Inspecting the evaporator coil involves checking the drain pan and doing a flush and algae treatment to condensate the drain lines. Clean and replace components as needed. 10. Flue System Ensure the furnace is properly attached. If you find any signs of corrosion, replace where necessary. 11. Gas Leaks If your HVAC unit runs on natural gas, you should regularly check for leaks to prevent safety hazards. 12. Heat Exchanger and Heating Elements Inspect the heat exchanger and its heating elements. If there is damage or if a section is leaking, replace it. 13. Ignition System Clean the ignition system and adjust it as necessary. 14. Motor If your HVAC unit has an old motor, it will need to be lubricated from time to time. You should also ensure the fan’s belt is in proper working order and replace it if necessary. 15. Safety Devices Your HVAC unit comes equipped with safety devices, which should all be in working order. While the System Is Running You should perform several inspections while your system is running. Be sure to check: 16. Bulb Temperatures Wet and dry bulb temperatures should be checked indoors and dry bulb temperatures should be checked outdoors. 17. Carbon Monoxide You should regularly check for carbon monoxide. Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to ensure your family’s safety. 18. Gas Pressure Ensure the gas line and gas manifold are operating at the correct gas pressure. Adjust it if necessary. 19. Odors Check for unusual odors. If you smell any, check for the source, or call in a professional if you haven’t already. 20. Shutoff Check that your HVAC unit shuts off correctly and without delay. 21. Startup Ensure the unit starts up normally and begins working immediately. 22. Thermostat The thermostat should operate properly and be calibrated correctly to ensure the correct temperature. 23. Vents Check every vent in the house to ensure they are blowing air properly. If any aren’t, it could indicate blockage. Inspect the Outdoor Unit Click Here to View All Window Air Conditioners The outdoor portion of your HVAC unit is just as important as the indoor portion. It should be inspected as often as the indoor section is. Be sure to check: 24. Base Pan Check the base pan to ensure its drains do not have blockage. Remove any debris or other obstructions if necessary. 25. Cabinet Remove any leaves or debris from your unit’s cabinet housing. 26. Coils Clean and remove leaves, twigs and dirt from the coils. This will increase efficiency and longevity. 27. Compressor and Tubing The compressor and its tubing should not have any damage and should be operating within correct levels for amperage and volt draw. It should have functioning wire connections. 28. Control Box The control box’s wiring connectors and other components should have no damage and operate efficiently. This includes contactors, circuit boards and several other components you’ll see in the box. 29. Fan Motor and Blades Inspect the motor and blades for any wear or extensive damage. Just as the inside motor needs it, older outdoor motors will need lubrication. Check belt tension if necessary. 30. Refrigerant Your HVAC unit’s refrigerant should be operating with the proper pressure and should be at the correct level. Too much refrigerant is a waste, but too little means your system is not working as efficiently as it could be. 31. Surrounding Area Remove dirt, leaves, twigs, children’s toys and other dangerous lawn clutter from the immediate area surrounding your outdoor HVAC unit. Saving Money With Your HVAC In some cases, the only way to save money is to spend money on a new unit. Replacing equipment is necessary if the unit consistently breaks down or if it is more than 10 years old. New HVAC units are energy-efficient and Energy Star-certified, use refrigerants that are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and are not in danger of being phased out and have been known to save some families up to $115 per year. Even if you don’t need a new unit, consider adding a programmable thermostat. This simple change allows you to set your home’s temperature to be lower during long periods of time when nobody is home, which saves a typical household about $180 per year. Now that you have an HVAC maintenance checklist, it’s time to begin your inspection. Call in a professional to check electrical or gas components or anything else you are not experienced in. With proper planning and care, your HVAC unit should last for years to come.