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Stay cool with our HVAC maintenance checklist for homeowners

America's Preferred Home Warranty, Home Maintenance

Yesterday, many people worldwide celebrated the First Day of Summer. As luck would have it, it was also National HVAC Tech Day. To mark this awesome occasion, America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) has created an HVAC maintenance checklist to help you get ready for summer.

Your HVAC system is one of your home’s most precious assets, keeping you cool in the heat and warm during the winter. When an HVAC unit isn’t properly maintained, however, it can become less efficient, consume more energy, or even worse—break down unexpectedly.

Caring for your HVAC system only takes about an hour every 30-90 days. By following this simple checklist, you can make your system run stronger for longer and keep your home comfortable, no matter what kind of temperatures you’re facing. Read on to learn how.

If you’d prefer to go through these steps another way, you can also check out our video on the topic to see how easy it is to do HVAC maintenance.

  1. Turn off your HVAC unit

Before getting started with HVAC maintenance, be sure to turn off the power to your whole unit as a safety precaution. The safest way to turn off your HVAC unit’s power is at the circuit breaker. Now you can access your air conditioner (A/C) and HVAC without worrying about electrical shock or having it turn on while you’re performing maintenance.

  1. Clean up debris

With your HVAC and air conditioner turned off, you can start cleaning up any debris that’s accumulated around the A/C unit outside. While you’re here, try to remove any leaves, branches, or other items that could hurt your air conditioner’s efficiency or damage the unit.

  1. Inspect your air conditioner

Now that you’ve cleaned up all the debris, it’s also a good idea to inspect your A/C unit for any wear or damage. Here, you’ll want to check your air conditioner’s hoses and connections for any leaks, rust, or wear, and see if any of the unit’s fan blades are bent or missing. You can also inspect your unit’s grill to make sure it’s providing good protection. Once that’s done, you can head indoors to your HVAC.

  1. Change your HVAC air filters

Your HVAC handles a lot of airflow in your home, so it’s important to change your air filters on this system every 30 to 90 days, depending on how much you run your air conditioner. To start, make sure your unit is still turned off, then remove the panel that holds your air filter. This panel usually has screws or clips that hold the air filter in place.

Next, you’ll want to remove the old air filter and replace it with a new one, making sure the arrows on the filter point toward the unit. If you’re unsure which air filter to use on your HVAC, you can follow the steps below.

Choosing the right HVAC air filter

  • Check your old air filter for measurements (example: 20 x 20 x 1) to buy the right replacement
  • If you don’t see any measurements, you can measure each side of the filter to get its length, width, and depth
  1. Wipe down your HVAC

With your air filter replaced, it’s now time to give your HVAC unit a good cleaning. For this portion of HVAC maintenance, be sure to replace the filter cover, then simply wipe down the panel and any air vents connected to your unit, using a damp paper towel or microfiber cloth. It’s also a good idea to vacuum around your HVAC unit to prevent dust and debris from entering your new filter.

  1. Turn your system back on

That’s it! Now that you’ve finished your basic HVAC and air conditioning maintenance, you can turn your system back on to test everything out. If your system blows cold air and has good airflow, then you’re all set!

Just remember: It’s still good to have a licensed HVAC technician inspect your unit every six months to make sure everything is running right. That way you can avoid any unexpected breakdowns that could leave you hot and bothered in the summer heat.

Even if you take really good care of your HVAC system, breakdowns can happen. That’s where an America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) comes in. An APHW home warranty can help you get your system fixed fast when it fails due to normal wear and tear. Learn more about our home warranties by calling 888.351.3681 or checking out what appliances and home systems we cover.

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