Did your air conditioner recently start making weird noises? Is your furnace dripping water? A good HVAC system is one you don’t actually notice most of the time; it’s quiet, doesn’t emit strange odors, and runs according to your thermostat’s settings. But when something goes wrong with your HVAC system, it tends to become apparent pretty quickly. Now, before you start worrying too much, each strange smell or noise doesn’t necessarily mean a call to your local HVAC contractors. There are some small things you can do on your own, if you feel so inclined. Of course, keep in mind that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could make the problem worse — and more costly to repair. But, if you’re pretty handy, here are a few things you can DIY to care for your HVAC system:
Change Your Filters
Let’s start small. The frequency with which you should change out your filters varies based on who lives in the home, but the important part is that everyone should be changing their filters regularly for better air quality. For a single person living in an apartment, you probably only need to change the filter every six months or so. On the other end of the spectrum, a family of four with multiple furry pets and someone with strong allergies will probably need to change out their filters every month or two. Fortunately, filters aren’t generally very expensive and most options simply slide out/in to replace.
Cleaning Your Ducts
As with filters, cleaning out your ductwork at regular intervals can help keep the air in your home from getting too dusty or allergen-filled. Your ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned quite as frequently — maybe every year or two, depending on anyone in the home who has allergies. It can be a time-intensive process, but it is something you can do for yourself. The process involves covering all registers (usually with something simple like paper towels or plastic wrap), running the fan with no heat or cooling, knocking dust loose along the ductwork you can access, and cleaning the air return registers. Every few cleanings, you’ll still want to get HVAC contractors in to do a more thorough job, but you can clean your ducts pretty well without help.
Cleaning Condensation Drains
Most full-home air conditioner systems produce some condensation, and there are drains in place to catch that extra moisture. Of course, it’s pretty often filled with dirt and debris that can eventually build up and block drains. Ask your local HVAC technician to show you how to access and clean them, and that’s a step you can keep up with on your own. Keeping your condensation drains clean and debris-free can help your unit function better and, potentially, live longer.
Check the Gas/Pilot Light
If your furnace isn’t turning on, that doesn’t automatically mean a call to your HVAC repair company. Before you pick up the phone, check to see if your pilot light is on. If it’s gone out, there are generally directions on an inside panel to walk you through relighting it. Another common problem is that the gas somehow gets shut off. Check with others in the house to make sure it wasn’t turned off for a reason, then flip the gas switch back on and try lighting the pilot light again. If that still doesn’t work, then it may be time to call your local HVAC company.
There are plenty of things you can DIY to keep your HVAC system running well. However, if you ever smell gas or start hearing odd noises, these are indicative of issues that are better left to a professional to fix. For quality workmanship and reliable HVAC help in Lee’s Summit and the surrounding areas, contact the Comfort Pros Heating & Cooling team today!