Tag Archive for: maintenance

Maintenance technician holding gauges.

HVAC Maintenance Will Save You Time and Money

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. If that’s true, we would say your HVAC system is the pulse. Your HVAC system works tirelessly to ensure your optimal comfort. Without an adequate heating and cooling system, your entire house could become virtually unlivable at certain times of the year. That’s why proper, regular home HVAC maintenance is so important.

In short, it’s essential to make sure your heating and cooling system gets the proper care and maintenance it needs for high-quality performance and longevity. Taking a few basic steps for proper care can even eliminate future replacement or repair costs. Plus, it’s not hard!

Here are a few obvious steps to get you started on easy home HVAC maintenance:

Change Your Filters Regularly

The temptation to put off replacing filters has hit even the most dedicated of homeowners. We recommend changing your filters every 3 months for the best home HVAC maintenance results. This is the number one thing you can do to keep your home system functioning properly.

Clean filters reduce wear and tear on the blower components, increase the air quality in your home and help reduce airborne allergies such as dust and pet dander. If you find that replacing the filters every 3 months isn’t sufficient, don’t be afraid to swap them out more often.

Do your research and find the correct filters as using ones that aren’t a good fit for your unit can reduce the airflow to your system. This will create an unnecessary strain that will reduce its efficiency. If you have an air purification system or other aftermarket accessories, like a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing those filters. Don’t forget, even ductless systems have filters that need to be changed.

Clean Your Ductwork

Ductwork is an often neglected part of home HVAC maintenance because it’s out of sight and often, out of mind! Ductwork needs to be cleaned every 4-6 years depending on the dust and allergen factor of your local area and your desired level of inside air quality. Dust bunnies seem to spontaneously reproduce in these hidden spaces and then get blown out with the heat or AC and can cover your home in dust and allergens.

It’s especially noticeable if you have hardwood floors as carpets easily hide the level of dust that is really adding up. A professional is usually the best for the job, as they have the proper equipment to easily and safely clean even the hardest to reach spots in the enclosed ducts.

Check Your Outside Condenser Unit For Debris

Keeping overgrown vegetation, such as bushes and piles of blown leaves, clear from your AC condenser unit is key to keeping the airflow intake free of any debris and working at top performance. Be aware that pollen or seeds from certain trees, like cottonwoods or the helicopter seeds from maple trees, are notorious for clogging outdoor AC condensing units.

Take off the exterior cover and clean seeds from the interior. An unexpected home HVAC maintenance issue can also arise if dryer vents are pointed towards your condenser. Dryer lint can be blown into the unit causing loads of problems that could result in an expensive replacement. Ensure that the vent is pointed away from the condenser.

Inspect Your Evaporator Coil’s Drain Pipe

Your AC condenser drain pipe can hold a myriad of issues, including blockages of algae and mold. Keeping it clean is a critical part of home HVAC maintenance. During the wet weather months of spring and summer, this can be a very common problem.

First, locate your drain line. It is usually a white, grey or black one-inch PVC pipe that typically drains outside near the condenser unit. Inspect it to see if there are blockages or build up inside the pipe. Then, using a wet-dry vacuum hose to suck up any plugged areas out of the line. If super duty help is needed, pouring a liberal amount of bleach through the drain pipe can help clear out any biological matter as well. Finally, don’t forget to remove the paper filter from the wet/dry vac so it doesn’t get ruined in this process.

Clean and Straighten The Fins On Your Outdoor Unit

Carefully remove the exterior outer cover of your condenser unit and brush it off or use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove all outside dirt or vegetation that may be built up. Then, gently use a garden hose and spray from the inside out through the fins to clear any built-up dirt or debris that may be restricting the airflow. Make sure that the pressure you use is just enough to do the job, strong pressure can damage the fin.

Bent fins can happen from simple accidental bumps with the lawnmower or a yard toy. More serious incidents, such as a bad hail storm, can create significant damage. This can cause blocked airflow which will always add to more wear and tear on your unit, shorten it’s the life span and cause higher utility bills. Fins are easily bent back into place using a tool called a “fin comb,” which are sold online from HVAC retailers. Be sure and unplug the unit before working on any kind of home HVAC maintenance.

Get Regular Professional Maintenance

Hiring a professional to help keep things running smoothly is essential to keep your HVAC system healthy and running efficiently. Most problems and home HVAC maintenance can easily be completed DIY, but a competent professional has the knowledge and experience to run more complex fixes. The technician will have the tools and equipment to handle the hazardous coolant and diagnose any air leakages or electrical problems. A professional inspection will find signs of trouble well before they happen, saving you thousands in repair or replacement costs. They should inspect the blower motor, refrigerant levels and observe the thermostat to ensure the proper operation and can make recommendations as needed.

Staying on top of your HVAC maintenance will save you time, money and hassle as well as create a true home that is comfortable and welcoming. Spend some time at the beginning of each season to go through the recommended maintenance and the “heart” of your family’s home, as well as your pocketbook, will thank you.

What exactly happens on a maintenance visit?

We’re always reminding our customers that the best way to save money is to make sure you’re scheduling regular maintenance visits for your HVAC units. The idea seems counterintuitive to most: “Why would I pay money for a checkup if my system seems to be running fine?”

The answer is that your system almost always seems to be running fine—until it suddenly breaks down. Most people also think their system is working well, only to crunch the numbers and realize that their energy bills have been steadily on the rise for years.

When we come to your house for a maintenance visit, you’ll find out that those “sudden” breakdowns aren’t so sudden after all. We can pinpoint potential problem areas and even run an efficiency test to make sure that your system is running as smoothly as possible, so that you’re not spending way too much money on your energy bills.

So, what does the visit look like exactly? Here’s how it goes:

Meet and Greet Your Technician

At BNG, it’s important to us that our customers have a relationship with the technician assigned to their home. We are the gatekeepers to your home comfort, and the better you know us, the more you feel free to call on us with any questions or concerns—just as you would with a beloved family doctor! We trust that each and every one of our technicians will provide friendly, professional, and expert service. We hope that you’ll take advantage of their expertise!

Survey the System

Just like a checkup at the doctor’s office, our technicians will run through the basics of HVAC health. We connect gauges to the outdoor unit to make sure it’s running with the right pressure and temperature. We also check to make sure oil is added to motor oil ports, that all electrical components are protected from erosion, that all wires are in-tact, and that all moving parts are functioning properly.

For an indoor unit inspection, we’ll make sure that mold hasn’t made its way into your home, we’ll change your air filters, and we’ll make sure that your thermostat is properly calibrated.

Clean the System

While some homeowners are able to clear most leaves and debris from their outdoor unit, it’s advised that you allow your professional technician to really clean the unit during a maintenance visit. We can make sure that the condenser fins are completely clean and that no leaves have gotten into the mechanics of your unit. This is especially important to do at the change of every season!

The checklists that we run through are absolutely vital to preventing expensive HVAC breakdowns. We do know, however, that some (usually newer) systems require a little less maintenance than others. That’s why we offer three tiers of maintenance plans! Choose from this list to see what plan works best for your home. Trust us—the investment you make in preventative maintenance for your HVAC unit can save you thousands in the long-run!

Needing a maintenance visit right now? Call our team at BNG Heating & Cooling to schedule an assessment today.

The Homeowner’s Springtime Checklist

After a long, hard winter, we’re finally seeing the sunlight at the end of the tunnel! We know you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather, but are you sure that your house is ready to make the transition from cold temperatures to warm?  

We want to make it easy for you to be sure that you’re taking the best care of your home that you possibly can, so we made this checklist of things that you should do before we’re in full springtime.

Check the Roof

Your roof has done a lot of work for you this winter—especially if you were one of the millions of Americans who experienced severe snowstorms early this year. Make sure that it didn’t lose any shingles along the way. You should also look out for unevenness among shingles, as that can be pointing to nail-pops and potential leak opportunities.

Check Your Gutters

It won’t be long before we’re gearing up for April showers! Be sure that your gutters are unclogged, cleared of leaves and debris, and are in good working order. Pro Tip: Look for water drips, especially around gutter downspouts, on your exterior walls. These marks point to a leaky gutter.

Windows and Doors

If you took our advice before winter and made sure to seal your openings, now is a good time to check those places to be sure that your sealing stayed in tact. If not, take the opportunity to seal them now, before your home is working to keep cool air in and warm, summer air out.  

HVAC Maintenance

It’s time to clear out the leaves and debris from your HVAC unit and get it ready for a hot summer! This is also the perfect time to schedule a routine maintenance check from your expert service provider. They will be able to spot signs of trouble after a long winter, and make repairs before hot spring and summer weather sets in.

If you have a maintenance plan with BNG Heating and Cooling, you’re already on our list of homes to check in on before spring. If not, you can schedule a consultation by calling one of our locations or by scheduling online today.