Whether it’s your vehicle or your HVAC system, an annual tuneup is always a good idea if you want either item to operate efficiently and last longer than its expected life cycle. Although an upfront investment, a professional HVAC tuneup pays for itself and puts more savings in your pocket by lowering utility bills, reducing the need for repairs and helping avoid premature replacement costs. With that said, here’s what every professional HVAC tuneup for units in Lexington, Kentucky, should include.
Change the HVAC Filter
There are two HVAC maintenance tasks every homeowner can safely complete on their own without the help of a professional service technician, and the first is changing the HVAC filter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners should check their filter monthly during the hottest and coldest months of year. If the filter looks dirty after a month, you should change it. And remember to never use a filter for longer than three months; otherwise, it’ll make your system work harder, waste energy and contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Check the Condensate Drain Line
The second HVAC maintenance task every homeowner can perform on their own is to check the condensate drain line, which is located near your outdoor unit. The purpose of the condensate line is to safely remove moisture from your AC system, which it has gathered while removing heat out of your home’s air. This is an especially important AC maintenance task, because a clogged line can lead to problems that can result in system repairs.
3 Common Issues Resulting From a Clogged Condensate Line
- Frozen air conditioner. A clogged condensate line will trap water in your unit, and the evaporator coil will eventually freeze it. The moisture inside the drain line will also turn to ice.
- Overflowing drain pan. The condensate drain pan sits under your AC’s evaporator coil. If the line clogs, the excess moisture will collect and the pan will eventually overflow. This promotes microbial growth and can lead to illness if you breathe any of the air that has passed over the contaminated pan.
- Property damage. While a clogged condensate line damages your air conditioner, it can also damage your property. An overflowing drain pan can also cause leaks that damage drywall, flooring and electrical wiring.
If you notice that your condensate line is clogged, you can use a Shop-Vac to unclog it, and then pour diluted bleach down the pipe to eliminate mildew build-up. If you have trouble unclogging it, a professional service technician can help to avoid costly future repairs.
Contact an HVAC Contractor for the Following Tasks
Although the two aforementioned tasks are safe and simple enough for a homeowner to perform on their own, it’s always best to leave a comprehensive tuneup to a professional service technician who’s trained to work with HVAC equipment.
- Check operating pressures and amperage draw
- Clean and calibrate all controls in the unit
- Inspect for refrigerant leaks and check the charge
- Make minor electrical or mechanical adjustments
- Lubricate motors and inspect all wiring
If you have questions about why preventive HVAC maintenance is so important, or if you’d like to schedule a tuneup today, check out our FAQ page or contact Stivers HVAC at (859) 286-6450. We look forward to helping homeowners in Lexington, Kentucky, optimize their HVAC system’s performance and make sure they’re saving as much as possible.
HVAC technology is constantly evolving to offer enhanced home comfort with improved energy efficiency. While you were once confined to only a handful of options for heating and cooling your home, you now have a wealth of choices for everything from central heating and cooling to integrated heat pump systems. Check out the latest innovations to keep your Lexington, Kentucky, home comfortable while trimming your utility expenses and going green with your appliances.
Variable Speed Motors
HVAC systems traditionally run on fixed-speed motors. With these, the blower is either on or off. There’s no middle ground, making it difficult to maintain a comfortable temperature. A fixed speed motor leads to more inconsistencies in your home’s heating and cooling. Your system has to cycle on and off more frequently with this motor, decreasing your efficiency.
Multi-speed motors are the next step up. These allow the blower to operate at varying speeds, so the system can manage your comfort with more refinement. A multi-speed motors will improve your energy efficiency and home comfort significantly, but this still isn’t the top of the line.
Variable speed motors are the latest and greatest in HVAC technology. A variable speed blower motor can make incremental adjustments to your air flow. This allows for minute changes to the temperature in your home. While a fixed speed motor either blows at full force or turns off completely, a variable speed motor can subtly adjust your heating or cooling, so you always enjoy prime conditions in your home. Variable speed blower motors also give you more control over your humidity levels.
Single stage compressors, like fixed speed blower motors, are simple systems that are either on or off. These are found in older heat pumps. A single stage compressor can only run at full speed, offering poor energy efficiency and temperature management.
A two-stage compressor is more refined. This offers two settings so the heat pump can make subtle adjustments to the home’s temperature. The low compressor speed is ideal for mild weather when you need only moderate heating and cooling in the home. With a two-stage compressor, your heat pump will offer better energy efficiency and enhanced comfort management. If you’re purchasing a new heat pump, look for one with this advanced technology. Though it has a higher initial price tag, a two-stage compressor will help pay for itself over time in lower utility costs.
If your thermostat still requires manual adjustments, you’re wasting time, effort, and energy every day. The latest smart thermostat technology takes the guesswork out of home comfort and energy efficiency, handling all the essential details for you. A system like Trane’s ComfortLink II XL950 is Wi-Fi enabled so you can control it remotely using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can input varying settings that are appropriate for your weekday and weekend schedules, so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty house.
These advanced thermostats offer a wealth of helpful information including a weather forecast, local radar images, and maintenance reminders. The beautiful 7-inch screen on the ComfortLink II XL950 even doubles as a digital picture frame, turning your HVAC technology into a decorative home addition.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps are the latest in eco-friendly home comfort. These heating and cooling systems utilize the Earth’s own natural temperatures to keep your home comfortable. Your HVAC technician installs an underground loop that circulates liquid beneath the Earth’s surface, where temperatures are stable year-round. In summer, the liquid dissipates heat underground. In winter, it absorbs the Earth’s warmth.
Geothermal heat pumps use less energy than traditional HVAC systems and offer integrated heating and cooling with one installation. If you’re looking for an intriguing way to make your home greener, this is a great place to start.
Are you ready to upgrade your home’s heating and cooling? Contact Stivers HVAC at (859) 286-6450 to learn more about the latest opportunities for enhanced home comfort and energy efficiency in your Lexington home.