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Keeping your HVAC efficient and healthy is key to having a comfortable home throughout the year. There are a lot of tips on what you should do to help your heating and cooling system operate smoothly, but what are some tips on things you should avoid doing? Here are 5 things you should NEVER do to your HVAC. Check out our maintenance options for your HVAC if you would like more tips or help!

DON’T Skip regular maintenance

The number one thing recommended by trained HVAC professionals is to have maintenance completed at least once a year on your system. Just like a car, your HVAC needs a tune up every so often. The ideal would be to have maintenance completed twice a year – once before turning on the air conditioning in the spring, and once before switching to heat in the fall. However, you should definitely have maintenance completed at least once a year. This allows the technician to check for any issues – broken parts, things that are about to wear out, loose or leaking ducts, or any other issue that may lead to your system working less efficiently. Efficiency is the name of the game for HVAC systems. An efficient HVAC means less energy use, a lower bill at the end of the month, and a longer lifespan for the system.

DON’T Block air duct vents

Another “No, no.” for HVAC is blocking vents or registers. People sometimes block them accidentally, and sometimes on purpose. A couch or a curtain may be blocking a vent, without you realizing it. If you have a space that isn’t used that often (like a guest room) you might think it will save energy to close the vents. That’s actually the opposite of what you should do. A closed or blocked vent creates a sort of traffic jam within the air ducts. The air that is blocked is now pushing backward, into the air that is being pumped into the rest of the house, which causes stress on the HVAC system and makes it work harder. This can lead to a higher energy bill and lessen the lifespan of the HVAC.

DON’T Ignore warning lights or diagnostic lights

Those lights are there for a reason. If you see one, you should schedule an appointment with your HVAC company as soon as possible. Ignoring those warnings means you are running your HVAC system when it is not in top shape. While you may not see any immediate problems, other issues may arise later down the road. You might only shorten the lifespan of your system, or you might have a major issue that requires a big repair, or even a replacement of the whole HVAC. A trained HVAC technician will be able to diagnose and fix the issue quickly, before it becomes a bigger, more costly problem.

DON’T Keep the same air filter

Aside from scheduling regular maintenance, the other thing you should do for your HVAC’s health and for your family’s health is change the air filter regularly. The filter’s job is to remove irritants from the air so that they don’t clog up the HVAC system, and so that you are not breathing in bacteria, viruses, mildew, pet dander, and any other airborne particles. Most filters should be changed every three months, but the packaging should tell you exactly when to replace them. You can also sign up for a subscription so you don’t have to remember. When the filter is delivered, you know it is time to replace the old one. Not only do the filters improve air quality in a space, they also help the HVAC stay clear of clogs and build up within the system. A filter that hasn’t been changed often can put strain on the HVAC system because the air is struggling to get through the clogged filter. This makes it less efficient.

DON’T Go with an uncertified technician

If you are a DIY type of person, or if you “know a guy” – DO NOT attempt to fix your HVAC system. You may cause irreversible damage which will result in a huge repair bill, or you may even have to replace the entire system. When looking for an HVAC company, make sure they are certified, with a license and that they are insured. Our team at Reliance Home Comfort is highly trained, with years of experience. Don’t pick your HVAC company based on price alone, because you very well may end up paying more for shoddy work.

HVAC systems are expensive but they can last a long time if they are well-cared for. There are few things you can do on your own – check for blocked vents, change the air filter, and be on the lookout for warning lights. The best thing you can do for your HVAC is to hire well-trained, professional technicians to do regular maintenance and any other work you might need. If you don’t take care of your HVAC, it won’t be able to take care of you. Contact Reliance Home Comfort today to schedule your next maintenance visit.