Many Paradise, Nevada, homeowners are tempted to save money by performing HVAC maintenance tasks themselves. But it’s rarely advisable to do so. That said, it’s fine to take care of some simple tasks yourself, like changing the air filter and cleaning around the outside unit. However, more complex tasks require professional care and expertise. Read on to learn more about DIY and professional HVAC maintenance.

HVAC Tasks You Can Handle Yourself

Don’t let their simplicity deceive you. The HVAC tasks you should handle yourself are vital to your system’s ability to operate. They include:

Changing the Air Filter

Over time, your HVAC system’s air filter accumulates dust, dirt and other airborne debris. A clogged filter can reduce indoor air quality, hamper your HVAC system’s performance and drive up utility bills. Changing it is a simple task that homeowners should perform every three months.

Cleaning Around the Outside Unit

Debris around the outside unit can impede airflow, affecting your system’s ability to heat and cool your home. To help keep your system functioning well, clean around the outdoor unit about once a month. Trim landscaping and sweep away grass clippings, leaves, dirt and other debris. It’s especially important to check the unit after a big storm and make sure the area surrounding it is clean.

Checking the Condensate Drain Line

HVAC systems release humidity as they heat and cool. This humidity turns into condensation and exits the system through the condensate drain line. Typically made from PVC pipe, the condensate drain line sits near the outdoor unit. If this line becomes clogged, water will back up into your HVAC unit and the system will shut down. To avoid this, check and clean the line regularly.

To clean the drain line, first turn off your HVAC system. Then, remove the cap from the drain line and pour half a cup of vinegar into the pipe. Allow the vinegar to sit for about 10 minutes before flushing the line with water. This will help keep the line clean and prevent clogs.

If you’re ever unsure about performing any HVAC maintenance task yourself, call for professional help. It’s always better to ask for help than risk damaging your system or hurting yourself.

Tasks for HVAC Professionals

Technical, more involved tasks require professional expertise and training. Doing them yourself can void your warranty, damage the unit and even prove dangerous.

Perform Regular Preventive Maintenance

Have your system inspected annually by a professional HVAC comfort advisor. This is an important task that will help your system run smoothly and extend its lifespan. During a maintenance visit, a comfort advisor will inspect the system and check for any worn or damaged parts that could cause issues, often allowing you to fix problems when it’s still easy and relatively inexpensive to do so. The comfort advisor will also lightly clean the unit, performing tasks such as cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, to help it last longer and run more efficiently.

Attempt Repairs

While some repairs may seem simple, it’s never a great idea to attempt them yourself. HVAC units are complex electrical systems, and working on them requires professional training. If your system requires a repair, such as a fan replacement, contact a professional HVAC comfort advisor. Yes, it costs money upfront to pay for repair work, but attempting to fix it yourself will likely void your warranty and cause bigger issues.

Clean the Interior Components of Your Unit

A professional HVAC comfort advisor is the only person that should ever clean the interior components of your HVAC unit. Besides damaging it and voiding your warranty, it’s also dangerous to meddle with the unit’s complex mechanisms. If you think your unit is dirty, set up a maintenance visit.

If you need help deciding which HVAC tasks to DIY and which need professional attention, give the HVAC experts at Sun Country Heating & Cooling a call at 702-534-3375. We’ll be glad to answer any of your questions and send a comfort advisor to inspect your unit if necessary.

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