Preventative maintenance might not be possible for HVAC systems at all times, but you can definitely keep the system functioning for a long time sans any issues, if you follow a few tips.
Take a look:
Keep an eye on air filters: The most important thing you can do at home is inspect your air filter. Dirty air filters make your HVAC system less efficient and cause undue strain on its working parts. Set a reminder each month to check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged. You can also use high-efficiency pleated air filter – the folds in these trap more small particles than traditional filters, keeping your system clean and your family healthy.
Ensure debris is at bay: If you have an outdoor unit, it is important to keep the system free of debris. Check your unit every week or so for leaves, pollen, dirt, sticks or other debris. Clear debris from the top and sides of the system using gloves and, if necessary, a hose. This allows for maximum airflow to the fan and increases your unit’s efficiency and lifespan. Remove anything that blocks air flow to the system.
Don’t overuse the humidifier: In order to give your system a rest in the summer, turn off your furnace humidifier’s water supply. When the cooler months approach, replace the water panel (also know as humidifier pad), set the relative humidity between 35 and 45 percent, and turn the water supply to the furnace humidifier back on.
Listen for odd sounds: If you hear weird noises when the system is running, it usually indicates some kind of problem. At times, noises in your system are created by register blockages, debris in the vents, or loose bolts on the furnace or registers. In case you hear a sound, try to find the source. If you can’t find it, it is advisable to call in a professional.
Give your system a break: Another passive way to keep your system healthy is to use fans when possible to give your system a break. Though this isn’t a maintenance tip, using ceiling and portable fans to circulate air throughout your home, can actually help your HVAC system bring the temperature in your home down quicker on hot summer days. When the weather is cooler, open your windows and turn on your fans to circulate the cool air into the house and keep temperatures comfortable.
As mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact a professional if the HVAC unit malfunctions or stops working.