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Home Maintenance: How to Care for Your HVAC Unit

by Tom Zibkowski 04/04/2021

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

When it comes to keeping a home cool in the summer months and keeping it warm during the winter, there's no more important unit than the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. But like every major home system, HVAC units have a shelf life, and this is usually in the neighborhood of 15-20 years before replacement is necessary. In fact, air conditioning units normally last anywhere from 10-15 years, while furnaces can last up to 20 years. It goes without saying, however, that proper maintenance can help extend the life and effectiveness of these components. Here's a look at how to care for your HVAC system:

Replace The Filter

This is the easiest and most affordable thing you can do to keep the HVAC system running well. While you should check the manufacturer recommendations, it's suggested to replace this every month during the summer and about every month and a half during the winter. Doing so not only helps enhance the indoor air quality in your home, but it can help the HVAC system run smoothly as well. A dirty filter isn't just going to lead to dirtier air circulating throughout your home, but it will also put more strain on the HVAC system.

Inspect Your AC Unit

Your air conditioning unit is likely located outside. Take the time to inspect it regularly, especially in the nicer weather, to ensure that vegetation is not growing too close to it. Also make sure to clean it and remove any yard debris that has fallen in it or around it so that airflow is not obstructed. Generally, you should aim to create about a 2-foot clearance on all sides of the AC unit. 

Check The Drain Pan

One of the most common issues with AC units is a clogged drain line, as it can become clogged with algae or mold and inhibit proper flow. Check this at least once a year to make sure there are no blockages. Simply vacuuming it out with a wet/dry shop vac can normally resolve any issues.

Have It Professionally Maintained

While there are a number of things you can do yourself to ensure the HVAC system is working well, there's also a lot of value in investing in professional preventative maintenance. Having a licensed professional come to your home to inspect and tune up the HVAC system can help resolve any minor issues before they become big, expensive ones, and help your system run better for longer. Ideally, this is performed twice a year, with the AC unit getting checked in the spring and the furnace in the fall. Spending the money to prevent issues can end up saving a lot of money in breakdowns and emergency repair or even replacement costs in the long run. 

About the Author

Tom Zibkowski

Professional: I specialize in representing clients in the purchase and sale of real estate throughout Macomb and Oakland Counties. Throughout my 35 years in the business I have developed residential housing communities and currently work with some of the top home builders in the industry. Some of the custom home builders I work with are : Sal Mar Homes, GTR Builders, New Homes By Chirco, Cranbrook Homes,& Arteva Homes. If you are planning on building a custom home, please contact me. Through the years I have created a niche in the luxury home market and have represented many professional athletes and celebrities with their specific needs. Please contact me with any questions you may have regarding luxury homes throughout Michigan. When you list your home for sale with Tom Zibkowski you will receive the following: Experience: • Over 4000 closed sales since 1982, throughout Macomb and Oakland Counties • Rated as top 100 Agents nationwide by Wall Street Journal • Averaging over 40 million dollars in closed sales annually Services: • 3 full time administrative assistants to process transactions and communicate activities to customer constantly. • Professional photography with virtual tours & aerial virtual tours as needed. • Featured listing exposure on Luxury Portfolio International, • Full page color print advertising in Sunday Detroit News & Free Press. • Full page color print advertising in Michigan Luxury Homes Magazine • Daily internet updates of all public viewing activities and market updates. • Just listed color postcard direct mail campaigns to neighborhood. • Statewide multiple listing exposure. • Adwerx Internet pop-up display advertising campaigns Personal: I'm a Michigan native having been born and raised in the local area. My wife Jackie and I have two children. Troy is 23 years old, a licensed pilot and currently working in the real estate business. Tyler is 19 years old and is attending The College For Creative Studies, his major is transportation design.We live in Washington Township and are active in our community. My other website