For many, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that keeps their house comfortable is out of sight and out of mind until there's a problem. But there's no need to wait for an expensive issue to ensure it's working efficiently. Follow these proactive tips that can help you enjoy efficient, uninterrupted performance.

Don't Neglect Preventive Maintenance
Just like your vehicle, regularly scheduled maintenance on HVAC systems can help prevent problems and extend the life of your unit. To keep everything running smoothly, stay on track with a checklist of monthly and annual tasks. Start by diligently changing air filters a minimum of every three months or more frequently if you have pets or severe allergies.

Keep an Eye on Landscaping
Some homeowners may be tempted to camouflage outdoor HVAC equipment with shrubs, grass or flowers to increase a property's curb appeal. If you're not thoughtful about landscaping around the unit, you could be compromising its effectiveness. Regularly clear away debris, including leaves, pollen and grass clippings, from the top and sides to avoid damage, and maintain a two-foot clearance around the machinery so airflow isn't restricted.

Perform Pre-Season Inspections
Before seasons change, give the system a once-over and pay attention to what you see, feel and hear. Excessive noise, minimal airflow and humidity can all be problematic. A qualified expert can identify issues as well as remove debris from air conditioner coils, show you how to clean the condensate drain and more.

Ultimately, your HVAC system's ability to perform throughout the year will largely depend on how well you maintain it. With a little time and effort, you can lower summer energy costs and keep your heating and cooling system in top shape.

Posted 7:07 AM  View Comments

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