DIY HVAC Tips that Prevent Future Headaches


The HVAC is one of the most energy-hungry systems in most homes. In fact, according to ASHRAE, the HVAC can cost you an additional $1000 every season to run. Accordingly, the most you know about your HVAC, the more you can save on your monthly energy bills. For inspiration, here is a quick overview of the top DIY HVAC tips that can help you prevent future headaches:

  • Do comprehensive “Manual J” calculations before installation

When installing a new HVAC or replacing an old one, ensure that the HVAC contractor performs comprehensive “Manual J” calculations to accurately establish the system size. HVAC systems that are either too big or too small will not run efficiently and will seldom address your home’s comfort.

  • Endeavor to Replace your air filters

Strive to check your air filters every month. Dirty filters will not only drive up your operational costs but will also result into catastrophic failures to your system. To get the most out of your filters, avoid cheap fiberglass filters because they don’t catch smaller dust particles. United Trades recommend using pleated 3m filters; although they come at considerably higher price points, they will help you save a few bucks in cleaning costs over the long overhaul.

  • Always ensure that your condensate drain piping is clean

Never pour bleach into your system’s drain pan. Chlorine in the bleach will attack the copper coils, and ultimately cause refrigerant leaks. Strive to clean the drain pan with a dry/wet vacuum if possible.

  • Clear debris around your outdoor HVAC units

Your outdoor condensing units should be free from debris such as leaves, grass clippings, shrubbery, and other types of debris. To avoid plugging the coil, always turn your unit off before cutting grass around it. Additionally, be careful when using weed eaters around your outdoor unit considering that weed eaters may cut your tubing, coils, and electrical wiring.

  • Clean the  central air cleaner

The collection cells and the pre-filter of your system’s electronic air cleaner should be cleaned at least 2-3 times in a year. To ensure that you are following the right cleaning procedure, refer to the user’s manual. Never use water to clean the air cleaner’s electrical parts.

  • Invest in a thermostat

When you are sleeping at night or away from your home, allowing the temperature to rise (in the summer) or fall (in winter) by about 10 degrees for 8 or more hours can save you up to 5-15 percent of your heating and cooling costs. For heat-pump, this tip may only apply during the summer because the heating cycle of a heat pump is more efficient when left at stable temperatures.

  • Insulate your home

Your HVAC units will be more efficient if your home’s shell is efficient. So, ensure that your home is well insulated. Insulations with R factors of between 30 and 49 are the most efficient and can save you up to 10 percent of your heating and cooling costs.

With proper care, your HVAC units will operate dependably for several years. Hopefully, the above highlighted DIY HVAC tips will help you prevent future headaches and ensure that your systems are performing optimally.