Your home's HVAC system plays a crucial role with how comfortable it is inside, which is why you want to make sure it's in great shape for when the weather is really hot or cold. By maintaining the system, you'll be sure to not only have a system that is energy efficient, but lasts a very long time as well. The best time to perform maintenance is in the fall or spring, since this is when you change how you use your HVAC system. Here are some things that you should be doing at these times during the year.
Recharge the Refrigerant
Your air conditioner uses refrigerant in to cool down the evaporator coil and remove the heat from the air, but it is difficult to see how much refrigerant is in the system and ensure it is working properly. There won't be an indicator that says it is low on refrigerant, so you need to do some manual monitoring on a hot day to ensure that it is working properly.
Start by placing a thermometer in the return air vent while the air conditioner is running for a while, and record the temperature. Then do the same thing with the main vent where the cold air is coming out from in the same room. If the there is a 15-20°F difference between the two, then you have enough refrigerant in the system. If it's less than that, then you should contact a local HVAC professional to recharge the system with more refrigerant.
Clean The Ductwork
It is also a good idea to take a closer look at the ductwork in your home. You'll want to inspect the ductwork for places where the seams could be coming apart and causing air to leak into unwanted places, which makes the entire system inefficient. It can result in some rooms being a different temperature than what you set your thermostat at, making them uncomfortable.
You should also consider having your ductwork cleaned to remove all of the dust and debris that could be hiding in there. Not only does it make the air that comes out of the vents cleaner, but it can help those people in your home with allergies. Less debris in the vents also means that the filters will not become clogged as quickly, helping the HVAC system run efficiently during the year.
Don't wait for your system to break down and require repair from a technician who works with HVAC repairs. Perform preventative maintenance that will keep the system running all year long.