How to Maintain Your HVAC System So It Will Last Longer (Part 1)

The HVAC system is essential to any household or commercial building. It regulates the temperature and air quality, providing comfort and healthy living conditions. However, like any complex system, it requires regular maintenance to function correctly and efficiently.

Neglecting your HVAC system can lead to breakdowns, costly repairs, and even health hazards. Therefore, properly caring for your HVAC system ensures its longevity and optimal performance. In this first part of the article, we’ll discuss the first three maintenance tasks you should perform.

Change Your Filters Often

One of the simplest yet most critical tasks in HVAC maintenance is replacing the air filters regularly. The air filters trap dust, dirt, and other airborne particles, preventing them from circulating and clogging the system. Over time, the filters accumulate debris, limiting the airflow and reducing the system’s efficiency. Clogged filters also strain the HVAC system, leading to premature wear and tear and higher energy bills.

It’s recommended to change the air filters every one to three months, depending on the type of filter and the usage level. Disposable filters are the most common and affordable option but need more frequent replacement. Electrostatic filters, on the other hand, can last up to six months but require cleaning every one to three months.

Clean the Outdoor Unit Regularly

The outdoor unit, also known as the condenser, is part of the HVAC system that transfers the heat from the indoor air to the outdoor air. It consists of a metal cabinet, a fan, a compressor, and a set of coils. The outdoor unit is exposed to weather conditions, such as rain, wind, sun, and debris, affecting its performance and lifespan. Therefore, it’s crucial to clean and maintain the outdoor unit regularly.

To clean the outdoor unit:

  1. Turn off the power supply and remove the debris from the surrounding area, such as leaves, grass clippings, branches, and rocks.
  2. Remove the top grille and use a soft brush or vacuum to clean the fins and coils.
  3. Be careful not to bend or damage the fins, as they are delicate and essential for proper airflow. If the fins are bent, you can use a fin comb to straighten them out gently.
  4. Clean the fan blades and motor with a damp cloth or a soft brush, and check for any signs of wear, such as cracks or rust.
  5. Replace the grille and turn on the power supply to test the unit’s operation.

Check for Duct Leaks

The ducts are the network of tubes that distribute the conditioned air from the HVAC system to the various rooms in the building. The ducts are usually hidden in the walls, floors, or ceilings, making them hard to access and inspect. However, duct leaks can cause significant energy loss and reduce indoor air quality, leading to discomfort, allergies, and respiratory problems. Therefore, checking for duct leaks regularly and sealing them is crucial.

To check for duct leaks:

  1. Turn on the HVAC system and feel for any air drafts or temperature differences around the vents and registers. You can also use a smoke pencil or an infrared camera to detect leaks visually.
  2. Look for gaps, holes, or loose connections in the ducts, and mark them for sealing. Depending on the location and severity, you can use duct tape, mastic sealant, or foil tape to seal the leaks.
  3. Avoid using regular tape or ductwork insulation, as they are unsuitable for duct sealing and can cause more damage.


You can save money, energy, and time by performing these tasks regularly and properly and ensuring a comfortable and healthy living environment. However, if you encounter complex or risky issues, such as refrigerant leaks, electrical problems, or unfamiliar components, you should seek professional help from a certified HVAC technician. Stay tuned for part two of this article, discussing more HVAC maintenance tasks.

Be sure to call Legacy Heating before your HVAC system breaks down. Our preventative HVAC maintenance services will help you catch potential issues before they become major problems, saving you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Book your appointment today and enjoy worry-free comfort all year round!

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