7 DIY HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tips Every Homeowner Should Be Doing

HVAC technician performing preventative maintenance

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If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think about your HVAC system until it starts giving you trouble. But did you know that regular preventative maintenance can help you avoid costly breakdowns, extend the life of your system, and even save you money on energy bills? In this article, we’ll share seven simple, yet essential, DIY HVAC preventative maintenance tasks that you should be doing to keep your system running smoothly all year long.

Importance of HVAC Preventative Maintenance

Before we dive into the specific maintenance tasks, let’s take a moment to discuss why HVAC preventative maintenance is so important.

Energy Efficiency

A well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently, using less energy to heat or cool your home. This not only saves you money on your energy bills but also helps reduce your environmental impact.

Longer Lifespan

Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your HVAC system, preventing premature breakdowns and saving you money on replacement costs.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

A clean, well-maintained HVAC system can help improve the air quality inside your home, reducing allergens and pollutants that can cause respiratory issues.

7 Essential DIY HVAC Preventative Maintenance Tasks

Now that we’ve established the importance of preventative maintenance, let’s dive into the seven essential tasks you should be doing.

Replace or Clean Your Air Filters

One of the simplest and most important tasks in HVAC maintenance is replacing or cleaning your air filters.

Types of Filters

There are various types of air filters available, including disposable fiberglass, pleated, and reusable filters. Make sure to use the correct filter for your system.

Frequency of Replacement

Generally, air filters should be replaced or cleaned every one to three months, depending on the type of filter and usage. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations for specific guidelines.

Clean the Condenser Unit

The outdoor condenser unit can collect dirt, leaves, and debris over time, which can reduce its efficiency.

How to Clean the Condenser Unit

To clean the condenser unit, first turn off the power to the unit. Then, gently remove any debris from the exterior using a soft brush or cloth. Remove the fan cage and use a vacuum or blower to clean the interior. Lastly, use a hose to spray the fins from the inside out, being careful not to bend them.

Inspect the Condensate Drain

The condensate drain is responsible for removing moisture from your HVAC system. A clogged drain can lead to water damage and decreased efficiency.

How to Clean the Condensate Drain

To clean the condensate drain, locate the PVC pipe near your indoor unit. Remove the cap and use a wet-dry vacuum to suck out any clogs. You can also pour a mixture of water and vinegar down the drain to help prevent future buildup.

Check the Thermostat

A properly functioning thermostat is essential for maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature.

How to Calibrate the Thermostat

First, ensure that your thermostat is set to the correct mode (heating or cooling). Next, use a reliable thermometer to check the temperature in the room. If there’s a significant difference between the thermostat reading and the actual temperature, you may need to recalibrate the thermostat according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean the Indoor Air Vents

To clean your air vents, first turn off your HVAC system. Then, remove the vent covers and use a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean the vents. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe down the vent covers before reinstalling them.

Inspect the Ductwork

Leaky or damaged ductwork can lead to reduced efficiency and uneven heating or cooling.

How to Identify Leaks

To check for leaks in your ductwork, visually inspect the accessible portions for any signs of damage. You can also feel for drafts near the ducts while your HVAC system is running. If you suspect a leak, consider hiring a professional to inspect and repair the ducts.

Schedule an Annual HVAC Maintenance Checkup

Lastly, it’s essential to schedule an annual professional maintenance checkup for your HVAC system. A certified technician can identify and address any issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye.

For a walkthrough of a technician performing HVAC maintenance from beginning to end, check out this video by Precision Temperature

Trust AirPoint for Your DIY HVAC Preventative Maintenance Needs

By following these seven simple DIY HVAC preventative maintenance tasks, you can help ensure your system runs smoothly, efficiently, and provides a comfortable living environment. Remember, regular maintenance not only saves you money on energy bills and replacement costs but also improves your indoor air quality. And when you need professional assistance, trust AirPoint, a Carrier factory authorized dealer and NATE certified company in Toronto. We take pride in being awarded HomeStars Best of the Best 2023 and maintaining a 5-star rating on Google and HomeStars. All our technicians are fully certified by TSSA, HRAI, and CSA.

DIY Preventative HVAC Maintenance Walkthrough

Essential DIY HVAC Preventative Maintenance FAQs

Yes, UV light is safe when installed correctly in HVAC systems. The UV light should be enclosed within the unit to prevent accidental exposure to occupants, as direct exposure can cause skin and eye irritation.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning and replacing the UV lamps. Regular maintenance is essential for optimal performance and germicidal effectiveness.


Absolutely! Combining UV light with other air filtration methods, such as HEPA filters or activated carbon filters, can enhance indoor air quality and create a healthier living environment.

Yes, it's best to have a professional install your UV light system. They can ensure that the system is installed correctly and safely, optimizing its effectiveness and preventing any safety hazards.

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