Dale’s Remodeling’s 6-Point HVAC Inspection Checklist
A home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most important, yet overlooked parts of a house. That is, until it breaks down.
The condition of your HVAC system can greatly affect the air quality and temperature of a house, which in turn can affect your health and comfort levels and shorten your home’s structural integrity. And, while most components last between 10 to 15 years, it’s good to catch any problems early before they present themselves on a 100-degree day.
As summer arrives in the Mid-Willamette Valley, Dale’s Remodeling recommends conducting a thorough inspection of the six most vulnerable spots of your home’s HVAC system now, so you don’t find yourself overheated later.
- An Overall Assessment
Begin where you live, and take a tour around your house when your HVAC is working its hardest. Try to locate spots where it is either too hot or too cold and look for improperly operating equipment, inadequate insulation or duct problems could be behind the difference in temperature.
- Inspect filters, grills and registers
As the point at which most problems enter your system, checking your HVAC’s air filters should really be done every month. Look for dust, dirt and pet hair that is caught in the old filter. Clean the filter out by either vacuuming it or rinsing it off with water, or you could replace the filter if it is disposable.
With their filtered openings, grills and registers are much like air filters. Look for dust, dirt and pet hair that impedes airflow, and open and close the register to test the mechanisms. It’s also a good idea to make sure your furniture hasn’t been moved over the vents.
- Ductwork problems
The health of your ductwork is fairly easy to spot if the system is exposed. Look for peeling duct tape and loose fittings around the seams, dents in the metal, and collapsed or torn sections of flex ducts. If you find dirt streaks it’s a good indication air is escaping from a damaged spot.
- Furnace flames
Give your furnace a test run and inspect the flame. If you see a flickering yellow or orange flame you might have a combustion problem that may require a professional’s opinion. Look for a steady blue colored flame and always ensure the side panels are securely closed and fastened tight.
- Air conditioning compressors
Keep your outside air conditioner compressor clear of shrubs, leaves and vines. Make sure the condenser unit fins are straight and undamaged, and it’s a good idea to detect any changes to land where the unit sits. Efficiency can be compromised if the unit becomes unleveled. A quick fix is as easy as slipping a wedge under the unit. Inspect the fan blades by removing the top cover. If you see damage don’t try to repair it yourself. Call an expert to replace any compromised blades.
- Thermostat check
Don’t forget to check your thermostats. Dust and dirt collection can shorten the life of these mechanisms. Gently clean with a dry Q-tip.
If your inspection reveals a problem area, Dale’s Remodeling’s Troy Young suggests having a professional HVAC company do an evaluation. “A reputable company will conduct a full inspection and make recommendations on what you need to do with your existing unit to optimize it to its maximum efficiency; such as cleaning and calibrating the controls.”
Enjoy summer in the comfort of a properly operating HVAC system by conducting Dale’s Remodeling’s 6-point HVAC inspection and stay in control of your environment even on the hottest days of the year. For more information about installing a new HVAC system, check out our blog post “Q&A: What to Know Before Remodeling.”