Serving Fort Collins, Longmont, Windsor and Loveland Areas
As with any piece of equipment, regular service and maintenance can help extend its life, and this is especially true when it comes to HVAC systems.
Professional HVAC companies like Northern Colorado Air, Inc. in Fort Collins have highly trained technicians that can perform a variety of maintenance services on systems of all ages, styles and sizes.
Some of those services may include:
- Checking the thermostat calibration and settings
- Tightening electrical connections
- Lubricating all moving parts
- Inspecting and cleaning the condensate drain
- Checking system controls
- Cleaning and adjusting blower components
- Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils
While scheduling bi-annual preventive maintenance services with a professional HVAC company is one way to help keep your system running, there are several things homeowners should be doing in between, advises Jeff Richard, general manager for Northern Colorado Air, Inc.
Keeping the outside unit clean and clear of debris such as leaves, sticks, grass clippings and dirt is vital to helping the system perform correctly.
Remove all debris on and around the unit each time you do yard maintenance, and hose it down if dirt begins to accumulate, Richard explained. Keep nearby plants trimmed back at least two feet from all sides of the unit to help maintain proper airflow.
“It’s good to have your HVAC serviced in the spring because all the leaves, pine needles fall into the unit,” Richard said. “It’s always good to have it taken apart and cleaned, flushed out with water. We will check for bugs in the contactor and go through those parts and pieces.”
Keeping the inside unit clear of clutter is also important. The more items sitting around a unit, the more dust that can collect and eventually make its way into the vent system. Clutter can also reduce air circulation, make it harder for techs to perform repairs and maintenance as well as cause the unit to perform inconsistently.
One of the easiest and most important things a homeowner can do to maintain their HVAC system is often the most overlooked: changing the air filter.
“Your air filter should be changed twice a year,” Richard said. “And I recommend checking it in between services. So that filter gets looked at four times a year.”
Air filters remove dust and other particles from the air, preventing them from spreading throughout the home. When a filter is clean, more air is allowed to pass through which helps the system heat and cool more efficiently. When a filter is dirty, the HVAC system needs to work harder to pull that air through, which in turn causes stress on the system as well as increased utility bills.
You get what you pay for when it comes to air filters for HVAC systems. The cheaper you go, the less effective the filter.
“The cheap filters you can get at discount stores don’t protect anything,” Richard said. “There are so many different styles that we could talk about filters for days.”
Richard suggests opting for a pleated style air filter that is reinforced, which will not bend or twist. A reinforced air filter will also prevent the filter from getting sucked into the blower wheel and causing significant problems.
Air filters not only help protect and extend the life of HVAC equipment, they also help keep the air we breathe inside our homes free from pollutants and bacteria.
The HVAC industry has developed air filters that not only keep air free of dust, dirt and dander, but can eliminate odors, pollen and other particles that can be harmful to our health.
Carbon-coated air filters are designed to remove odors, gasses and chemicals from the air. As air particles pass through the filter, they come in contact with the carbon in the filter and get trapped.
“These are called Merv-16s and they are the best filters money can buy. They don’t make anything higher than this,” Richard said. “There is 95-feet of material in a 20×25 filter that can trap dirt and other pollutants from the air. This is going to catch everything.”
Not only does the Merv-16 filters save your HVAC system, it will also protect the people in the house, Richard added.
Merv-16 carbon-coated filters typically only need to be changed once a year.
“Basically it’s an investment you are making once a year so that you can breathe,” Richard said.
If a Merv-16 filter is out of your price range, Northern Colorado Air, Inc. has plenty of other extremely effective filters in a variety of price ranges.
“If you keep your house closed up with the proper amount of ventilation coming in, it can change people’s lives,” Richard said. “Filtration is not just going and buying a simple filter. It is much more advanced.”
For more information on commercial and residential services, including air filtration systems, ductless HVAC units, heating installation and more, contact Northern Colorado Air, Inc. at 970.223.8873 or
go to www.ncagriff.com.
By Tamara Markard, At Home Colorado. Photos: Tamara Markard