You get some kind of rush from DIY work. A sense of satisfaction that only comes when you get your hands dirty. You’ve done everything from painting your child’s nursery to installing ceiling fans to help fight off that Birmingham, Alabama, summer heat. But now you’re not sure what your next project should be. We’re here to give you a little nudge.

Normally, your HVAC technician takes care of most HVAC maintenance, but your system still requires some TLC between maintenance checkups. Consistent HVAC care will increase efficiency in your home while giving you the chance to take greater control of your living space. Here are four HVAC-care tips you can start implementing this weekend.

Change Filters

The air filters of your HVAC system do much more than just keep your air clean. They also affect the actual airflow as it passes from the system into the duct network. Since air filters spend all day catching dirt, dust, and other particles, they’re bound to get clogged eventually. And once a filter clogs, it not only reduces indoor air quality, but it also becomes a wall that restricts airflow and thus reduces energy efficiency and increases strain on your system.

You should check the filters every month, and if they’re clogged, replace them. Most filters need to be replaced at least every 90 days.

Clean

We know that cleaning probably isn’t your favorite activity, but it does more than just prepare your home for friends and family. The more dusty your home is, the harder the HVAC system has to work to keep you comfortable. Tackle areas of your home that have received a little less attention in the past, such as curtains, blinds, and maybe your floor. The cleaner your home, the better.

Even if you don’t feel like taking your entire home’s cleanliness into your hands, at least ensure a clean zone around the components of your HVAC system. That includes the indoor air handling unit, heat registers and vents, and the outdoor compressor unit.

Pay especially close attention to the compressor outside, clearing out any leaves, twigs, or grass that may have become caught in the unit. Maintaining two feet of clearance around the system should keep you from experiencing any problems. That means that when you mow the lawn, keep the grass clippings from flying into the compressor.

Check Refrigerant Lines

While we’re on the subject of your outdoor compressor, let’s talk about refrigerant lines. Every so often, such as when you’re cleaning debris from the compressor, check the refrigerant lines running into your home. Those pipes carry the precious liquid that allows your AC to cool your home. If you see frost on refrigerant pipes, it’s likely there is a leak somewhere in the line.

In this case, your DIY skills are going to help you diagnose a problem, not fix it. Don’t try to replace refrigerant lines on your own. If you think your system has a refrigerant leak, call your HVAC technician.

Look for Mold

Hopefully, you can find mold before mold finds you. That pesky fungus is often the bane of the Alabama summer, but it doesn’t have to be. Without care, mold, no matter where it’s hiding in your home, will spread its spores through your airflow, so a small problem quickly becomes an epidemic.

Check the particularly warm and wet parts of your home, such as the bathroom, for mold. Bleach is a quick fix to eliminate mold, but if you don’t contain the source of the issue (warm moisture), the mold will just keep returning. To quell mold growth, keep those areas of your home ventilated with fans, open doors to the rest of the home, and open windows in the cooler parts of the day. If mold continues to be an issue, install a ventilator or whole-home dehumidifier.

Take care of your home, and your home will take care of you. When DIY maintenance won’t cut it, call One Source Heating and Air Conditioning at 205-209-4246.

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