5 Awesome DIY HVAC Hacks (And 3 Times When You Need to Call a Pro)

Your HVAC system is one of your most-used appliances in your home. It’s also one of the most expensive.


The average homeowner spends more than $1,200 on electricity alone. When your HVAC system is in good shape, it will save you money and help reduce your home’s energy use each month.

Some maintenance tasks you can handle on your own. But others should always get taken care of by an experienced HVAC contractor. So, which ones can you tackle right away?

Here are a few HVAC hacks you can take care of yourself and some that you should always leave to the pros.

1. Change Out Your Filters

Your HVAC system has a series of filters that trap allergens, dust, and dirt in the air and keep the contaminants from getting spread around when your system turns on.

Over time, those filters will get clogged. When this happens, your system has to work harder to heat or cool your house. But the filters themselves are incredibly easy to change out.

Remove one of your old filters and bring it with you to the hardware store to help you find the right size for your system. Once you get home, remove the old filters and replace them with the new ones.

For most homeowners, this needs to get done every three to six months. But if your family suffers from asthma or allergies, you may want to replace your filters more often.

2. Clean and Unblock the Registers

Every HVAC system, no matter what type, brings air from outside the house indoors. Though the filters will remove most of the contaminants, dirt, and dust, some will always make it through.

Over time, you’ll notice dust and dirt collecting around the air vents and registers in your home. Luckily, it’s easy to clean up. Grab a microfiber cloth and wipe away the dust.

While you’re cleaning, make sure each register is open to your room. If they’re covered or blocked by furniture, they can’t distribute the climate-controlled air. And you’ll get stuck with a house that’s either too hot or too cold, depending on the season.

3. Get Rid of Drafts

Drafts are the bane of every heating and air conditioning system. They introduce heat or cold to your home and force your system to work harder to keep the house close to your preferred temperature.

The best thing you can do is fix those drafts. Install weather stripping on old windows, make sure your doors seal, and take care to fix shifting window and door frames as soon as you notice them.

This will help you keep your system running efficiently no matter how hot or cold it is outside.

4. Tidy Up Around the Outside

Your outdoor compressor unit has a protective housing to keep the delicate components inside safe. But the outside of the housing still needs the occasional bit of TLC.

Dirt, leaves, and plant matter can collect around the unit. When this happens, it restricts the amount of airflow your system receives. This causes your system to work harder and increases the risk of the unit overheating.

The best thing you can do is keep the unit clean. Check the area around the unit once a month. Remove any debris that’s collecting around the outside.

5. Check Your Thermostat

When your HVAC system isn’t working properly, it’s easy to leap to the worst-case scenario. But that doesn’t mean your system’s broken beyond repair. In fact, sometimes the issue is as simple as an inaccurate thermostat.

Take the time to check your thermostat every few months. Turn it warmer or colder and see what your system does. If it’s working properly, the system should turn off and on when you adjust the temperature.

And if your system isn’t working, troubleshoot your thermostat on your own. Make sure the system is on and that the temperature setting is where you want it.

Remember, most “broken” units aren’t really broken. The thermostat just got changed.

When to Call the Pros

Unfortunately, some tasks are too dangerous or complicated for homeowners to handle on their own. The only way to take care of these tasks is to work with an experienced HVAC contractor.

1. Installing a New Thermostat

Installing a new thermostat may seem simple, but it’s more complicated than it looks. Once the old thermostat gets removed, the new one will need calibration. Worse, installation requires working with live electrical wires, putting inexperienced homeowners at risk for electrocution.

Experienced technicians can take care of the process quickly. And when they’re done, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your thermostat works the way it should.

2. Cleaning the System

It’s easy to clean the external air conditioning components, but cleaning the rest of the system isn’t that simple. Your HVAC unit has delicate components that can get damaged if you’re not careful.

When you let a pro clean the internal components of your system, you won’t have to worry about causing serious damage.

3. Tuning Things Up

Every HVAC system needs regular tune-ups to keep working correctly. This service helps prevent most major repairs and gives you the chance to have minor issues fixed before they cause permanent damage.

But tune-ups require a trained eye. If you try to do them yourself, you could damage your system or even void your HVAC unit’s warranty. When in doubt, schedule a tune-up with your trusted technician.

They’ll make sure your system can run efficiently and without problems when you need it to work most.

Try These HVAC Hacks

These HVAC hacks are a great way to extend the life of your system and keep your unit running efficiently. And while you can handle some of the tasks yourself, you don’t have to.

If at any point you feel uncomfortable doing a particular task or aren’t sure if you’re doing it right, make an appointment with a pro.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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