Most homeowners are used to cleaning their sinks, floors, the refrigerator and the surfaces within the home. What few people think about is the amount of dirt that could be lurking within the heating system. All of the air that you breathe while indoors passes through the HVAC system, which means that you could be breathing in all kinds of dirt, dust and other debris. Learning how to keep your HVAC system clean could improve the system’s performance as well as your own health.

What Dirt Does to Your Heating System

Even a small amount of dirt within your heating and air conditioning system can wreak havoc. As dirt fills the pores of the system’s air filter, the filter becomes blocked and airflow is reduced. This in turn decreases the system’s efficiency, by as much as 15 percent. Indoor comfort is also reduced as less of the conditioned or heated air is able to reach the living spaces of the home. The dirt also infiltrates the motor, interfering with the lubricant and increasing the potential for overheating and mechanical breakdowns. Dirt on the belts of the HVAC system can cause an excess amount of wear and tear. When dirt gets into the sensors, the heating or cooling system may fail to turn on due to safety reasons.

The Impact of a Dirty HVAC System on Your Health

When you spend many hours each day breathing in dirty, germ-laden air, you may begin to feel sick. Dirt, dust and other allergens in your home’s air may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. The bacteria and viruses that thrive in a dirty HVAC system may cause you to have more frequent respiratory infections. Getting the HVAC system cleaned up may lessen or even resolve some of these problematic health symptoms.

How Preventive Maintenance Gets Rid of the Dirt

Preventive maintenance for heating and cooling system includes a complete system cleaning. From brushing the coils and fins to cleaning the burners and sensors, the dirt, dust and other buildup is removed from the inner workings of the HVAC system. The dirty air filter is removed and replaced with a clean new filter. For the best indoor air quality and HVAC system performance, the air filter should be replaced every 30 days during the heating season. The HVAC system should have an annual heating system tune-up each fall and a cooling system tune-up in the spring.

If your heating and cooling system hasn’t had its tune-up yet, doing so now could help you feel better, reduce your energy bills and increase the durability and lifespan of the HVAC system. Our Fairfax, VA heating and air conditioning service technicians offer on-call and preventive maintenance programs. To learn more about the ways dirt affects your HVAC system or to schedule an HVAC maintenance visit, call us at Commonwealth HVAC any time.