Homeownership isn’t just about ensuring that the bills and mortgage are paid on time. It’s also about making sure that everything in the home is working as it should. And this includes essentials like your HVAC systems.
What Is An HVAC System?
HVAC is an abbreviation for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s the system responsible for maintaining optimal air quality and temperatures in your home. Maintaining your HVAC may seem daunting, but it’s a proactive process necessary for preventing unexpected problems such as clogging, leaking, and corrosion– all of which could affect your home temperature.
What Are HVAC Valves?
HVAC systems are operated through various piping and valve units, through which water and air pass before they’re either cooled or heated to your desired home temperature. HVAC valves act as mechanisms for shutting off, regulating, and balancing the pressure in the HVAC systems.
Depending on the design of your HVAC, valve actuators open and close to trap or release air in the system.
The most common HVAC valves include:
- Plug valves
- Ball valves
- Butterfly valves
- Knife gate valves
- Diagram valves.
For a properly functioning system, therefore, all the valves and actuators have to be functioning properly.
Tips For Maintaining HVAC Valves
To keep your HVAC valves well-maintained, try the following tips:
1. Check for Leaks
Most HVAC systems have connectors and drain pipes which could occasionally develop a leak or two over time. You may need to occasionally check the lines for any leaks to deal with them on time. If left unfixed, a leak could lead to a reduction in the water or refrigerant pressure in your HVAC. Reduced pressure could force your HVAC valves to work harder than intended, thereby causing greater wear and tear on the system.
Unattended leaks can also lead to corrosion of pipes and other components, which may need to be replaced. If HVAC valves work too hard, they could end up giving in and needing replacement. A leak found in time could save you from costly replacements.
2. Avoid Build-up of Dirt and Debris
HVAC systems need clean air to provide a quality atmosphere in your home. Too much debris could end up clogging the air filters and other parts, thereby affecting the functioning of the valves and actuators in the pipes.
When the valves and actuators of your HVAC system are clogged by dirt and debris, the quality of air in your home is inevitably reduced. Your HVAC will pump up undesirables like pollens, dust, and other pollutants if the filters aren’t kept clean.
3. Prevent Corrosion
Try to prevent corrosion of your HVAC system components as much as possible if you want to maintain well-functioning valves. As mentioned earlier, leaks are the major cause of corrosion in your system. But there are other causes, including too much moisture around wiring and other components.
Corrosion could lead to wiring breakage, and it could also lead to possible leakages on some pipes. This ultimately leads to an over-working of the system, which could affect the functioning of the valves. One way of restricting corrosion is by ensuring ample aeration in and around the HVAC system.
4. Conduct Routine Service
Like any other machine, HVAC systems require routine maintenance service to function optimally. Routine service, in this case, includes:
- Replacing air filters every 90 days.
- Replacing humidifier filters as directed by the manufacturer.
- Cleaning the condensation drain line every year.
- Lubricating the HVAC motor now and again.
- Turning off the water to humidifier furnace in summer and back on in the winter.
- Straightening or replacing the fan belt when it shows signs of wear and tear.
- Checking out the outdoor AC unit and making sure it’s free from debris.
When you do your bit of routine maintenance, your HVAC system will function properly, thereby protecting the valves.
5. Clean HVAC Valves
This may sound cliche, but one common way of caring for your HVAC system valves is by ensuring that the water and air lines are clean. Contaminants such as dust and debris could hinder the smooth flow of water and air through the HVAC system. One way of ensuring that the valves are clean is by running hot water through them or using certified cleaning products. If you don’t know how to clean valves, it’s advisable to acquire the services of HVAC experts.
HVAC systems rely on the proper functioning of their valves. Likewise, HVAC valve preventative maintenance is about keeping the whole HVAC system well-oiled and running smoothly. If part of the system is limping, then it could have a negative effect on valve operation.
The most essential steps to keeping your system well maintained are through preventing leaks, keeping it clean, and preventing corrosion. If you overlook these, then never miss a routine maintenance schedule.