With summer heat out in full force, the instructors, technicians and experts of the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) Technician diploma program at Virginia College in Shreveport are reminding the community about the importance of proper HVAC system maintenance and safety precautions.
Families and businesses rely heavily on their HVAC systems to keep them cool during the hot, summer months, but so often HVAC units and systems are ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ until something goes wrong. With this in mind, Virginia College HVAC/R professionals are eager to share reminders and best practices for unit upkeep.

According to a press release, there are principles of proper HVAC maintenance that are important to keep in mind even when the unit seems to be working well, such as:
Test your air conditioning before the summer heat fully sets in so that if your unit is not working properly, there is time to get it serviced.

Check your air filters on a monthly basis and change them often. Particularly in the summertime, it’s best to change indoor air filters each month. Filters collect dust and debris from everyday activity and ultimately become clogged, causing the HVAC system to lose efficiency. Keeping your filter free of dust and debris can lower your energy bill by ensuring that your unit runs at peak efficiency.

Don’t turn your HVAC unit off completely when leaving the house. Many assume that this is a good way to conserve energy and lower an electric bill. The truth is that this can actually result in a higher electric bill. When a unit is turned off completely, heat accumulates, causing the unit to work harder when it is turned back on to cool the space again. Instead, keep your home or office at a consistent temperature.
Additionally, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 15 percent of consumer-product related electrocutions are connected to large appliances, such as air conditioning units. These electrocutions occur most often when someone is attempting to maintain or repair the appliance.

“The best advice I can give when it comes to HVAC safety is to have your unit inspected regularly by a trained professional,” says Brad Guidry, HVAC/R Technician program director at Virginia College in Shreveport. “Maintaining your unit can prevent catastrophes that can cause injury and property damage, but doing it all on your own can have dangerous consequences, too. When in doubt, consult a properly trained HVAC/R technician—that’s what we’re here for and what our students prepare for daily.”