Having a great working HVAC system is imperative to keeping your home and family safe and happy throughout the year. As a homeowner, there are various HVAC care tips that you’ll want to follow to ensure that you’re doing your best to keep your systems in pristine condition.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
The quality of the air inside your home can have a big impact on your family’s health and well-being. All forced-air HVAC systems will come along with an air filter that needs to be changed on a regular basis. This air filter is responsible for trapping unwanted airborne debris like dust and pollen. As it works to naturally enhance your indoor air quality, it will start to clog up.
When your filter clogs, it makes it harder for your HVAC system to work efficiently. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you check the state of your air filter every month. You can check your filter by holding it up against a light source. If you can see through the filter, go ahead and keep using it. However, if you can no longer see through the filter, you’ll want to replace it with a new one.
When replacing your existing HVAC filter, it’s important that you pay close attention to the model number. Each furnace will only take a specific filter model. When purchasing a filter, there are many different options for you to choose from depending on what level of filtering you would like to achieve inside your home. The four most popular types of HVAC filters include fiberglass, pleated, washable, and HEPA.
Get Your Ductwork Cleaned and Sealed
If you have a forced air heating and/or air-conditioning system, then you have ductwork that runs throughout the floors and walls of your home. Over time, this ductwork will experience extreme temperatures that can cause it to expand and contract. This can allow some of the joints to open up, creating unwanted gaps and leaks in your ductwork.
It’s highly recommended that you have a licensed repair professional assess your ductwork every three to five years. Ideally, you want to contact a professional who has the appropriate equipment to adequately clean out your ducting and seal up any holes that are found throughout the cleaning process.
This will help to keep more treated air inside of your ducting and significantly reduce the number of airborne particles that enter through leaks in your ducting. This will result in lower energy bills for you and higher indoor air quality for your home.
Schedule Professional Maintenance At Least Twice a Year
If you have both an air conditioning and heating system in your home, it’s important that you have a professional from Dependaworthy Heating and Air perform service on your systems at least twice a year. Your furnace should be getting maintenance in the early fall months to prepare it for its upcoming winter work. Your air conditioning system should be getting maintenance at the beginning of the spring season to prepare it for its long summer work.
Professional maintenance is a necessity to ensure that your systems are working as efficiently as possible. Professionals know exactly what to look for and can alert you of any specific problems that are going on with either of your systems before they become much worse and fail. In addition, most system manufacturers require that you have a professional perform maintenance on the unit each year in order to keep the warranty active.
Use a Smart Thermostat
A great addition to any home is a smart thermostat. This specific type of thermostat will link up to your home’s Wi-Fi so that you can access its controls easily from your smartphone. Smart thermostats allow you the convenience of programming in different set temperatures for different times of the day. This can go a long way in saving money on your energy bills throughout the year.
For example, you can set your furnace to be about five degrees colder during the daytime hours when no one is at home. Then, you can turn up the temperature just before you arrive back home to make sure it’s comfortable for your family. Running at a lower temperature during the daytime can help to reduce your home’s energy usage during the winter season. The same concept applies to the summertime as well with your air conditioning system.
Smart thermostats can also provide you with a wealth of information to help your system be more energy efficient. It will alert you of when your filter needs to be changed and when there’s any other issue with your system so that it can be addressed promptly. Additionally, your smart thermostat will monitor your usage and provide suggested settings to help reduce your energy bills.
Clean Your Outdoor Unit in the Spring
As the spring flowers start to bloom, it should be a reminder that it’s time to prep your air conditioning unit for the upcoming summer season. One necessary maintenance task that you’ll want to perform is to clean up the area around your outdoor unit. It’s not uncommon for leaves, twigs, and other debris to blow up against your unit and even make their way inside it.
You’ll want to make sure you kill the power to your outdoor unit to start with. Next, you want to trim back any vegetation that is within three feet of your unit. Any vegetation that is against your unit can actually restrict its airflow and reduce its overall operating efficiency. You also want to carefully remove its cover and use your hose to spray out any debris that is stuck inside your unit.
Repair Any Known Issues
There are many internal components inside both your furnace and air conditioning systems. From time to time, it’s not uncommon for certain components to fail. Whenever you are informed that there’s a problem with one of your systems, it’s important that you take action swiftly. You never want to let problems persist as they’re likely to lead to more damage to your system and a costlier repair bill.
Many times, these repair issues may come up when a licensed professional is performing maintenance on one of your systems. Otherwise, it’s important that you regularly pay attention to your HVAC systems and take note of any unusual noises or smells that they make. These can be the early warning signs that there’s something wrong with your system that needs to be addressed before it gets much worse.
Invest in Supplement Home Equipment
While many tasks to care for your HVAC unit as a homeowner are directly related to it, there are a couple of other things you can do in your home to help improve the efficiency of your systems. First and foremost, you can invest in adequate insulation for your home. Think of insulation as a barrier between the weather outside and the inside of your home. The thicker that barrier is, the less likely one temperature will influence the other.
Apart from insulation, another great investment for any home is ceiling fans. You should be putting ceiling fans in the most highly trafficked rooms of your home. This usually includes your living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. A ceiling fan will help to alter the temperature inside of your home without solely relying on your furnace or cooling system to do so.
In the summertime, having a ceiling fan blowing down on you can help to chill off your body without having to turn down your air conditioning system. In the wintertime, having the fan force hot air stuck at the top of your room outward and down towards the floor can help to recycle that warm air. Your family can feel the warmth without having to turn up the setting on your thermostat. Since the ceiling fan uses much less energy than your furnace or cooling system, this can help to drastically reduce your energy bills throughout the year and extend the lifespans of your systems.
Keep Your Air Vents Clear
If you have a forced air heating or cooling system, then you have ductwork that runs throughout your home. Attached to that ductwork is at least one supply and return vent for each room of your home. If any of these vents become blocked, it can drastically alter the ability of your heating or cooling system to keep your home at an adequate temperature.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to actually position furniture or other objects in front of the air vents in their homes. It’s a good idea to walk around your home at least once a month and check on every supply and return vent in every room of your home. Make sure that there are no items within three feet of each vent to help allow adequate airflow.
Replace the Batteries in Your Detectors
Another necessary care tip to ensure the safety of your family and your heating and cooling units is to regularly replace the batteries in your detectors. You’ll want to have, at the bare minimum, a smoke detector on each level of your home. If you have a heating system that relies on combustion as the primary source of heat, you also want to have carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home. It’s a good idea to replace these batteries every six months to a year to ensure that both of these detectors are adequately working.
Having a home heating and cooling system can make the difference between a comfortable life and an uncomfortable one. To ensure that your systems are always staying in adequate condition, it’s imperative that you actively follow the care tips that we went over above. When in doubt, make sure that you consult a licensed HVAC professional for assistance.