Why does the air conditioner always seem to stop working on the hottest day of summer? If you have been in a similar situation, you know the dilemma it carries. Even the winter season is in full swing now, which means you have already turned on your heaters. But before it gets colder, consider doing quick HVAC maintenance using our HVAC tips for homeowners.
HVAC systems are necessary all around the year as they help us keep warm during winters and cool during the summers. With continuous usage, there is regular wear and tear of the HVAC system. To prevent this from happening, it's important to do certain things.
In case you don't know where to start from, read our HVAC tips for homeowners that will guide you on maintaining your HVAC system. Without any further ado, let's dive in.
Understand the HVAC System
How can you maintain something when you don't really know about its usage and technicalities? The HVAC system includes central air conditioning, mini-split system, boiler, heat pump, etc. The following are the things to know about the HVAC system.
- Age of the System:
If your house is 10-15 years old, there is a possibility that the HVAC system is old. You must know the age of the HVAC system as old systems can cause a lot of problems.
- Efficiency Rating:
Heating and cooling systems have the following ratings:
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) or Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)
Indulge in Routine Maintenance
There are obviously some things that you can do as homeowners, but that doesn't mean entirely skipping routine maintenance by the professionals. If you don't have an active maintenance program for the HVAC system, consider getting one.
Lack of routine maintenance can actually increase the risk of problems occurring. A reliable HVAC company will ensure that your system is operating efficiently and its parts are in working order.
- Change Your Air Filters
One of the most important HVAC tips for homeowners is to change air filters. The air filters get clogged with dust over time, especially when it's dusty outside. This causes the air filter to be filled with dust, debris, and other particles.
A buildup of all these particles causes your air conditioner to work much harder, which leads to an increase in the energy bill. This will also increase the risk of the air conditioner breaking down from problems.
If you regularly clean the filter, you are basically lowering the load that the HVAC unit has to clean. A rule of thumb here would be to clean the heating and cooling system every two weeks. You must clean it more often if you live in a dusty environment.
- Use Window Coverings
Believe us when we say that window covering can significantly affect your home's heating and cooling load.
In the summer season, keeping windows closed and using blinds during the day reduces the temperature. On the other hand, keeping windows, drapes, and blinds open allows sunlight to enter the house. You can close them at night to add a layer of insulation between the glass and home interior.
- Check Insulation and Seals
If your house is too old, the insulation might not be doing its job properly. Inadequate insulation can cause losing warm or cooled air from the HVAC system. You may also have to check the seals around windows and doors. Any leaks can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. It would be good to consult with an insulation professional for the right guidance.
- Take a Look at the Owner's Manual
This HVAC tip for homeowners will not only help in case of some issues but advise about the best temperature range to keep for the highest efficiency. We agree that the temperature you will choose will largely depend on personal preferences, but many systems have an optimal temperature for the system that helps to use the energy efficiently. It is given in the owner’s manual. Make sure to check it!
- Maintain Cleanliness
Leaves, dirt, and grass can infiltrate the furnace and air conditioner. This can lead to various expensive problems that can eventually cause a breakdown of the HVAC system. Instead of paying additional costs, you can prevent this issue.
Make sure to regularly clean out any vegetation in the unit. Also, check for debris from time-to-time.
- Time to Open Closed Vents
Time and again, you might have heard of closing air ducts that you are no more using. But you don't need that advice!
With closed vents, heat cannot travel properly through your home. This makes your HVAC system work harder than before. It's best to open the vents and allow the HVAC system to do its job with maximum efficiency.
- Check for Clearance
Whether you have an HVAC system indoor or outdoor or maybe both, it's essential to check for clearance, ensuring that nothing obstructs the airflow. When checking for the outdoor system, look that no plants and weeds are located too closely.
For indoors, make sure that furniture or other things are not becoming obstacles, blocking the airflow from the air conditioning system.
HVAC systems are similar to cars. They need proper and regular maintenance to function efficiently and extend their lifespan. The right HVAC system will keep your home warm or cold for years to come.
You can try to do some things on your own using HVAC kits but do not forget to hire professionals from time-to-time. Spending on HVAC does not increase the cost, but it actually helps to reduce the cost. Since maintenance will allow the system to operate efficiently, it will result in less money spent on electricity, heating, and cooling.
Not to forget that HVAC maintenance prevents the need for instant repairs as well as complete replacements. We recommend you to go through the above-stated HVAC tips for homeowners and take good care of your HVAC system to extend its life and save costs.