There are few appliances more important than your HVAC system when it comes to keeping your home comfortable. Not only does this appliance regulate temperature, it also promotes healthy airflow, and reduces the presence of unpleasant odors and stagnant air. Investing in a quality HVAC is only half the battle though–in order to operate at peak efficiency, your system needs to be maintained well. How often you maintain your system and the frequency with which you have it professionally inspected can make a significant difference in the lifespan of your unit. If you’re a homeowner, read on for five simple tips on how to make sure you’re maintaining your HVAC system properly.
1. Change your filters.
One of the most important ways you can maintain your HVAC is by ensuring that your filters are changed regularly. Ideally, filters should be changed every one to three months. For homes that have pets or during seasons with a high level of dust or pollen, it’s a good idea to change filters more frequently. Experts recommend a MERV-11 type filter, as other types can affect the airflow of your system and negatively impact its efficiency. Ductless systems still require cleaning, and if you have an air purification system, its filter will need to be regularly changed as well.
2. Insulate your home properly.
Insulation is an important part of temperature regulation, and if your home is well-insulated, it helps to reduce the amount of energy your cooling and heating system will need to consume in order to operate at peak efficiency. Any exposed air ducts should be wrapped. Thick curtains in front of your windows can also help boost insulation in hot and cold weather, in addition to offering protection from cold drafts in the winter months and blocking out heat from the sun in the middle of the summer.
3. Use a programmable thermostat.
If you want to know how to lower your electricity bills when you’re home all day, an HVAC system with a smart thermostat can help solve your problem. A system with a programmable thermostat can help lower your utility bills by ensuring you never leave your unit running when you don’t need it, thus consuming less energy. A smart thermostat that runs on automation is also an attractive feature for potential buyers, who are starting to prioritize efficient and smart technology more than ever before.
4. Clean the condensing unit.
The condensing unit’s main function is as a heat exchanger, and the fans on the outside that disperse heat. The fins of the fans can often accumulate with things like dust, pollen, and grime. One way to help is to spray down your outdoor unit with a water hose once every season in order to clean it. One important note: don’t use a pressure washer. Using a pressure washer can cause permanent damage to your unit and necessitate a costly repair or replacement.
5. Have your HVAC system inspected annually.
The area around an outdoor HVAC should be inspected thoroughly for any blockages or obstructions, especially in colder weather, as ice and snow around your HVAC system can be a potential hazard to the system. Make sure the area around any outdoor unit is clear. Regular maintenance can help avoid any issues upon inspection, but it’s still best to have a professional look at it. You may not realize something is wrong and having a professional identify the issue early might save you from having to pay for a more expensive fix in the future. If your system is more than 10-15 years old, it may be time to look at a replacement rather than a repair.
If you’re new to owning a home or haven’t had to maintain an HVAC before, it can be difficult to know what to do or where to get started. Just adding a few things to your maintenance routine can help preserve your unit and keep it running efficiently for years to come. Small things like adding floor-length curtains and setting your thermostat to run on a timer can also reduce your energy costs, which means that proper maintenance for your HVAC can also save you money on your energy bills. Ultimately, homeowners should never neglect any repair or maintenance when it comes to your HVAC system, considering how essential it is to creating a safe and comfortable environment in your home.