5 HVAC Blunders to Avoid
Your HVAC system is a key component to keeping your home comfortable throughout the year. Replacing the system can cost you thousands of dollars, so regularly maintaining it to extend the life of the system will save you from having to purchase a new one. It will also save you money on your energy bills – more efficient systems use less energy. Taking care of your HVAC system is easy as long as you keep up with it. Here are 5 HVAC blunders to avoid.
If you miss routine maintenance on your HVAC system, a small problem might turn into a bigger one. Contact a registered HVAC company to come out and inspect your system once a year. You can also do your own maintenance by doing simple checks on your own, more frequently. Your outdoor unit needs to be clear of obstructions, such as dirt, leaves, sticks, and other debris. Make sure any shrubbery is at least 18 inches from the unit. Keep the area around indoor and outdoor units clean and free of dust. Anything that accumulates around the unit can obstruct airflow, causing air to move less efficiently.Check the thermostat by raising and lowering the temperature to make sure the HVAC unit responds to the change. If you raise the temperature and the unit doesn’t respond in a reasonable amount of time, this may indicate that you have a bigger issue. Do a walk through of your home and make sure all vents and registers are not blocked by drapes, furniture, or other household items.
Changing your a/c filters regularly is one of the easiest but most overlooked steps in maintaining your HVAC system. Depending on the type of filter you use and how often you use your system will determine how often you need to change the filter. If you smoke in the home or if you have pets, you will need to change the filters more frequently. Some filters need to be replaced as often as every 3 months and some can go longer. The filter should tell you when to change it and many filters have a delivery option that send you a new filter when it’s time for a replacement, so you don’t have to remember to order it. Filters that are overdue to be changed cause the air to move more slowly and require your HVAC system to use more energy, and can shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system.
Closing Vents or Rooms
Another HVAC blunder to avoid is actually the common misconception that closing off rooms will save money on your heating and cooling bill. Your HVAC unit is programmed to produce enough hot or cold air for a certain amount of space. If your home is 2,000 square feet, your HVAC will produce enough for that size home. If you close the door and vents to a guest room that isn’t in use, your unit is still producing hot or cold air for 2,000 square feet, but it’s not all getting used. Another issue is where the excess air goes. If you’ve closed the vents to a guest room, the air still goes to that room, hits the obstruction, and then is forced back toward the HVAC system. So the returning air is pushing against the air that is coming out of the HVAC, and this causes the system to work harder and less efficiently. Don’t close your vents, because it doesn’t save your HVAC any work.
Completing routine maintenance on your own is a simple and inexpensive way to keep your system running smoothly, but it is still important to have a professional complete an inspection at least once a year. They can spot things you might not know to look for. Most professionals recommend having an inspection completed twice a year, once before you run the cooling system (spring/summer) and once before you run the heating system (fall/winter).
Blocked Air Return Vents
Another HVAC blunder to avoid can be easily fixed. It’s important that your air returns are not blocked and all you have to do is walk around and make sure that your vents and your air returns are not obstructed by furniture, drapes or other household items. The vents allow heated or cooled air to come out, while the air returns bring air that needs to be heated or cooled in to the system. Blocked air returns cause the system to work harder, which costs you more on your energy bill and shortens the lifespan of the system.
Replacing your HVAC system is costly and something you want to avoid as long as possible. By remembering these 5 HVAC blunders to avoid, you can save yourself money on heating and cooling bills, as well as by extending the life of your HVAC system. Get in touch with Weather Crafters to schedule your next inspection or with any questions you have about completing maintenance yourself.
For more information on HVAC blunders to avoid and how to help your system run efficiently, check out https://www.griffithenergyservices.com/articles/10-hvac-mistakes-waste-energy