Over the past year, people have been staying home more because of the pandemic. More people are working from home, many students have turned to completing school online, and most of our social activities were canceled for a period of time. Because of this, many homeowners decided to invest in their homes and their comfort by upgrading to a better HVAC system. It makes sense – if you are home for the majority of your day, you want to be comfortable. Demand for newer, more efficient HVAC systems has risen and so have the costs of materials, labor, and fuel. Most HVAC manufacturers have announced price increases anywhere from 3 to 9% to handle the increased cost of materials, labor, and transportation of goods. So if you were thinking of purchasing a new HVAC system, now might not be the best time. By taking care of your system and completing routine maintenance, you can save yourself a lot. The average lifespan of an HVAC is about 15 years, but that can be increased to 20 or more with some TLC. A new system averages anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 (add a few hundred dollars more these days). Here are a few quick tips to maintain your HVAC system and extend its life for as long as possible.
The number one thing you can do to maintain your HVAC unit is to schedule regular maintenance with a certified company. Specialists recommend that you make an appointment with your HVAC company twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. This will ensure that your system is ready when you switch from heating to cooling, and then from cooling to heating. Trained specialists will keep your HVAC unit in great shape, allowing it to run as efficiently as possible. An efficient system means you will have a lower energy bill to pay, and it will put less strain on the machine. A system that can run smoothly will last longer. Specialists can also diagnose any issues they come across – big or small. By fixing a problem in its beginning stages, it reduces the wear and tear put on your system, allowing your system to live longer. Help your HVAC system stretch its lifespan for as long as possible, so you can save money, by scheduling routine maintenance with Weather Crafters today.
The easiest thing you can do for your HVAC, by yourself, is to change the filters regularly. Filters help remove particles from circulating through the air in your home. From pollen and pet dander, to bacteria and mold spores, the filter helps keep the air clean and fresh. According to the EPA, indoor air is actually between 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air because it doesn’t have the natural filtration of rain, trees, and clouds to clean it. If you live with someone with asthma or respiratory issues, upgrading to a high-quality filter can help. Regardless of the quality of your filter, it should be changed regularly, usually about every 3 months. By changing the filter, not only are you increasing the cleanliness of the air in your home, you are also helping your HVAC system run more efficiently. When a filter becomes full, it starts to clog and air can’t move through the filter as easily. In turn, the HVAC has to work harder to push air through the clog, and the harder a system works, the shorter its lifespan usually is. Changing a filter is really easy, and if you aren’t sure, ask your specialist to show you how on their next visit. You can also sign up for an automatic delivery service so you don’t have to remember when to change the filter. When the new filter arrives, you know it’s time to change it.
During the summer, heat is removed from your home and dispersed outside through the outdoor condenser unit. It’s the big box that sits outside of your home, with a fan in it. Keeping this clean and clear is key in helping your system run efficiently. During the fall and winter, twigs, leaves, and other debris can create blockage and prevent air from flowing freely. In the spring, before you turn on the air conditioning, clear away anything that is on top of or around the unit. When planting landscaping, make sure you leave adequate room around the condenser. You can also use a hose to rinse off any pollen or build up, but don’t use a pressure washer because that could cause permanent damage.
Check the Evaporator Coil’s Drainage
During the summer, your air conditioner is going to have condensation on the outside of it. Drip pans are installed under the unit to catch the dripping condensation and to prevent any water damage. There is also a drain pipe to prevent any overflow. Before turning on your air conditioning for the summer, check for any blockages that will prevent water from draining properly, such as algae or mold. Check to ensure proper drainage is happening every few weeks throughout the warm weather. If you aren’t sure where to find your evaporator coil, ask your HVAC technician to show you.
Costs are on the rise due to shortages in raw material, labor, and transportation. If you are able to extend the life of your HVAC unit even just a few years, you are saving yourself money. Checking the condenser unit and the evaporator coil drainage cost you nothing except a few minutes of your time. The cost of a good quality filter and regular maintenance seem like nothing when compared to the cost of a new system. Give your HVAC a little TLC and it will save you money.