HVAC systems really are your home’s best defense against the cold of winter and the heat of summer. An efficient and effective way to heat and cool your home, HVAC systems are mechanically complex. Because performance is critical to any HVAC system, whether it’s fossil-fuel, electric or gas powered, regularly scheduled maintenance is something every homeowner needs to perform properly, whether they have a new HVAC system or one that is a few years old.
More adventurous DIYers can make adjustments themselves, but most homeowners hire a professional. If you’re a DIY homeowner or you utilize the services of a professional, here are some general maintenance and upkeep tips to keep it running during hot and cold weather.
1. Don’t Forget to Change the Filter
Just like the oil in your car, the filter keeps the entire system clean and efficient. An overloaded filter forces your system to work harder – requiring more energy to push the air through. Not only will this increase your electric bill, but it reduces the lifespan of your unit. Cleaning the filter is a simple process that should be done at least once every three months.
New filters are crucial during high usage periods. Hot summers and cold winters put extra strain on your HVAC, so check them regularly during those months. When you’re using your HVAC every day, pet hair, dust and other allergens like pollen build up and quickly reduce the air quality in your home.
2. Change Your Habits Indoors
Extreme weather in the winter and summer months puts significant strain on your HVAC system. Putting on a sweatshirt and turning down the heat in the winter, even just a couple of degrees, will lower your electricity bill and keep your HVAC running efficiently longer.
During warm summer months, opening your windows at night and turning on fans quickly lowers the temperature in your home. Turning off the AC at night lets your unit recover from overworking during the day.
3. Identify External Changes to your HVAC System
Before major problems occur, they often show visual warning signs on the actual unit. Going outside and looking over your hardware can alert you before serious problems arise. Be on the lookout for rust, dirty condenser or evaporator coils, water leaks and frozen coils. Identifying these warning signs and fixing them early on can prevent bigger problems and save you thousands in repair bills.
One of the best ways to ensure that your HVAC system is operating at full capacity is to have a qualified HVAC contractor tune up the system twice a year. These tune-ups usually cost less than $100, but will stop any minor problems before they turn into unmitigated disasters.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive Home Warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.