We’ve talked about HVAC maintenance before, but there’s so much more you can do to protect your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Here are some important ways you can keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient, while reducing the risk of costly breakdowns.
Leave your vent grills and registers open. Many homeowners think they can save money by shutting the vents in unused rooms. In reality, this is usually a bad idea. In addition to causing air pressure problems for your ducts, closed vents can lead to irregular airflow and increase the risk of costly breakdowns. To avoid potential issues, leave the vents open in all rooms, even when you aren’t using them.
Keep pets at bay. Dogs have a habit of marking their territories all around a home’s backyard. When they mark on air conditioning units, the urine can damage interior components resulting in unnecessary repair costs. It’s generally a good idea to place a small but effective fence around your air conditioning unit to keep your dog away. Just make sure to install the fence at least a foot from the unit, or you could negatively impact its performance. You should also clear any leaves or debris from the top and sides of your unit.
Regularly inspect your vents. Obstructions can have a significant impact on the performance of your HVAC system. Check around your house to make sure that cooling and heating vents, radiators and baseboard heaters are not blocked by boxes or furniture. You should also regularly vacuum the face of every vent to eliminate dust and debris.
Don’t put off maintenance. It’s human nature to procrastinate on completing regular maintenance tasks until we notice an actual problem. Even if your HVAC unit seems to be functioning perfectly, you should still schedule routine annual inspections and change your filters regularly to keep costly issues from developing over time. A large number of HVAC issues exhibit telltale warnings that often escape the attention of homeowners. An experienced HVAC tech can perform troubleshooting steps to identify even the smallest glitches before they turn into expensive repair problems or cause your system to fail at a time when you need it most.
Ask for an efficiency test. Since overworked units are much more likely to break down, you want yours running as efficiently as possible. When you schedule an HVAC inspection, ask the technician to perform an efficiency test. It’s not unusual for older units to have a disappointing annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), which measures how much fuel a boiler or furnace converts to heat and how much goes to waste. If your system’s rating is off the mark, you may want to upgrade to a modern ENERGY STAR certified product.
Regular maintenance on the major systems in your home is one of the most critical money-saving practices of home ownership. In addition to lowering utility bills, proper maintenance can help your HVAC equipment operate longer and perform better. At the same time, it can significantly improve air quality, so your family can enjoy a healthier, more comfortable living environment.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive Home Warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.