If you are a homeowner, you may not give your heating,ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system a lot of thought but you should. For the majority of the country, having an HVAC system that runs well is one of the most important thing you can do to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. There are some things you can do to maintain your system and prevent the need for air conditioning or heating repairs to be done. These systems always seem to break down at the most inconvenient times like when the in laws are visiting.
- Keep a close watch over your filters. One of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to prevent the need for air conditioning or heating repairs is to watch the air filters. For the most part, the air filters in HVAC systems will need to be replaced every 90 days. The thing about that is that the filters may need to be changed more often depending on the people who live in the home, the presence of pets and the environment where you live. If you are in an urban environment, live near manufacturing or near the desert, you may need to replace the filter more frequently. If you have animals or the people in your home suffer from allergies or asthma, you may need to look at them more often as well. Of course, your vacation home may not need this to be done nearly as often. The best thing to do is to check it once a month and chance as you need to.
- Do not let anything cover or fall onto your compressor. You need to allow for the steady flow of air into the compressor. That means that you should make sure you do not rest your lawn or garden furniture and equipment on your outdoor HVAC equipment. You should also take care so that there are no bushes or plants growing too close to the unit. It is worth it to check it from time to time to make sure nothing has fallen on top of it such as leaves or branches.
- Check your thermostat. These do not last forever. If you find that you are setting the temperature but the home is not as comfortable as it once was at the same setting, before you call in someone to do some air conditioning or heating repairs, you should make sure your thermostat is working properly. If yours is an older unit, you may even want to make the upgrade to one that you can program and ac.cess remotely. You can set these to go on and off to cool and heat your home only when it makes sense to do so.
- Make sure your thermostat is in the right part of your home. If it is near a heat source, even a bright lamp can be a heat source, it may make your air conditioning system run when your home is very cool. The same can be said for thermostats placed in cooler areas. You may end up running your heater too much.
- Consider using fans. While this is not an HVAC maintenance tip, it can save you money and wear and tear on your HVAC unit. Attic fans can do a lot to take the pressure off of your air conditioning unit. Ceiling fans can help with both hearing and cooling of your home. If you run your ceiling fans in the clockwise direction, they can help heat your home. If you run them in the opposite direction, they can help cool it. In both instances, this will take some of the work away from your HVAC system and prevent the need for expensive air conditioning and heating repairs.
- Have your system checked and cleaned. At least once a year, you should have a professional come out to your home to check and clean your HVAC system. Most experts say this should be done in the spring. You should also run your heater to make sure it is working in the fall before the real cold weather hits.
These six tips should help you keep your HVAC happy all year round.