You probably do not think much about it, but you use your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system daily to either heat or cool your home.  As the seasons and temperatures change your system is undergoing a significant amount of wear and tear to keep your home comfortable.  Do not ignore your home’s comfort system as it requires maintenance just like your body and automobile.  Because heating and cooling your home are not at the front of your mind, until the system stops working, you want to get the most out of your HVAC system by putting a plan in place to keep your equipment running at optimal capacity.

  1.      Make Sure You Have Proper Sized Heating and Cooling Equipment

Proper sizing is important for comfort and energy use.   A unit over capacity will not be as energy efficient, while undersized equipment will result in uncomfortable temperatures during climate extremes.

  1.      Change Your Filters Regularly

Filters are vital to the HVAC system as they remove bacteria and harmful air particles.  By replacing filters regularly you breathe cleaner fresher air.  Clogged filters can damage your system’s parts and result in costly repairs.  Energy Star recommends checking your filter every month and changing it, at a minimum, every three months.  In heavy use months, or if you have pets, it is best to change monthly.  When in doubt, examine your filter; if it looks filthy it is time for a change.

  1.      Perform Routine Maintenance

Keep yard debris away from your heating and cooling system by blowing or sweeping away leaves and cutting back branches and vines.  Visually inspect wiring for any damage that may have been caused by animals.

  1.      Schedule Professional Seasonal Maintenance

Preventative maintenance contracts are usually scheduled semi-annually, and professional maintenance is essential to your home’s HVAC plan.  View it as a proactive approach to taking care of your system like you would an annual wellness check or your vehicle’s oil change.  Contact us and we can help develop a wellness plan for your ac unit.

  1.      Understand Efficiency Ratings

When making an investment in an air conditioner, furnace or heat pump inquire about the efficiency ratings.  They will tell you how efficiently the unit utilizes fuel (electricity, gas or oil).

  1.      Adjust Your Thermostat

Raising your thermostat a few degrees, to a comfortable temperature, will reduce wear and tear on your components while lowering your utility bill.

  1.      Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are affordable and they allow you to automatically control the temperature in your home, throughout the day, without ever touching your device.

  1.      Reduce the Heat Generated in Your Home

Dry clothes at night when the temperature is cooler or hang dry outside.  Try cooking a little later in the evening or grilling outdoors.

  1.      Seal Air Leaks

Sealing air leaks around windows and doors keep cool air from escaping during summer and warm air from escaping during winter months.

  1.    Know when it is Time to Replace Your Existing System

According to CNN Money, in the best case scenario most components of HVAC systems only last 15-25 years, and that is taking into consideration that proper and regular maintenance has been a factor.  The average lifespan of a furnace and boiler is 15-20 years.  Some units last longer with regular maintenance.  By the same token, if you have had repeated problems and a system has been repaired frequently you may have to replace sooner.