Residential HVAC is something that many people want to understand, but often they believe it’s too difficult to tackle. That isn’t true, though. The following article offers great suggestions for you to follow to help make this easier while saving you money.
If you suspect a problem with your HVAC system, specifically your air conditioning unit, do a quick check around the house before contacting your HVAC contractor to book an in-home diagnostic service or repair.
Here are some of the things you can check:
- Figure out which rooms, if any, have cooling and which don’t.
- See if the batteries in your thermostat require replacing. Generally, they should be replaced once a year.
- Determine whether you recently had a new WiFi thermostat installed.
- Check if the furnace filter is dirty and requires replacing. If yes, turn off your A/C and replace the filter immediately. Usually, if this is left too long then you’ll also find ice build-up on your coil/condenser which can cause damage to your furnace and air conditioning unit. If this is the case, shut off your A/C completely for 24 hours and schedule a service with your contractor.
- Check if the A/C fan is running.
Sometimes, it’s an easy adjustment that your contractor can help you resolve over the phone. Other times your issue will require a service diagnostic. The more information (such as the above) that you can provide to your contractor in advance, the quicker the cause of the issue could be determined, making it easier to get your air conditioner back up and running properly while saving time – which can save you money.
Before the summer arrives, try to prevent debris from getting into your air conditioning unit. Remove any debris and clean out the A/C fan grill at least twice a year – in the spring before A/C start-up and in the autumn when you begin winterizing your home. To work properly and efficiently, the A/C fan and compressor must be unobstructed. Anything blocking your fan’s operation could cause your A/C system to break down.
If you want things to be more efficient and your current AC is over 15 years old, getting a newer AC unit installed will save you money now and for the long run. Today’s air conditioners are much more efficient, saving you money on your electrical bill.
To keep the HVAC systems running smoothly, be sure you have your air conditioner and furnace checked and maintained at least once per year. Ideally, you should have them looked at in the spring and fall so you know everything is set for the hot and cold months. Even if it appears that there are no issues with the HVAC equipment, there could still be a problem or potential problem that can be averted with regular maintenance.
Another way to support the HVAC systems in your home is through home improvement projects that increase overall efficiency, such as replacing old single pane windows with double pane ones, or adding better insulation in your attic/walls. This will allow your air conditioning unit to be run much less during the summer, because the cool air is kept and circulated inside the home. When it’s cold in the winter months, these same windows will keep the warm air inside as well.
You can also save further money (around ten percent on your heating and cooling costs) by installing a programmable thermostat.
It’s best to control the inside temperature in your home and not allow it to reach a dangerously hot level. Keep in mind that air conditioners can only cool a home down about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, often within an 8-12 hour window. For example, assuming the temperature in your home rises to ninety degrees, you will only be able to reduce that by twenty degrees in a reasonable amount of time. This won’t be a comfortable or healthy environment to live in.
Working with HVAC isn’t too hard if you’re able to work with it and get into it by using the advice you were given above. Keep these tips in mind when you start.
Begin now to get ahead of the summer!