As the average homeowner, you likely aren’t an expert in all things plumbing and electrical, but you should know a few basics about your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. This system maintains a reasonable temperature and air quality inside your home. Without a basic knowledge of what it does and especially how to maintain it, you could wind up wasting money and dealing with heavy-duty repairs.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, these five basics will get you more familiar with your HVAC system and, if you adhere to them, will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
1. It Needs a Checkup Twice a Year
First of all, don’t let too much time pass in between system checkups. For the most part, you shouldn’t have to worry about your system; it should function on its own and require little maintenance. But getting it checked at least annually makes this possible. You’ll spend much less time tending to it if you keep it updated.
A solid checkup ensures everything is clean and functioning for:
- The coils.
- The buttons for turning the system on and off.
- The thermostat.
- The filters.
If you can, have a professional perform these checks. You alone can detect most of the problems, but you may not know how to repair them. Experts can perform thorough HVAC jobs in Edmonton, Englewood, and everywhere in between. Just be sure to find one in your area who you can rely on.
2. It Needs Two Feet of Space around It
From the time you get your HVAC system installed, make sure it has at least two feet of empty space around it. Outside your house, it shouldn’t be too close to bushes, trees, or other landscaping. If so, pollen, dirt, and other debris could easily get clogged inside of it and affect the air quality in your home.
3. If It Smells Musty, It Needs a Repair
If debris or water does get trapped inside your system, you’ll know because it will start to feel stuffy or smell musty in your home. If you find this, check the system for water leaks (which could have caused mildew) and any blockages from leaves or pollen.
4. The Air Filter Needs to Be Changed Every 2 to 3 Months
The air filter is one of the most crucial features of your HVAC system. You should start out with a highly efficient, pleated filter that can detect even the smallest of particles. A great filter combats clogs in your system and prevents dirt and debris from blowing through the vents into your home.
But even the best filters need to be changed every few months. Naturally, debris builds up, and the filter will look dark and clogged when it’s time for a change. Clean it out or replace it when this happens. If you do, you’ll reduce the amount of electricity the system uses by 5 to 15%.
5. Insulation Is Key
Your HVAC system will be much more efficient if the ducts are properly insulated. Regularly make sure this insulation isn’t wearing down. Otherwise, air can leak out and waste energy, as well as throw off the temperature in your house. This should be one of the first things you check if you do feel like the temperature has been fluctuating abnormally.
You don’t need to be an expert to understand how your HVAC system works. Regularly maintaining these five issues will prevent the majority of problems your system could develop. But when you do think something is wrong, call a professional and get their opinion. Dealing with problems you see right away will save your system from using unnecessary energy—which will save you time and money down the road.
Author Bio: Candice Harding enjoys writing about home improvement tips and the great products and technology she finds online. She recommends Academy Mechanical to anyone looking for help maintaining their HVAC system. When she’s away from the computer, she loves riding her bike and exploring the outdoors. She scours the Internet for quality deals to publish on her website, myredbicycle.com.