Home ownership requires a lot of responsibility. Monitoring, overseeing, and maintaining many of the mechanical elements of your home are crucial to keeping the home in good condition. HVAC, which means “heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning,” is the equipment responsible for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home. It is also what preserves optimal air quality and energy efficiency.
Here are a few tips on how to maximize the comfort and efficiency of your HVAC system, regardless of the equipment’s age.
Attention Asheville Homeowners, Please Change Your Filters
Air filters are easy for homeowners to monitor and change. The type of filtration you have determines how often the filters should be replaced. Some filters must be changed monthly. Some higher-end air filtration systems can go six-months before they need to be replaced. Every homeowner should know the location and what type of filters they have protecting their HVAC system.
HVAC Maintenance is a Must!
A local professional service contractor like American Air Heating & Cooling should inspect your HVAC system twice a year, once in the cooling season and again in the heating season.
This is important to ensure your system is operating at its optimal level for the appropriate season’s temperatures. In the fall or winter, technicians should inspect and service your furnace or heater. In the spring or summer, they return to concentrate on your air-conditioner. Most professional companies offer incentives for homeowners to sign up as a maintenance agreement customer. Benefits can include priority service and discounts on repairs.
Close your curtains or blinds during the day
During the summer months, closing the curtains can reduce some of the ambient heat load on your home.
The opposite happens during the winter; and by keeping your blinds open, you can take advantage of the sun’s warming rays.
The blinds keep the warm air inside the home, as opposed to “leaking” out through the windows.
Make sure your vents and returns are not obstructed
If you have a forced air heating and cooling system, your air vents are strategically place throughout your home. These can be located on the wall, ceiling, or in the floor. It is important NOT to cover up these air vents. Blocking the vents restricts the air flow and will cause your furnace or air-conditioner to work harder to keep your home comfortable. This decreases the efficiency of your system, and it will cost you more to operate.
Clear obstructions around your outdoor unit
It is important to keep the area surrounding the outdoor section of your HVAC system clear of any obstructions. Shrubbery and plants allow air to pass through their foliage; however, make sure they are not in too close a proximity to your outdoor unit.
One foot of clearance around your outdoor condenser should be sufficient, but the more clearance you have the better. Because air is drawn into the air-conditioner, you will want to make sure any walls are at least 16-18 inches away from the unit. Warm air is discharged upwards from the unit, therefore, clearance above the unit is important. Blockage of air can result in damage to the system’s compressor and other components.
If you have a heat pump system; it is not only important to keep the area around the unit clear in the summer; but as well as the winter. You must keep the accumulation of snow or ice away from the outdoor heat pump. It can cause the outdoor unit to stop working. If you are expecting snow, make sure to remove the snow on and around the heat pump.
Make sure your system is turned off before working near it; this can be accomplished by turn the system off at the thermostat. An extra measure of safety would be to pull the disconnect located at the outdoor unit.
If you follow these basic tips, you will increase the efficiency of your HVAC equipment and maintain a comfortable temperature no matter what time of year.