HVAC is an acronym that stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It’s become the required standard for heating and cooling units in new building projects. How much do you know about taking care of your home’s HVAC unit? While you don’t need to have the knowledge and skills of a service professional, it’s a good idea to know some of the basics about your system, so you can help keep it working in top shape. Here are some tips to keep in mind for proper HVAC maintenance.
Consider Energy Efficiency
Heating and cooling are the two areas that consume the most energy in the majority of homes, comprising an overall expense of more than 40 percent of a homeowner’s energy bills. That being the case, the first thing you should consider when you look at HVAC maintenance is how efficient your current system is. Units that are more than 10 years old are most likely quite energy inefficient by today’s standards, and may be costing you far more in energy bills than you would be paying with a more modern system.
Although investing in a new unit may seem very costly upfront, the overall savings, in the long run, will most likely make the initial investment pay off in the end. So before you begin maintenance tasks, evaluate whether or not it’s time to invest in a new system. You can start by looking at your monthly heating and cooling costs and researching how much a new system could save you in terms of energy use. This will give you a good idea of how energy efficient your current unit is and whether you can improve savings by investing in a new unit.
Cooling Maintenance for Summer Use
One of the first things to take care of in terms of air conditioning maintenance that you can perform on your own is to inspect the filters and change them when necessary. Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey of This Old House recommends installing a new filter once a month during the cooling season, for both central and window units. Some units have filters that don’t get replaced but rather need to be washed by hand and then replaced. The same recommendation applies to those filters, by simply washing them once a month.
When the weather heats up, there are fewer things that become more important for comfort in your home than the proper functioning of your air conditioning. When your air conditioning isn’t functioning in hot weather, it can put a damper on all of your activities in the home and drain you of energy to do everything you need to get done. Rather than waiting until an unexpected breakdown occurs, it’s best to keep your system properly maintained for air conditioning use prior to the summer months. One company that performs HVAC maintenance tune-ups, Comfort Air, notes that proper maintenance is also a way to keep your costs down by ensuring your unit is running as energy efficient as possible
When To Call a Professional
While there are several things you can do in terms of regular maintenance to keep your HVAC unit running properly – such as cleaning the unit of debris and dirt and keeping its filters changed at regular intervals – there are certain tasks that need a professional helping hand. Service professionals can perform regular maintenance check-ups so you can ensure your unit is in great working shape rather than having to scramble to call someone if it breaks. Proper HVAC maintenance is an essential homeowner task, and with a bit of effort on your part and a helping hand when necessary from a service professional, your home can stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.