Heating, ventilating, air conditioning. These machines do so much for the house, and naturally that big HVAC comes with a lot of FAQs. Let’s break down some of the common questions:
Have your system inspected by a professional HVAC contractor in the spring and fall to coincide with the cooling and heating seasons. This will ensure everything from the blower (the internal motor) to the thermostat is running smoothly and your house will stay warm and cool when you want it to.
The professional will inspect the mechanics, but you should walk by the outdoor unit every few weeks to remove leaves, weeds and debris, which can collect around the machine and become blocked, causing damage.
Air ducts are the passages to connect and move the warm or cool air to the house. Ducts need to be professionally cleaned (so they don’t get contaminated—see more tips here), insulated and sealed. Leaky air ducts lead to poor airflow and quality. Sealing ducts in unfinished spaces (attics, basements and crawl spaces) can improve efficiency by as much as 20 percent.*
Setting and programming a thermostat will stop your HVAC from running on overdrive. Used properly, it can also save you $180 per year in energy costs.*
Change your filter every three months (each season) for 1-inch filters, or more frequently if you have pets, smoke or allergens in the house, all of which make filters work harder. Each house or unit has a different filter size (some have more than one filter), so check the filter size(s) before you purchase.
Energy Star reports that changing the filter is a top DIY action item for a properly functioning HVAC system, as “a dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.”** And just think, each time you replace the filter you are helping to improve the air quality in the house.