Your HVAC equipment is one of the most expensive systems in your home. You can spend thousands of dollars to upgrade your furnace or air conditioner, and even more if you have to replace your ductwork.
Yet how well do you care for your HVAC equipment? Or are you guilty of these HVAC bad habits? They may be costing you more than you think.
Playing with your thermostat
You’re hot. You bump up the thermostat to bring in more air. You’re cold. You tap the thermostat to turn the furnace on. Did you know the most stressful part your HVAC equipment goes through is the startup process? And if you heat and cool your home by adjusting the thermostat up or down a few degrees every time you want a burst of air, it’s impacting the condition of your furnace and air conditioner. The best way to optimize efficiency is to set it and leave it. Program it in for specific changes based on the way your day flows.
Closing vents and registers
It makes sense to close down vents and registers in rooms you don’t use very much. Why pay to heat or cool a room when you’re not in there? But that’s not how your HVAC system works. When it was installed, the ductwork was designed to maximize airflow to every room in your home. If you block a room off, the system doesn’t know what to do. The change can cause inefficiencies throughout the system. It can break down joints and cause air leaks. It can force air supply back into the equipment, causing early failure.
It’s not just closing vents and registers that can have a big impact. Be conscious of where you place your furniture, and ensure drapery doesn’t block the flow of air.
Planting too close to equipment
We often are called in for problems with cooling a home only to find landscaping and debris has overtaken the air conditioner. Before you start up your air conditioner in the spring, evaluate your equipment carefully. Remove old leaves, twigs, branches, and other debris from around the area. If you have bushes and trees nearby, clear them away from the surrounding area. Your air conditioner should have sufficient space for air flow.
A lot of homeowners don’t call in a technician for routine maintenance because they think it’s going to be expensive. It will be a lot more if you wait until something major happens to your HVAC equipment.
Preventative maintenance can fix things in their beginning stages, often requiring little more than tightening up connectors and replacing a few easy parts. If they break down, it can cause more damage to your system, sometimes doing so much damage, you have to replace the entire unit.
Twice a year – spring and fall – are the perfect times for a technician to visit and give your equipment a thorough check. This ensures you start the season in the right way, and won’t have equipment failure on the hottest or coldest days of the year.