The HVAC system in your home is a component to having a nice living space. If it’s too hot or cold, or you having no air blowing at all, the only thing that follows is misery. You know how expensive it is to fix, so it is vital that you prevent these things from occurring. Below there are many good tips to help you keep up with proper HVAC maintenance.
Be sure to get every quote or estimate in written form. You have no recourse on a verbal agreement, so a written contract is a must. This will allow you to follow up if something goes wrong or you don’t get what you were promised, protecting you from shady contractors.
Clean your condenser’s fan blades and coil in the spring. First, turn the power off so nothing moves when you’re working with it. Then take off the grill, take the blades out, and gently clean them.
If the fan condenser on your unit has ports for oil, make sure you lubricate it once a year. The port usually has either a rubber or metal cap on top of it. You should select an SAE 20 oil since it is lightweight and does not contain detergent. Be sure to use just 10 drops or so, or your system may overfill.
Have your heating and cooling system inspected twice a year. Your system should be inspected in Spring and Fall. Even if you don’t think anything’s wrong, it’s still worth an inspection.
If you want to turn off your air conditioning at night to save money, consider putting a standing fan next to your bed. You can set it to oscillate from your toes to your head, blowing cool air over your body and letting you sleep comfortably all night long.
Clean your filters! If you have a window unit air conditioner, there will be a filter right under the grill you can vacuum. If you have a furnace or outdoor units, they will also have filters to be cleaned or replace. A dirty filter can make your unit inefficient or even let it overheat.
As you compare new HVAC system, be sure to look at the energy ratings for each unit. The higher they are, the better they will be. Efficiency will not only get your home comfortable faster, but it will save you on your energy bills when you are running your new unit.
Did you know an AC unit can freeze? You may even encounter a freeze in your drain line which is often confused with a plumbing leak. If you see this, immediately put your thermostat on the fan setting to turn off your compressor. It’s a good idea to call up professionals to help with this even though you can get the ice to melt when you switch everything to the fan.
Keep your condensers free of nearby obstructions. Keep plants, fencing, even bushes back and away from the unit. Two feet is a good minimum distance it should have from anything, including walls, but the more space you give it to breathe, the better it will work and the less likely it will be to fail.
Make sure that the HVAC contractor you plan to hire does not use subcontractors to do their work. Many people use this as an excuse to shirk their responsibility in the event that something goes wrong when your system is being worked on. Only allow this if there is a note in the contract about what will happen if there is an issue.
Looking for an efficient way to cool your home? Consider installing a whole-house evaporative cooler. They use water to cool air instead of traditional chemical coolants, using a ton less energy to cool your home than those other units. That said, they do work best in dry climates and not at all in humid ones.
To reduce the air conditioning’s energy cost, close drapes, blinds and shades that cover windows which face the sun. Also, white shades will reflect the heat away from the house, keeping it cooler and saving you money. It is also recommended that you close the vents in rooms that are not used often. This will ensure that you are not spending money cooling less-used rooms.
Every contractor out there is responsible for setting up their own fees, so get several quotes before hiring anyone. Save yourself some money by calling around before you make your final decision. You want to call at least a handful of contractors to determine what reasonable rates are.
Consider painting the outside of your home in a light color to reflect heat if you live in a hot climate. If your summers are cool, use a dark color to instead heat up your home in the winter. This simple change can end up saving you a lot on your utility bills.
Improve the efficiency of your air conditioning by installing ceiling fans. Change the airflow direction of the ceiling fans. During the summer, the blades should move in a counter-clockwise direction. During the winter, the blades should move clockwise to help move the hot air in the ceiling down into the room.
When you are looking to buy a new air conditioner, consider your climate. If you live in a hot, dry area, then an evaporative cooler will be your best bet. If you live in a humid area, opt for a compressor-style unit as it’s the only one which will work.
When buying an air conditioner, you want to find out with a SEER rating of 13 or higher. 13 is the minimum standard set by the government, so higher ratings, while not mandatory, are going to offer you better efficiency. SEER ratings can go as high as 19, so keep this in mind as you shop.
To keep your home feeling comfortable it is very important that your HVAC system is working the right way. The tips and information from above hopefully have showed you what it needed to make the HVAC last a very long time. Remember what you learned here, and use it to ensure you have a home that has a comfortable living space.