Keeping your HVAC system in tip-top shape is essential to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort in your home. Staying up to date with regular maintenance and repairs, as well as implementing certain tips, can help you maintain the performance of your HVAC system. In this article, we are going to go over some of the best and easy HVAC tips so you can make sure your home is comfortable all year round.
Simple Checkpoints for Maintaining HVAC System Health
Your HVAC system is a vital part of keeping your home comfortable. It helps maintain a consistent temperature no matter what season it is.
It's important to know how to properly care for your HVAC system so that it lasts a long time. Here are a few easy HVAC tips that all homeowners can use to ensure their HVAC systems keep running smoothly for years to come.
1. Change Your Air Filter
The filter in your HVAC system plays a vital role in the air quality of your home. It traps dust, particulates and other debris before they can reach your blower fan or heating coils.
When it gets clogged, however, it slows down airflow and forces your system to work harder. Ultimately, this increases your energy costs because it uses more power to produce the same level of comfort.
That’s why it’s important to change your filter regularly. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can cut your energy bills by up to 15 percent per month.
It’s also important to make sure you choose the right kind of filter for your HVAC system. The most basic type is a fiberglass or charcoal filter, but you can also find pleated filters that are designed to trap larger pollutants, such as dust, allergens and smoke.
Pleated filters can cost more than fiberglass ones, but they are typically worth it. They can also help improve the air quality in your home by removing pollutants such as mold, bacteria and pollen.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying a new filter, including the type and MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the better a filter is at capturing and removing pollutants.
ENERGY STAR recommends changing your filter every three months. It’s especially important if you have pets or a health issue that causes the filter to become clogged faster.
To remember to change your filter, you can use a calendar or set an alarm on your phone to remind you when it’s time for another replacement. Moreover, many thermostats now come with a reminder feature that will light up when it’s time for a filter replacement.
2. Set Your Thermostat to the Optimal Temperature
If you want to save money on your heating bill this winter, you must set your thermostat to the optimal temperature. This will help keep your energy bill low, as you won't be using as much heat and will only use the amount that is needed for comfort.
Thermostat settings should be determined by the type of weather you are experiencing and whether or not you will be home. For example, setting your thermostat to a low temperature when you are away from the house can be an excellent way to save money.
This will prevent your furnace from running when you are away and will also ensure that your house doesn't get too cold or too hot when you return home. It will also help you sleep better, as sleeping in a warm or cold house can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
For best results, you should set your thermostat to 68 degrees during the daytime. You can also lower it by a few degrees during the night time for maximum efficiency.
In the summer, it is important to keep your house cool. This will help you to avoid overheating while you are outside and will prevent your air conditioner from running as often.
If you are going to be out of the house for more than four hours, it is recommended that you lower your thermostat by a few degrees so that your cooling system only comes on when necessary. This can save you up to 10 percent on your annual heating costs, according to EnergyHub.
Choosing an optimal thermostat setting can be difficult, but it is important to do so. There are two schools of thought on this topic, each with a number of reasons why theirs is the correct setting for your home.
3. Keep Your Vents Open
Keeping your vents open is the best way to get a good balance of airflow throughout your home. It will also keep your HVAC system running efficiently, which will save you money in the long run.
Most homes have register vents located throughout the interior of the home. They are typically larger than a supply vent and contain slatted openings that allow air to circulate. If you want to maximize your home's airflow and comfort, it is important to strategically open and close these registers as needed.
Closing unused vents is a common mistake, but it can actually harm your home's overall energy efficiency and cost you more in the long run. For example, if you close a vent in a room that is not used frequently, it will force your heating and cooling system to work harder to create an even temperature in the space.
This is especially true in the winter when it's cold outside, but it can also affect your heating and cooling system in the summer when temperatures are warm. If you have a top/bottom return vent setup, closing the top vents will make your system draw in air from the bottom vents that are at the low point in the room where cold air settles (Hint: In the summer months, open the top vents and close the bottom ones to draw out air from a higher point in the room where it's hotter).
This will not only cause your home's heating and cooling system to use more energy, but it can also lead to leaks in your ductwork. These leaks can increase your utility bills, raise your electricity costs, and spread mold and dust particles throughout your home.
4. Turn Off the Lights
It might sound counterintuitive, but turning off the lights can save you a lot of money on your electricity bill. The reason is that large appliances, like your HVAC system, use a lot of electricity to start up. Besides your television and laptop, don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave a room or go to bed.
Aside from saving you a few bucks, this easy trick can also make your HVAC system more efficient, saving you energy and money in the long run. The most effective way to do this is to use a programmable thermostat, which can automatically shut off the system when you are asleep or away from home.
While this might seem like a small feat, it can make your HVAC system more efficient and less likely to break down in the middle of the night when you’re away from home. It also helps you avoid the dreaded power surges and spikes that are common during peak energy usage periods.
The most important thing to remember is that this trick will only work if you have a properly sized programmable thermostat. Most people don’t, and it can be a bit of work to get it just right, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
The best part is that you won’t have to deal with a power spike while your HVAC is running, which will help keep your family comfortable and your bills down. This is the main reason why you should consider using a programmable thermostat as soon as possible. The benefits are well worth the hassle, and you’ll be thankful for it later. If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, look for deals from your local energy provider and check out their website.
5. Turn Off the Water
When you turn off the water, it helps prevent freezing pipes and other problems. It also helps you save money by lowering your energy usage.
A leaking water heater can be costly to repair, so it’s better to prevent the situation before it occurs. You can also use this as a time to clean out any water inside the unit that has collected over the years.
In addition, this will help prevent water from accumulating in your basement or other areas of the home, which could result in mold. If the situation is a severe leak, you can call in an HVAC professional for repairs.
If you’re leaving for a vacation, it’s a good idea to shut off the main water supply to your house. This will prevent any water damage from happening when you’re gone and keep you from having to deal with the aftermath of flooding or other damage when you get back.
Most homes have individual shutoff valves that can be found near plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, and washing machines. Simply turning the valve clockwise will close the water supply to these fixtures, preventing the need to deal with plumbing problems or costly repair bills.
It’s important to locate these isolation valves and to regularly test them. Otherwise, it’s possible that they’ll become clogged with sediment or other debris and need to be replaced.
Taking the time to follow these easy HVAC tips can help you save money while keeping your home comfortable all year long. In addition to these tips, you can also call in an HVAC professional for any other maintenance or replacement work that needs to be done.
In conclusion, following these HVAC tips can help you save money and keep your home comfortable year round. Remember to check your air filters on a regular basis, have an annual maintenance visit from a professional technician, install a programmable thermostat, seal any air leaks, and replace any outdated HVAC equipment. With just a few simple steps, you can be sure that your heating and cooling system is running efficiently and effectively.