Are you guilty of any of these bad homeowner HVAC habits?
We want our heating and air conditioning systems to last as long as possible. To do that, we’ve got to keep a few things in mind. Here are some things that you may be doing that could affect how long (and efficiently) your heating and cooling equipment operates.
- Constantly adjusting the thermostat.
The toughest part of an air conditioner or gas furnace’s job is start up and shut down. When you are constantly adjusting the thermostat, it can lead to more frequent on and off cycles. Plus, just because your home is set at a warmer temperature during the winter, doesn’t mean your furnace is going to warm up your house any more quickly. It will just run longer – causing additional wear and tear.
- Planting too close to your equipment.
Blocked airflow is an efficiency and performance killer. Planting too close to your equipment cannot only cause blocked airflow, but the plants can grow into your condenser and affect components. This can result in a costly emergency repair.
- Closing registers and vents.
Heating and cooling equipment is designed to heat or cool a certain amount of space. When you start closing registers and vents, this alters the amount of space being heating or cooled, making your air conditioner act as if it is improperly sized. This can lead to problems like longer run times, shorter system life and a frozen evaporator coil. This also applies to furniture placement. Make sure your furniture is not blocking registers and vents.
- Using a condenser cover.
Again, this can affect airflow – decreasing system life, lengthening run times and negatively affecting comfort.
- Forgetting to change the furnace filter.
Not only can a dirty filter block airflow, it can significantly lower the quality of your indoor air. Disposable filters don’t have to be an expensive purchase, and changing a filter is relatively easy to do. Try to change your filter once-a-month, but at the very least, one time per season.
- DIY repairs, maintenance and installation.
If you think hiring a professional is expensive, just try and fix your HVAC equipment yourself. There is a reason why technicians go to school, attend additional trainings and carry licenses. HVAC systems are complicated pieces of equipment and require a skilled hand for installation, maintenance and repairs.
- Not scheduling preventative maintenance.
The worst habit of them all. It’s good to have your contractor come out and look at your air conditioner during the spring and your gas furnace during the fall. This way they can catch minor issues before they become a big problem. Your contractor will make sure that your equipment is running as efficiently as possible, saving you money during the peak season. Contractors are even making it easier with maintenance agreements – never forget to schedule an appointment again.
Have you scheduled fall preventative maintenance yet?