Though we typically don’t think of it, our HVAC system works for us 24/7, 365 days a year. What do we do in return?
Luckily for us, our heating and cooling devices don’t expect a two-way relationship. Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take to defend your system against unnecessary damage, prolonging its lifespan. A little extra effort can translate into thousands of dollars saved, as well as fewer days burning up thanks to broken AC.
Surgi’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can walk you through the following tasks to optimize your system and extend its life:
Schedule at Least Two AC Maintenance Appointments
Your cooling system doesn’t require much to stay functional. In fact, just two HVAC maintenance appointments each year should be adequate for identifying and resolving small malfunctions before they create serious damage.
A typical AC tune-up involves replacing filters, lubricating metal parts, checking for corrosion or leaks and clearing any buildup or residue. All of this keeps most systems running smoothly.
Change Your Filters Regularly
Though a technician will swap out your filters during an AC tune-up, you should be changing your filters far more frequently than twice a year. Most homeowners should aim to replace them every 90 days. In homes with pets, 60 days is preferable.
When a clogged filter is left for too long, it will prevent proper circulation, overwork your system and shorten its lifespan.
Keep Your Thermostat Consistent
It’s best to keep your thermostat set as close to the outdoor temperature as you’re comfortable with, especially if you aren’t home for long periods. Imitating the conditions outside means your system won’t have to work as hard, minimizing your energy use and utility bills.
Use the Auto Fan Option
Most thermostats have an “auto fan” option, which only prompts the fan to run when your AC or furnace is first activated. This helps conserve energy. Additionally, this function stops your fan from running 24/7, which will inevitably lead to a faulty fan motor or damaged blades.
If you suspect your fan or motor has already experienced damage, reach out for professional repair services before running the system again.
Renovate Your Insulation
High-quality insulation makes sure treated air (that is, air your system has heated or chilled) stays within your home. Insufficient insulation will allow air to escape, meaning your HVAC system has to work twice as hard to keep the indoor temperature reasonable.
The best amount and type of insulation largely depends on where you live. You can check the Environmental Protection Agency’s insulation map to review Louisiana’s guidelines.
Check on Your Outdoor Unit
Keep your outdoor unit clear of fallen branches, leaves or other debris. Like a dirty filter, a blocked outdoor vent hurts your system’s air circulation, meaning harder work for the unit and more potential for damage.
Additionally, try to avoid landscaping that encourages heat. Yards with lots of rocks or pebbles, for example, tend to capture warmth, eventually overheating an outdoor unit.
Give Your System a Break
If it’s fairly nice outside, try turning your system off entirely. Run a fan, open your windows, ignite your fireplace — try anything other than your AC or furnace to stay comfortable.
Running your system less often (especially when significant temperature management isn’t necessary) helps preserve its parts and expand its lifespan.
Invest in a New Thermostat
As mentioned above, keeping indoor and outdoor temperatures similar when you’re out of the house is a form of preventative HVAC maintenance. For this reason, you may want to consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. This will let you manage or deactivate your home’s system from a phone or computer.
A smart thermostat can prevent both energy waste and overspending on utilities, given there’s no reason to pump treated air into an empty house.
Get Professional Advice
No two homes or HVAC systems are the same, meaning the usefulness of these tips varies based on your unique needs.
Contact the team at Surgi’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for personalized solutions! Additionally, make sure to get in touch at least twice a year for your AC maintenance appointments.