How To Extend The Life Of Your HVAC System!
There are a few steps you as a homeowner can take to ensure the air flows efficiently in your home for many years to come.
1. The first thing you want to do is to make sure the HVAC system installed in your home is properly sized. The size of your furnace and air conditioner will play a fundamental role in how efficiently the system will operate.
Say you purchase a high efficiency furnace (with 98% efficiency), you should only expect it to perform to peak efficiency if it is right-sized. Finding the right sized gas furnace for your home requires the knowledge of the proper criteria where the orientation of a home needs to be examined. The right HVAC professional will not only help you to select the right heating and cooling system for your home, but they will have received the appropriate certification and training required. In this way, the capacity of the furnace to put out heat compared to the electrical input based on the size of a home, window efficiency, etc must be considered.
A system that is too small will run consistently without shutting off - trying to heat or cool your home but failing. A system too big for your home will turn on and off constantly as it will have reached the set temperature too fast. This may in turn cause moisture issues.
2. Schedule regular furnace and air conditioner maintenance, typically at the start of the fall and/or spring season to ensure your system is ready for the more intense weather arriving in the winter and summer months.
You may find yourself asking “why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?” Well, you wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? In the same way that an automobile requires periodic maintenance for optimal performance, a home comfort system should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
During a routine maintenance call, your system will be screened for possible problems to prevent them from becoming major repairs down the line. The technician will also do a thorough cleaning of parts that should require it, such as your coil to ensure the system is running at its top capability.
3. Monitor and replace the air filters of your home regularly. Simply put, when the filters of your home are clogged due to a buildup of dirt, it will be harder for air to pass through causing your system to work harder to reach the set temperature on your thermostat.
Contrary to what many people believe, the primary purpose of a furnace filter is not to clean your air but to prevent dust and debris from getting into the blower fan. That being said, it will help the quality of indoor air by removing such contaminants from being recirculated. We suggest keeping tabs on a monthly basis as dirty filters can drastically reduce your systems ability to work at optimal performance. Typically, furnace filters should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice it is dirty. It is also encouraged to opt for an Energy Star certified furnace model - should you be looking to purchase a new furnace - as certain models can reduce heating costs by 30 percent.
4. Do not overwork your HVAC system. It is imperative to be reasonable with the temperature you set on your thermostat. On a day where the temperature soars over 90 degrees, don’t set your thermostat to below 65 degrees as it will never reach that temperature. Instead, the system will run all day trying. It is a myth that you can cool a home faster by setting your thermostat to a lower temperature. The truth is that a thermostat does not control the speed at which your house cools down or heats up - it only controls the final temperatures!
Programmable thermostats should also be considered as it will help prevent your HVAC system from overworking. It allows you to save energy and money by programming your habits and adapting to your life so that during the night time or while you’re away, the thermostat will drop a few degrees. Your heating and cooling system will work less but it will still keep you comfortable during the times you need it.
5. It’s all in the little things! Make use of your windows and use the heat of the sun. Open your curtains, drapes or shades during the daylight hours and keep them closed during the nighttime, when it is dark and cold outside. During the winter months, run your ceiling fans clockwise at slow speed (vice versa during the summer months). As warm air rises, it will help to re-circulate the air from the ceiling, towards the walls and down to the cold spots below. When it comes to a building’s heat loss or heat gain, windows play a critical role. Make sure your home is effectively sealed and insulated. To prevent heat transfers in the cooler months, caulking and window stripping are easy to do and a cost effective way of keeping you warm.
Please do keep in mind that the average lifespan of an HVAC system is typically between the 10 to 15 year mark. At that point, the efficiency of the unit will start to drop and repairs and/or replacements may be necessary depending on the issue.