Your HVAC system is one of the most important parts of your home. It warms your home in the winter and cools it in the summer, all while filtering out pollutants. Perform regular maintenance and make home upgrades that reduce the amount of temperature-regulation work your system needs to do. That step with extend your HVAC lifespan. Learn more with the following steps.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your HVAC system at its best. Some basic maintenance duties you can likely handle yourself include:
- Keeping outdoor units clear of debris, such as leaves.
- Replacing air filters on their recommended schedule.
- Clear drains if the drip pan is full.
- Clean the elements of the system you can reach when it is turned off.
If you’re uncomfortable with any of these duties, don’t hesitate to call a professional. And regardless of how much maintenance you’re able to handle on your own, it’s still advisable to bring in an HVAC company for inspections and tune-ups on a regular basis.
A common schedule is to have a professional examine and tune-up your HVAC system twice per year: once in the spring (for the cooling system) and once in the fall (for the heating system). That makes it more likely that small problems will be detected before they can become large ones.
Mind Your Window Usage
During hotter months, opening and closing your windows at the right times can naturally help keep your home cool. For instance, when the evening is on the cold side, opening windows at opposite sides of your house to take advantage of the outside air can cool your home off without raising your utility bills. At the same time, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning when your windows are open. Keeping it on will lead to unnecessary strain.
Upgrade and Insulate Your Windows
Beyond shrewdly opening your windows, certain upgrades can improve their temperature-control abilities when they are closed. If your windows are old and drafty, consider replacing them so that your HVAC system doesn’t need to continually deal with the cold air they let in during winter or replace the cooled air that escapes in the summer.
If you’re concerned about the cost, consider this: Replacing old windows with newer, ENERGY STAR–certified windows reduces the average utility bill by 12%. (ENERGY STAR is a certification system run by the Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with numerous other organizations.) In that example, a person with a $200 energy bill each month could see savings of $24 per month—or $288 in the first year alone. And given that high-quality windows can last for quite some time, upgrading to energy-efficient models can translate to huge savings over the windows’ usable life.
Installing or replacing insulation is a smaller undertaking than replacing your windows altogether, but it is still beneficial. Insulation cuts down on air leaks, in turn easing your system’s job and extending your HVAC lifespan. All the while, the interior of your home will become more comfortable.
Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are another friend of your HVAC system. These handy devices can be preprogrammed so that, for instance, the HVAC system doesn’t work to heat or cool the home when nobody is in it. They can also learn about your HVAC system and, as time goes on, tweak its heating and cooling schedule for maximum energy efficiency while reducing system strain.
Keep Vents Open
Closing vents or placing objects over them can increase the strain on your HVAC system. Try to avoid shutting vents entirely; if you want to close them off in a room that is usually not occupied, leave a small gap so that pressure doesn’t build up. Also avoid placing furniture and other items on vents.
Upgrade and Insulate Your Doors
Energy-efficient doors are also available. These can be a worthwhile upgrade, especially if they are replacing older, ill-fitting doors. And like windows, minding the insulation on your doors reduces the amount of air they allow in or out. Periodically examining your doors’ weather stripping, for instance, is advisable so that you can detect issues and repair the weather stripping accordingly.
Another move to consider is investing in draft stoppers. Draft stoppers come in many styles, but all serve the same purpose: trapping air in the summer and blocking cold outdoor air in the winter. Again, the end result will be less effort from your HVAC system to maintain the desired temperature.
Contact AAA Windows 4 Less today!
Learn more about how to upgrade your windows and doors to extend HVAC lifespan!