A great forced-air HVAC system makes the hot summer months and the cold winter months comfortable inside your home. Of course, a system that isn't working properly may not provide a comfortable temperature. Whether it does or doesn't create a comfortable environment, however, it can drain energy, causing your power bills to rise. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to keep your system working well so you need fewer repairs and see less wasted money. If you want to save money on heating and cooling, check out these four tips to keep your system working well.
Perform and Schedule Regular Maintenance
One of the most important steps in keeping your system working efficiently is to perform regular maintenance. Even an expensive, advanced system begins to experience the effects of wear and tear without scheduled maintenance. Signs your system may need attention include frequently shutting off, uneven temperatures, strange sounds (grinding, squeaking, etc.), and unpleasant odors (musty smells, burning, etc.). You can prevent some wear and tear by doing some DIY maintenance like replacing the filter in the furnace and fixing bent fins on the exterior AC unit. However, you will also need to schedule professional maintenance. During these visits, the technician can clean and lubricate the system, fix problem areas, etc.
Don't Neglect the Ductwork
You'll also want to make sure to maintain the duct work for the system. Ducts can get dirty as dust and debris collects. This narrows the passageways, making it harder for air to reach your living space. As a result, you may need to use more energy and money to heat or cool the home. A good cleaning will fix this problem and help improve air quality inside the home. Another problem with ducts is holes or gaps. It's estimated that about 20 to 30 percent of the air that travels through ducts is lost via holes. Similarly, if the ductwork isn't insulated, it may experience heat loss or heat gain before reaching your living space.
Avoid Adding Stress to the System
There are many ways you may be accidentally putting extra stress on the system. This forces it to work harder, which leads to more frequent breakdowns. You may even have to replace the system sooner because of extra stress and strain. Dirty ducts can strain the system because the system must work harder to push the air through the narrowed ducts. However, keeping vents closed can cause a similar problem. Unless you have zoned heating, closing vents doesn't help with energy consumption. This is because it typically leads to cold or hot rooms that pull in or leak hot air. At the same time, it strains the system to push air through fewer vents. Last, if your system is too big and cycles on and off frequently, it causes additional wear and tear.
Improve Your Home's Insulating Properties
You can also take some stress off your system by placing some of the burden on your home's insulating properties. The better the insulation, the better the temperature inside the home, so the system doesn't have to work as hard to cool or warm the home. You can start by adding insulation to the attic and exterior walls. If you can't, or if your insulation levels are fine, check your windows next. Add caulk or spray foam insulation in a can around window frames to fix small holes. You can also use insulating drapes to prevent sunlight from heating the home or cold winter nights from creating drafts. Last, if you have ceiling fans, use them in reverse during the winter to force hot air down from the ceiling.
There are many problems that can arise when you don't properly maintain your HVAC system. More than likely, you'll see increasing energy bills. If you believe your system needs repairs or maintenance, contact a technician at a company like Astro Air Inc in your area today.Share