In order to get the best performance from your HVAC system it is important to take care of it. Obviously, this means getting regular maintenance, tune-ups and repair service. But there are other ways you should be taking care of your heating and cooling system seasonally in order to make sure it has the best chance to remain in proper working order.
HVAC adjustments in the winter and summer are important. Preparing your system for the upcoming weather change and the change in the type of work it will be doing is a crucial way to prolong the life of your heating and air conditioning system. So while other homeowners focus just on how their home looks with the changing of the seasons, you can be preparing for more important details.
Year Round Care
Technically, there are steps you could be taking for each of the four seasons in order to help your HVAC perform better. You and your family can establish a checklist of what to take care of as each new season starts. But for now, this is more of a broad and general overview. Some of the basic ones include but are not limited to:
- Have your furnace tested before the cold winter weather moves in
- Inspect outside grates or outdoor handlers for debris including grass, branches and even the possibility of animals nesting
- Check for warping to the seals on your vents
- Remember to adjust the temperature before a summer vacation or holiday travels; shutting it off is a mistake but lowering the workload is a good idea
Spring is often a good time to consider an upgrade. If you have had your system for a while and feel it is time to modernize, do so as the need for heating dissipates and before the need for full force air conditioning gets started. Another good indicator of whether or not it is time to replace your current system is if you have repairs to be made.
Any time the cost of repairing your HVAC would cost 50% or more that what the value of your current system is that it is probably time for replacing instead of repairing. This combined with the age of the unit will help you decide which way to go. The good news is that modernizing may cost more upfront but the reduction in monthly utility bills due to a more energy-efficient heating and cooling system will make up for it.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Believe it or not, the filters end up causing a lot more problems than you would probably realize. Your filters should be changed every 30-60 days, depending on the amount of use. This is especially true if anyone in your household suffers from allergies, asthma or other breathing related conditions. Yet the average homeowner puts in a new filter every 6-12 months.
At the very least make it a point to clean the filters one month and then change them the next. These filters do a very important job but leaving filthy ones up will prevent your entire heating and air conditioning system from performing properly. This is one of the few things that you can take care of without calling in a professional HVAC specialist to do for you.
Of course another important task to take care of is those lingering minor repairs. Too many people make the mistake of procrastinating when it comes to addressing the need for small fixes. But it does not take long for a minor repair need to develop into a major one. Keep in mind that this will not save you money, either.
You may think that putting off small fixes until you have the money makes sense. Except when the neglected repair needs cause your entire HVAC system to breakdown completely you are going to have some serious problems, and expenses, to deal with. Major repairs cost a great deal more than minor ones and having to replace your HVAC is one of the most expensive emergency projects to take on.
Also, get to know your HVAC maintenance crew. You should find a company to work with that you feel comfortable with and feel you can rely on. And make sure you are setting up regular maintenance and tune-up work with this company as well.