When you have a home, you want to make it as comfortable as possible. And your home is only cozy when it has an HVAC system that warms your home when it is bitterly cold and cools the door of your room when it’s unbearably hot.
If you’re wondering how to make the most of your HVAC system in your new home, this article is for you. In this article, we share some valuable tips on how to choose the best HVAC System for your house. To help you understand, we explain each HVAC System. Let’s dive into it.
What exactly is an HVAC System?
Ever wondered what the acronym HVAC stands for? Here’s the scoop: HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. This system ensures your home stays warm in chilly weather and cool when it’s hot outside. People often mix up HVAC with AC, but AC is just a part of HVAC. Now, let’s explore some key components of an HVAC system.
- Air Conditioner: Found in homes and cars, it cools spaces by blowing cold air, removing heat or humidity when it’s hot outside.
- Furnace: Creates heat by burning natural gas or propane, used to warm homes or offices.
- Heat Pump: Despite its name, it both heats and cools spaces by using refrigerants, functioning on electricity rather than fossil fuels.
- Air Handler: Similar to a heat pump, it can produce both hot and cold air within a room, managing various HVAC units.
- Ductwork: Comprising a network of pipes or ducts, it circulates air from the furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner throughout the space.
- Thermostat: Controls indoor temperature, triggering the HVAC system to heat or cool a room in response to temperature changes.
Here are some of the tips that you can use to ensure you get the most from your HVAC system in your home:
Tip #1: Understand Your HVAC Machinery
Understanding how an HVAC system operates isn’t always straightforward. To grasp it better, invest time in reading, watching educational videos, and consulting with experts. Don’t hesitate to ask questions to gain clarity.
Once you’re familiar with the system’s components, it’s essential to learn how to maintain it. You might learn this through training or system manuals. The crucial part isn’t how you learn but applying what you’ve learned. Remember, if there’s a technical issue with your HVAC, it’s best to rely on an expert. This isn’t the area to test out your DIY skills. It’s best to reach out to heating and cooling contractors for assistance. They possess the expertise and knowledge needed to fix your HVAC system effectively.
Tip #2: Know Your Thermostat
Thermostats have evolved over the years, which makes it hard for many homeowners to understand how they work. Understanding your thermostat is crucial when you have an HVAC system. If you’re unsure how it operates, you might miss signs of it malfunctioning. A faulty thermostat can cause frustration and loss of temperature control. Worse yet, it could harm your air conditioning, leading to costly repairs potentially running into thousands of dollars.
For a solid understanding of your thermostat, check out informative videos like this one. As you watch, you’ll learn that a thermostat functions like a control switch for your furnace and air conditioner. It operates akin to a light switch, primarily turning your HVAC system on and off. Keep in mind, it can only deactivate your system if its temperature sensor is functioning properly. This sensor gauges the room temperature, triggering the cooling or heating function based on whether the set temperature is met or not.
There are three types of thermostats you should know:
- Low-voltage thermostats: This type of thermostat operates in conjunction with your central forced heating system, such as your heat pump, central boilers, or furnace. It relies on electrical resistance to generate heat within these systems, consuming lower voltage compared to other thermostat types—typically around 24 volts to operate
- Line-voltage thermostats: This thermostat type is primarily designed for managing electric resistance heating equipment. It works well with various heating units like in-wall heaters, baseboard heaters, radiant heaters, and other standalone heating units. Sometimes, it’s also installed to regulate central heat pump systems, including ductless mini-split heating systems.
- Moving on, thermostats come in various categories. Here’s a brief rundown:
Manual Thermostats: These are the basic ones you’ll encounter. With this type, you’ll manually handle all adjustments, from setting temperatures to turning it off.
- Programmable thermostats: Then you get programmable, which come with programmable capabilities that you don’t usually find on a manual thermostat. What is good about it is it can automate temperature adjustments in your home. What’s more, it can reduce your energy consumption.
- Wi-Fi Thermostats: These come with programmable features and can connect to your Wi-Fi, allowing remote access whether you’re home or away. They also boast additional distinguishing features.
- Smart Thermostats: Offering even more advanced options, smart thermostats outshine their counterparts. They encompass the functionalities of programmable and Wi-Fi thermostats while offering enhanced capabilities. There are custom home building contractors that can help you program your thermostat.
Tip #3: Maintaining Your HVAC System
To keep your HVAC system running smoothly, knowing when it requires maintenance is crucial. Heating and air technicians can assess your system, identify necessary replacements, and estimate costs. Here’s what these technicians focus on:
- Examining HVAC system controls
- Cleaning and adjusting blower components
- Inspecting evaporator and condenser coils
- Checking the refrigerant charge
- Verifying fuel line connections
- Inspecting gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger
- Calibrating and checking thermostat settings
- Tightening electrical connections if necessary
- Lubricating all moving parts
- Examining and cleaning the condensate drain as needed. They can tell you if they should do HVAC repair
Tip #4: Replace the filters
Our technician will carefully check your filters for dust, hair, or any unwanted particles. Leaving these in could spread pollutants throughout your home, especially concerning if you’ve got little ones around.
For improved air quality in your space, it’s crucial to replace your filter every 30 days. This not only ensures top-notch air from your HVAC system but also saves energy. Clean filters mean better airflow, allowing more fresh air in compared to clogged ones.
Not sure which filter to pick? An ideal filter should boast a rating between seven and 13. With this rating, you get exceptional filtration and superb airflow, ensuring cleaner, healthier air at home. There are also blown-in insulation services that you can hire locally to improve your HVAC system’s performance.
Tip #5: Inspect Your HVAC System
When was your HVAC system last inspected? Keeping it in top shape is crucial for optimal performance. You can even check it before or after changing the filter. Here’s a quick checklist:
Start by inspecting the thermostat. Is it working properly both inside and outside? Look out for any signs of damage. If it seems fine, here’s what else to check:
- Battery: Ensure it’s in good condition.
- Condensate system: Confirm it’s working well.
- Check the filter access and cabinet door, making sure they close properly.
- Examine the flue system for proper attachment. If not, fix it.
- Ensure registers and returns aren’t blocked. Unblock if needed for better airflow.
A little inspection can go a long way in keeping your HVAC running smoothly.
Tip #6: Clean the Exterior Of The Unit
Check out the exterior of your HVAC unit! Since it’s usually outdoors, it tends to gather more dirt and dust than other parts. Take a good look—do you notice any grime, dust, or smudges that a quick wipe with a clean cloth could fix? Don’t hesitate, grab that cloth and give the unit a gentle clean.
You’d be surprised by the difference a simple clean-up can make to your unit’s performance. Sometimes, just removing twigs, glass, or bird droppings can work wonders for your HVAC system. Give it a try and see the positive impact. If your home has a lot of plants, or trees you might need to consider trimming them back a bit. If you’re not sure how to get rid of trees, you hire a local tree services company to help you.
Tip #7 Check The Energy Star Of Your HVAC System
Now, let’s see if your HVAC system is energy-efficient. Not sure where to start? Here’s a tip: Grab the user manual of your HVAC system and look for the SEER rating. If it’s not in the manual, check the AC unit’s cabinet. See it? Great. Next, focus on the number you find. A higher number indicates greater energy efficiency in the system. It’s a quick way to gauge how efficiently your HVAC operates.
Lately, having an energy-efficient HVAC system has been a big deal. That’s why the most energy-efficient units proudly sport the Energy Star logo. It’s a helpful sign to guide you toward the right choice when you’re looking to make a purchase. Keep an eye out for that logo—it makes choosing a more efficient unit a bit easier.
Tip #8: Clear the Space Around Your Indoor Unit
Once you’ve ensured your HVAC system is energy-efficient, the next step is to declutter around the indoor unit. Keeping the area around your indoor unit clear can significantly enhance your system’s air quality.
If there are items near the unit that you can store elsewhere, consider moving them to your garage or a different storage space. Why is this important? Clutter around your HVAC unit can gather dust, impacting its performance. Moreover, it can pose a fire hazard. Creating a clear space around the unit ensures better air quality and safety for your system.
Tip #9: Avoid Closing Your Vents
Here’s another thing to keep in mind: your vents. It’s important not to close them off. A common mistake is shutting vents in unused rooms, thinking it saves energy. But actually, this can harm your HVAC system. Closing vents in certain rooms doesn’t save energy; instead, it can affect your HVAC’s performance negatively. Keeping those vents open ensures your system runs smoothly and efficiently throughout your home.
Blocking or closing vents can put extra strain on your HVAC system as it tries harder to regulate temperatures. This extra strain could lead to increased energy consumption. To keep things running smoothly, avoid closing vents in any of your rooms. It helps maintain efficient operation and saves energy in the long run. If you want to make some changes to your interior, don’t try to do it yourself. Instead, look for local interior design contractors who can assist you.
Tip #10: Check Your Ductwork
At times, your HVAC system might bring in some unfamiliar smells at home. You might notice extreme humidity or catch a whiff of dust or a musty odor that’s out of the ordinary. These signs could indicate issues with your ductwork.
There could be a couple of reasons behind this—your ductwork might not be functioning as it should, or there could be leaks that need fixing by a technician.
If you notice these signs, don’t delay—reach out to your technician to investigate and resolve the issue. Ignoring this could potentially harm your HVAC system, so it’s best to get it checked out promptly.
Finally, if there’s an issue with your HVAC system, be cautious about who you hire for repairs. Getting the most out of your HVAC means making sure it’s fixed properly.
Our recommendation? Always opt for a licensed technician skilled in HVAC repair. Choosing the right professional ensures your system gets the care and expertise it needs to perform at its best.
If you have other household issues, like electrical problems or concerns with your window shades, there are experts for every situation. Whether you want to hire electricians, looking for blown in insulation services, roofing contractors? Or someone to fix those window shades? No worries, there’s a specialist for each of these tasks. Simply hop on Google and search for the specific service you need. Once you find the right expert, give them a call. It’s as easy as that—help for your home is just a search and a call away.