Having a new HVAC system installed means your home will now be more comfortable year-round, and your electric bills may be lower than they were with your older, less-efficient system. In order to continue reaping these energy benefits for many years to come, it's important to properly maintain and take care of your HVAC system. Here are five ways to keep your HVAC system running well for as long as possible:
Change Filters Regularly
Your heater and air conditioner use air filters that can fill with dust, pet hair, and other debris. The more dirty and clogged the filters are, the harder your HVAC system has to work to provide heating and cooling, which leads to a less comfortable home and higher energy bills.
Luckily, most HVAC systems use filters that are cheap to purchase and easy to replace yourself. During times of heavy use, you should aim to change your filters once a month. Since this is an easily overlooked maintenance task, it's a good idea to schedule reminders for yourself on your calendar.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
One way to ensure your HVAC unit doesn't last as long as it should is to only schedule maintenance when things start to break down. Instead, you should get into the habit of scheduling an annual HVAC maintenance appointment. The HVAC repair company will carefully inspect your entire HVAC system, locating any potential issues and repairing them before they turn into much bigger (and more expensive) issues. They will also thoroughly clean and drain your system, which helps keep it working as efficiently as possible.
Don't Neglect the Outside Unit
Sometimes homeowners forget that part of their HVAC system is located outside and needs to be taken care of just as much as the indoor components. If you have an outdoor AC unit or heat pump, you should make sure to keep it clean and protected from the elements. Regularly sweep away leaves and other debris to prevent blocked airflow.
Occasionally hose off the outdoor unit with a garden hose to remove dirt and grime that accumulates over time. You can even make your own protective screen for your outdoor HVAC unit to shield it from the hot sun and potentially improve its performance.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Running your AC and heat around the clock even when you don't need it is a surefire way to shorten the life of your HVAC system and snag some hefty utility bills in the process. A good solution is to use a programmable thermostat. This means you can program your home to stay a higher or lower temperature when everyone is at work or school (depending on the season) and a more comfortable temperature when everyone is home. If you invest in a "smart" thermostat, you will even be able to regulate your home's temperature remotely from your smartphone.
Have Your Ductwork Professionally Cleaned
Dirty ductwork leads to dirty air indoors, as well as a less-effective HVAC system. The dirtier your ducts, the more dust and debris the AC and heat have to get past in order to cool or heat your home. Plus, all that dust and dirt gets added to the air, reducing your home's air quality and potentially exacerbating certain medical conditions like asthma or allergies. If you haven't had your ducts professionally cleaned in the past few years, or if you notice the air quality in your home has suffered lately, it may be worth a call to your HVAC company.
By proactively caring for your HVAC system you can help extend its life and avoid having to replace it again sooner than you'd like to. Look for a service that provides repairs and residential HVAC installation in your area to set up an appointment for a maintenance inspection.