Being a new homeowner is an exciting time in anyone’s life! It can also be a really stressful time if you’re not adequately prepared. Whether you’ve moved into a home already equipped with central HVAC systems, or you’re having your own installed for the first time, we have some tips!
It starts with making sure your systems are professionally installed. Whether it’s an air conditioner or a heater, you want to ensure that the unit is properly matched and properly sized for your specific home. This requires a trained and experienced professional doing what’s called a load calculation–looking at factors such as the square footage of your home, but also how high the ceilings are, the level of insulation in the home, and the number of windows and doors, among other factors.
Caring for your HVAC systems doesn’t stop at installation! You also want to maintain these systems. Read on to learn more about how to do this.
“Can I Maintain My System On My Own?”
Here’s tip #1: Always only trust a professional for your preventive HVAC maintenance!
Now, this isn’t to say there aren’t any maintenance tasks you can do on your own! There are two that you can, and should, be doing on your own actually.
- Change the Air Filter: There is an air filter that comes standard with every forced-air heating and cooling system. Many homeowners believe that the purpose of this air filter is to protect their indoor air. While it certainly doesn’t hurt your indoor air quality, its actual purpose is to protect the interior of the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage its components. If it gets too clogged up, it can restrict airflow which hurts HVAC efficiency. Depending on the type of air filter it is, and the level of contaminants in your home, you should be swapping this out for a new filter every 1-3 months.
- Clean Around the Unit: Whether we’re talking about your furnace or the outside condenser unit of your air conditioner, you should always make sure there is no debris around or on top of it. This is especially the case with gas-powered heating systems, since this can be unsafe.
So, what about the rest of maintenance?
The Power of Professional Maintenance
Professional maintenance allows our technicians to comprehensively inspect, clean, and adjust the components that need it. This service should be done once a year for your air conditioner and for your heater, each. If you have a heat pump, you should have maintenance done every 6 months.
Professional maintenance helps reduce repair needs by as much as 85%, retain 95% of the system’s original efficiency rating, and helps to extend the system’s lifespan. With maintenance, your air conditioner or furnace can be expected to last 10-15 years. Without maintenance, it may only last half that.