regular maintenance

HVAC Maintenance Tips for Fall

Fall is in full swing and that means cold weather is right around the corner. On cold winter nights, there are few things you’ll appreciate more than your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. However, if it isn’t running properly, your HVAC system can be a source of misery rather than comfort. Heating your home is the typically the largest energy expense for homeowners. That is why it is so important to keep your HVAC system running properly.

Fall is the Best Time for Regular HVAC Maintenance

Now is the perfect time to prepare for frigid weather ahead. Complete these fall maintenance tips to keep your HVAC system operating efficiently this winter. Not only will these tips save you money, they will also ensure you spend this winter in warm, cozy comfort.

Change Your Air Filters

Changing your air filters is the most important thing you can do to keep your HVAC system running properly. Thankfully, it is also the easiest thing you can do.

However, don’t wait until fall to change your filters. Some experts recommend replacing your filters monthly, while others suggest every three months. There are several factors that affect how often your filters need to be changed, such as whether you have pets.

Filters should be checked every month and replaced if they are dirty. To help you remember this important chore, you should choose and schedule a regular day each month to inspect your filters. One recommendation is to check your filters on the same day you pay your mortgage or rent.

Clean Your Vents

It is also a good idea to keep your vents clean. This will allow your HVAC system to circulate air properly and help keep your house clean as well.

In most cases, you can simply use your vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust that accumulates in your vents. However, if you vents are particularly dirty or clogged, you may need to call in the professionals.

Schedule Maintenance with a Professional Technician

Your HVAC system should be serviced annually to keep it working effectively and efficiently. Scheduling regular preventive maintenance for your HVAC system can improve its lifetime up to 48 percent.

Fall is the perfect time to schedule a regular maintenance visit with a service technician. He or she will inspect your system and prepare it to meet the demands of winter heating.

Here are some of the things you can expect a technician to do during a regular maintenance visit:

  1. Check and replace your furnace filter
  2. Inspect the exterior of your system for signs of wear
  3. Inspect and clean your system’s interior components
  4. Measure the power consumed by the system’s electrical components to check for unnecessary power usage
  5. Calibrate your home’s thermostat
  6. test for carbon monoxide leaks
  7. If you have a boiler, the controls, safeties, pump, and low water cutoff will be checked.

Is It Time to Replace Your HVAC?

A new HVAC system is an expensive investment. However, if your system is more than 10 years old, replacing it may actually save you money, at least in the long run.

If your system has some age, it may be running inefficiently, and an inefficient system wastes energy and money. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing an old HVAC system with a newer model could reduce your home’s annual energy bill by as much as 40 percent. If you think it might be time to consider replacing your old system, call your local HVAC experts for advice and a price analysis.

Following these fall maintenance tips has numerous benefits for your HVAC system. Regular maintenance will keep you comfortable, improve your system’s efficiency, and save you money on your heating bills this winter.

If you have any questions or need to schedule a maintenance appointment, be sure to contact your local HVAC professionals.

 

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Is it Time to Tune Up Your Air Conditioner?

licensed havac technicianIt is a relief when mild springtime temperatures finally arrive after a harsh, cold winter. When we first feel the moderately warm weather of spring, it is hard to resist the urge to throw open windows and air out the stuffiness of winter. However, comfortable spring weather doesn’t last forever. Before you know it, it will be time to crank up the AC.

Before we hit those hot summer highs, you want to make sure your AC is up for the challenge. Spring is the best time to schedule an AC tune up. Ideally, your unit should receive a thorough inspection and routine maintenance at least one a year.

If you avoid an annual tune up by a qualified AC professional, you will eventually pay the price. Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent expensive breakdowns and keep your energy bills from skyrocketing.

Why Spring is the Best Time to Schedule a Tune Up

Scheduling your air conditioner’s regular maintenance during the mild summer months is most practical. It will ensure your AC is ready to tackle the heavy usage necessary during the peak of summer.

It is also the best time to book regular maintenance with your local HVAC technicians. Once the summer heat becomes relentless, repair professionals are busy with emergency breakdowns, probably with homeowners who neglected to schedule maintenance in the spring.

The Benefits of Paying for a Tune Up Now

It may not seem necessary to schedule maintenance if your system was running smoothly at the end of last summer. However, paying for maintenance now will pay you back in the long run. Here are just a few of the ways regular maintenance pays eventually pays for itself.

Cut Utility Bills By Improving Efficiency

A qualified HVAC technician will clean, test, and adjust your whole system to ensure it runs at peak efficiency. As an air conditioner ages, especially if it is not well-maintained, it will lose efficiency. By ensuring your system is operating as efficiently as possible, you will be maximizing the system’s efficiency. An efficient AC is key to saving money on your utility expenses.

Prevent Costly Emergency Repairs

Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid an unexpected breakdown. Emergency repair visits can be expensive. By scheduling a routine maintenance visit with your local HVAC technician, you’ll keep one step ahead of unexpected repair costs.

Fix Small Problems Before They Become Big Problems

Regular maintenance can help you catch potential problems early. Your air conditioner is a complex machine. Even the simplest, easy-to-fix problem can grow into a major disaster if it isn’t detected early. Even if your system appears to be running fine, a trained technician will be able to spot potential problems before they become big ones.

Extend The Life of Your Air Conditioner

Neglecting routine maintenance can take its toll on your air conditioner over time, shaving years off the life of your unit. If you schedule service annually, you can maximize the life of your system, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in replacement costs.

Plan for Replacement

Even a well-maintained air conditioner doesn’t last forever. By scheduling an annual tune up, you can talk to your HVAC technician about potential replacement. This may give you the time you need to save up or take advantage of time sensitive sales offers.

 

There are simple maintenance tasks you can and should do yourself. Replacing your filters is a good example. However, regular air conditioner tune ups are best left to qualified professionals.

Your air conditioner is a complex machine, and lot can go wrong if you attempt to complete some maintenance tasks by yourself. You could permanently damage your system, or worse you could be severely injured by accidental electric shock.

It is also a great opportunity to take advantage of a technician’s trained eye. He or she will have the training and experience to spot potential problems that you might overlook.

Be sure to contact your local HVAC technician to schedule your routine maintenance visit before the hot summer heat sets in.

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Improving Indoor Air Quality with Your HVAC Filter

Pleated Air FIlter

Pleated Air Filter

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American will spend 93 percent of their time indoors. With so much of our lives spent inside, the quality of our indoor air is important, especially when the EPA claims the average indoor environment is five times more toxic than the air outside.

How Regular HVAC Maintenance Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Most homeowners don’t realize they can improve the quality of the air inside their homes by performing regular HVAC maintenance. Residential HVAC systems are usually forced-air units that blow cooled or heated air through ductwork.  HVAC systems have air filters to trap dust and keep it out of the mechanical elements of the system. These filters essentially protect your HVAC unit from potential damage caused by the dirt and debris that floats around inside of your home.

However, there is an added benefit to keeping your system’s filters clean that extends beyond the protection of the internal mechanisms of your HVAC unit.

Improve Air Quality By Upgrading Your Filter

You can use your HVAC unit to help improve indoor air quality by upgrading the filter. All filters have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. This rating indicates the size particle the filter medium will capture. Particles that are too small to pass through end up trapped in the filter and therefore are not released back into the indoor air.

Filters for residential purposes generally have a MERV rating that falls between 1 and 16. A filter with a higher MERV rating is able to trap smaller particles which results in cleaner air.

Types of Air Filters

Most fiberglass filters have a MERV rating that falls in the 1 to 4 range. While these filters will capture most dust particles, they are incapable of trapping more irritating particles. Mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and dust mite waste will pass right through them.

Pleated filters usually have MERV ratings between 5 and 8. These filters will trap most irritating particles.

Some filters may have a rating of 13 or higher. Before installing a filter with a high MERV rating above 8, it is important to contact your HVAC technician or consult your HVAC system’s manual. A filter too dense for your unit will hinder airflow and cause the system to run inefficiently.

Keeping Your Filters Clean

Most air filters are disposable and need to be replaced periodically. How frequently you should replace your filters depends on several factors. If you have a home with pets, smokers, or people with allergies, your filter should be replaced more often.

Thicker filters and filters with higher MERV ratings will also need to be replaced more frequently. Although, pleated filters will last longer than fiberglass ones.

If you are concerned about how often you should replace your filter, contact your local HVAC technician for help.

Clean Filters Help Keep Ducts Clean

A clean filter will also help keep you ductwork cleaner. However, even with frequent filter changes, dust and debris can build up in your ducts over time. Look for dust deposits around your registers. This could be a sign of dirty ductwork.

By removing your register covers and using a flashlight, you can check to see if dust and debris has collected in your ducts. Ducts that are overly dirty require professional duct cleaning to keep your system running smoothly and the air inside your home clean and easy to breathe.

The best way to prevent dirt from building up in your system ducts is to check your filter at least once a month and replace it when it is dirty.

 

By upgrading your HVAC filters and keeping them clean, not only will your system run more efficiently, but everyone in your home will breathe easier.

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