Answering some commonly asked HVAC questions
Unless you're a heating and cooling professional, chances are you have some questions regarding your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Don't worry, you're not alone - an HVAC system is a complicated and important piece of machinery in your home, and it's important for you to have the answers to all of your HVAC-related questions. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding these systems.
Should I replace my HVAC system?
This is the most common question that people have with their HVAC systems, since it can be tough to know when it's time to purchase a new one. There are three issues to consider when answering this question:
- First is to consider how well your system has been working, and the second is to think about how old it is. If you've had to call an HVAC maintenance professional several times in the past few years, then you may want to replace the one you have.
- Furthermore, if you've noticed that some rooms in your home are a different temperature than others, you should think about getting a new one - your HVAC system should be keeping every room the right temperature. As for age, Energy Star pointed out that systems made in the past 10 years are often more energy-efficient than others, which could save you money and benefit the environment.
- Is your HVAC system noisy? If you've been dealing with noise from this piece of equipment for years, you may think that it's normal. However, your HVAC system should be providing you with a comfortable home with minimal noise. New systems are quieter than ever, and those that make excess noises may be broken, so call a professional if yours is loud.
How can I tell if I have an energy-efficient system?
To see how efficient your system is, you need to look at its seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER ratio. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient your system is - the current federal minimum is 13.
What's the best way to choose a system?
Once you've decided that you need a new system and the SEER rating you're looking for, you should find a contractor you can trust. He or she can come and measure your home and offer important input on the type of system you need. This is a decision that you shouldn't make on your own - HVAC systems are an expensive and important part of your house, and you should do your research and consult a professional before purchasing one.
Is noise a normal?
Is your HVAC system noisy? If you've been dealing with noise from this piece of equipment for years, you may think that it's normal. However, your HVAC system should be providing you with a comfortable home with minimal noise. New systems are quieter than ever, and those that make excess noises may be broken, so call a professional if your's is loud.
What maintenance does my HVAC system need?
As a consumer, there's only so much you should do for your HVAC system - the rest should be left up to a professional. You should replace your disposable filters or clean washable ones once a month. You can also look at your ducts occasionally to see if they're dirty, and clean them if needed. Aside from these actions, you should call an HVAC specialist once a year to come and check everything out.
What type of thermostat do I need?
If you're concerned about costs, and you want to be as energy-efficient as possible, you should purchase a programmable thermostat. This way, you can set it so that your home is at a comfortable temperature while you and your family are in it, and at a money-saving temperature when you're away. Remember, keeping your thermostat just one or two degrees lower than you normally would in the winter and higher than you normally would in the summer can save you serious cash in the long run.