As the weather grows colder, Charlotte-area residents turn to their Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Fall is the right time to focus on maintaining your heating system to maximize efficiency and performance.
An efficient, well-performing HVAC system saves you money. More importantly, it keeps your family warm and comfortable
Try these five HVAC maintenance tips to improve the life and effectiveness of your heater. Some of these HVAC maintenance tips are classic, and some are perhaps surprising. For example, did you know that your housekeeping can affect the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner? Read on to learn more…
1. LOOK FOR WAYS TO ECONOMIZE YOUR HOME ENERGY AND HEAT USE
Autumn is a perfect time to look for ways to economize on your heating and energy use. Try these HVAC maintenance tips to save money while staying warm.
- Track the hours that your home is occupied each day. These are the hours when you need to heat your home during the cooler months.
- Invest in a programmable or smart thermostat to accurately control your HVAC system’s hours of operation. After all, you may not need to run your heater at your ideal temperature during times when your home is vacant. Lowering the thermostat by one or two degrees when your home is vacant may reduce your energy use (and bill) significantly.
- If you travel out of town for holiday visits or vacations, be sure to adjust your thermostat to a lower temperature. If you own a smart thermostat, you can even program it to heat your home to a comfortable level in the hours before your scheduled return. Maintaining a higher temperature with no one home results in wasted energy and needlessly high bills.
How much can you save by simply adjusting your thermostat? According to the Department of Energy, people save 10% in heating costs by adjusting their thermostat by seven to ten degrees for just eight hours a day. In other words by lowering your thermostat setting while away at work you can save money in your household budget without compromising on comfort.
2. PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM HARSH WINTER WEATHER
Look for ways to ease your furnace’s workload. One way is to better protect your home from the harsh weather. For example, weather-stripping your windows helps keep the cold at bay and takes pressure off your HVAC system.
Check your home’s insulation and consider replacing any worn or ineffective insulation. The goal of any insulation technique is to keep heat where it’s supposed to be—in your house.
- Weather-strip your windows or consider upgrading to weather-proof windows.
- Another great way to protect against the cold is to seek out and seal any potential entry points for cold weather.
- Open vents in your home are a great way for cold to sneak in uninvited, as are gaps around older windows and doors. Caulk up noticeable gaps and prevent the cold from slipping in, easing the burden on your heating system and saving you cash.
- Consider closing off rooms that you use infrequently. This can raise the efficiency of your home’s heating unit.
Remember, energy friendly investments like weatherproof windows and attic insulation often pay for themselves through energy savings.
3. FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTAL HVAC MAINTENANCE TIPS
Maintain your heating system to ensure its maximum performance. In most cases, this is as easy as adhering to your filter manufacturers recommended replacement schedule. Be sure to complete the following routine maintenance tasks:
- Replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is an important preventative measure that eased the strain on your blower motor and reduces the chance of a problem during the coldest nights. It also provides an immediate money-saving boost, maximizing your heater’s efficiency and lowering your energy costs.
- Clean your filter. Even if it is not the time to change your filter, you may want to clean it. When dust, allergens, and dirt clog your filter, then your system needs to work harder. Also, a dirty filter may reduce air quality and trigger asthma symptoms and allergies.
- Clean the vents to further enhance the efficiency of your heating system.
- Clean any outside unit. Over time tree branches, leaves, and another sediment may build up and disrupt your unit’s airflow.
Bonus tip: Consider a full “Autumn cleaning” for your entire home. You may ask, what does this have to do with maintaining your heating system? When your home is clean and free of dust and dirt then less builds up within your HVAC filters and vents. Not only do you get to enjoy a clean home, but you also enjoy improved air quality, and your heater lasts longer.
4. HAVE A PROFESSIONAL INSPECT YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
DIY is great, but some tasks are best left to a professional. An inspector will check the wiring and components of your HVAC system to ensure everything is working properly. Depending on the service, your inspector may go beyond inspection and perform regular HVAC maintenance tasks.
Charlotte residents, you should consider joining the Comfort Club at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC.
Comfort Club members receive twice-yearly checkups, each providing key maintenance procedures on your equipment before its busiest months. Our customer-friendly technicians will provide you with a comprehensive report of their findings and expert advice for getting the most out of your HVAC system over the months ahead.
5. CONSIDER WHETHER IT IS TIME FOR A REPLACEMENT OR UPGRADE
Our HVAC maintenance tips could extend the life of your HVAC system. However, nothing lasts forever. You may be able to save as much as 30% off your bill with a new Energy Star model HVAC system.
If it is time to replace your unit, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Charlotte provides full installation services throughout the Charlotte area.
Perhaps the best option for maintaining your heating unit is to call in the experts from One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Charlotte for a thorough tune-up. Or, better yet, call us today at (704) 703-4220 or contact us online and ask about membership in our Comfort Club.
Remember, a proactive and preventative mindset will ensure the ongoing effectiveness and reliability of your heating system during the cold season, saving you money and preserving your peace of mind in the process.