You maintain your car, and you visit the doctor regularly. Your HVAC unit needs the same level of care, and for the same reason – preventive maintenance helps keep small problems from turning into major ones. But maintenance also does something else; it can help lower your fuel costs.
Here’s how a professional keeps your HVAC system in shape and reduces your utility bills year-round:
Seal Air Leaks in the Ductwork
How many times did your parents tell you to shut the front door because they didn’t want to heat the great outdoors? Leaks in your HVAC system do nearly the same thing, but sealing them keeps conditioned air where it belongs – inside the ductwork and in the rooms.
Air leaks let cooled or heated air transfer into attics, crawl spaces, between floors, and inside walls. When conditioned air doesn’t reach its destination, the rooms aren’t as comfortable. The thermostat reacts by switching the unit on more frequently, which uses more energy.
The best HVAC technicians will tell you that your work isn’t finished once you’ve sealed up the duct work. You need to seal up your whole house with insulation and caulking if your HVAC unit is going to do its job. According to the experts at Sound Renovation LLC, sealing up your house “helps to reduce energy costs by relying less on an HVAC system to control the building’s temperature each season.” Sealing up your house will not only reduce the amount of energy you use running your HVAC system, because your HVAC system is running less, it will last longer.
Checking ductwork for leaks helps keep conditioned air where you need it.
Repair Compressor Leaks
A leak inside the condenser reduces the volume of airflow that’s allowed into the unit. This creates a situation where air stands, surrounding the condenser, which causes higher pressure at the condenser and higher temperatures, too.
Your HVAC professional like this company can detect a condenser leak, and get it repaired. This is important, because for every degree that the temperature rises, your energy consumption grows, and with it, your utility bills.
Change Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter suffocates your HVAC system, and changing it lets the unit breathe. There’s no real reason not to change the filter every month. A new one is inexpensive, and a dirty one can cost a lot of money in the long run.
A dirty air filter makes the HVAC unit work harder to do its job, which means efficiency is dramatically reduced. Even if you change the filter every 30 days, your technician will probably change it too. Just to be on the safe side.
Clean Dirty Burners
Gas burners on a furnace can collect a buildup, which reduces efficiency. You might notice an uneven flame pattern or some burners that flicker and don’t light properly. Dirty burners mean the furnace has to work harder to produce enough heat. Clean ones let it work the way it’s supposed to.
At your maintenance appointment, the technician may clean the burners using a piece of emery cloth or a file. This restores the flow of gas, which, in turn, allows it to heat your home more effectively.
Regular HVAC maintenance helps keep you cool and prevent and premature system replacement.
Check and Charge Refrigerant
Low refrigerant levels mean your air conditioning works overtime to cool your home. In some cases, the unit might run almost constantly and never reach the right temperature. This wastes a considerable amount of energy, racking up high costs for you.
Your HVAC professional will check the refrigerant charge in your system to determine whether it’s “suboptimal,” according to the Institute for Building Efficiency. If necessary, he’ll recharge the refrigerant, which helps the unit cool your home better and use less energy to do it.
Regular HVAC maintenance should be on your schedule at least once a year, twice for a more well-rounded approach. If you call for an appointment in the early spring and again in early fall, you’ll beat the seasonal rush and know that your heating and cooling system is as efficient as it can be and ready for months of use.
Maintenance is the best way to protect your heating and cooling investment. It only takes a day, but the benefits include a longer system lifespan, more comfortable home, and fuel costs that won’t break the bank.