Many of have been there. We have a piece of equipment in our home and suddenly, poof, it breaks. It stops working. When our HVAC systems, stop working we either get extremely cold and think of those trekking the Donner Pass or we are so hot, we think we are in the Sahara. Maintaining your HVAC system can save you money and keep your home functioning so that your health is not at risk.
The other frustration that occurs when a piece of equipment breaks, is that we need to come up with the money to replace it. Well there goes the family vacation to our favorite beach or national park. These unexpected costs can be in the hundreds or the thousands and effect all our budgets.
There are several steps to maintaining your HVAC system to prepare you for when you do need to replace it.
Change Your Air Filters
By regularly changing your air filters, you protect your system from getting clogged or parts getting destroyed due to excess smoke, dirt, fur or any other particle. Our homes naturally carry things in the air. If we smoke in our homes or have several pets, we need to more frequently change our air filters.
On average, change your air filters every 3 – 4 months. If you experience more dust, dirt, smoke or pet hair, change them more often. By opening your vent to review your filter, you will be able to visibly see the dirt and grim compared to a brand-new filter.
By not changing air filters, you can also have discoloration on your carpets, create respiratory problems for your family members and speed up the life of your HVAC unit which means you need to replace sooner than expected.
Program Your Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, it is beneficial to program it to run the HVAC unit harder when you are home and using the heat and air. When you are at work or off running errands, then there is no need for your HVAC system to run at full power. Your HVAC will be heating or cooling a home with no one in it. This becomes wasteful, inefficient and costly. Not only will you add more wear and tear to your unit, but you will also have higher energy bills. Using a programmable thermostat will increase the lifespan of your HVAC unit.
Hire a Professional
HVAC units have a lot of parts for them to function properly. By hiring a professional to perform assessments on your units either annually or biannually, you will have a health report on your HVAC unit. Professionals can detect if a part is aging or is overworked and suggest replacing this one part rather than replacing the entire unit. By replacing one part, you could save significant money and extend the life of your HVAC unit. Professionals can also detect when the unit may be coming to the end of its life which can help you prepare your budget and time to replace the unit. There is nothing worse than an expected project that costs a lot of money in order to live comfortably.
Taking care of your home like performing regular vacuuming can also affect the quality of your air and your HVAC unit. Remember to clean your stove hood and clean out your dryer vent to remove grease and lint from getting into your air filters. Performing these maintenance tasks regularly, you will find that your HVAC unit will run properly to keep everyone in your home healthy and you will save money on your monthly utility bills and avoid an unexpected replacement of the unit.
About the Writer: Elizabeth Dodson is the co-founder of HomeZada, an online and mobile home management solution. HomeZada strives to educate and provide resources for homeowners in all areas of home management, including home inventory, home maintenance, home finances and home improvement projects.