How Do I Maintain My Home Heating System?
Home heating systems are a significant convenience of modern living, but they’re also a considerable expense. Buying an HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars, with installation adding thousands more. The good news is that if you perform routine maintenance, you’ll get the most out of your system and (hopefully) avoid costly replacements down the road.
But where do you start? After all, HVAC systems are incredibly complex. If you’re like most people, the idea of keeping it in working order can be intimidating.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do at home to keep your HVAC system running well (and others that do require the work of a heating and air conditioning professional). This post will guide you through some simple ways to keep your system running at top performance.
Understand Your Thermostat Settings
Digital thermostats are a lot more versatile than the old knob/switch thermostats many of us grew up with. They are beloved for how easy they are to read, their precision, and a wide array of unique settings. Understanding and utilizing the latter can differentiate between an efficient heating system and a money sink.
While the names for settings will vary between models and manufacturers, digital thermostats usually have a “regular” setting and an “emergency” setting. The emergency setting allows you to get heat when certain parts of the systems malfunction, but it comes at high energy (and financial) costs. Read the manufacturer’s manual and make sure you’re using your setting appropriately.
Clean Your Outside Unit
You need to clean your indoor vents and fans regularly to prevent debris from building up and blocking airflow. But when cleaning your HVAC system, you need to look beyond the components in your house. Though it’s often out of sight, your heat pump has an outside unit that requires just as much attentive care.
You want to keep the unit’s fan clear of debris. Ensure that fallen tree branches and leaves haven’t blocked the blade. During winter, be on the lookout for heavy ice and snow, as these can stop the fan and blow the motor.
Replace Your Air Filters
The air filters in your vents collect dust, dirt, and other debris much faster than you may think. What you see only accounts for part of what the filter has caught. While you may want to breathe easy knowing all of those pollutants are in the air, dirty filters that stay in place too long can block airflow and harm your HVAC system.
You shouldn’t use the average filter much longer than one month for most air circulation systems. You can extend the life of your filters if you clean the inside of your vents frequently, but you’ll likely find that the amount of cleaning needed outweighs the temporary gain. Replacement air filters are an investment you can’t afford to skimp out on.
Don’t Overuse Your HVAC System
Every HVAC system has a limited lifespan. Like any other machine, it will, over time, become less efficient as you use it. The above maintenance tips will let you use your heating system for longer, but one of the most significant ways to prolong its life is by limiting how much work it has to do.
Think of it this way: when you set your thermostat, you’ve picked the target temperature you want your house to be. Your HVAC reads this and produces the right amount of heat to get the temperature there. However, if your home is leaking heat, the temperature will constantly fluctuate more than usual, and your system will struggle to compensate.
Seek out and heat leaks in your home to keep heat from escaping in too large amounts. Any hardware or home improvement store sells products that completely seal cracks around window and door frames, and they don’t require rugged construction and apply in minutes.
Retrofit Your System
Unless your home was built recently, much older parts were likely used to make your home heating system. They may work fine, but even if you’ve been vigilant in their care, they simply won’t be as efficient as modern parts and technology. If you don’t want to endure the expense of replacing the whole system, you can instead retrofit new features.
Unless you have an ancient heating system, you can choose to retrofit new HVAC technology into it, regardless of how you get heat. One of our HVAC professionals can audit your current system, identify what they can upgrade, and install the new components for you. In the end, these changes can save you money over your old system year after year. (Keep in mind, however, that an old system with new parts is still an old system. It may not be long before something else needs replacing. In that case, it could be a wiser financial decision to replace the whole system now.)
Have Your Home Heating System Regularly Inspected
Like any other machine, your HVAC system requires care. But your heating system can still experience problems, even when you’re caring for it responsibly. You will need to schedule regular HVAC inspections to identify potential risks and solve small problems before they become big problems.
That’s where we come in.
Whether you need a new system, need emergency repairs, or want to book repairs on your existing HVAC system from the Bakersfield HVAC repair experts, turn to the pros at On Time Home Services.
Our trained HVAC technicians will troubleshoot issues with your heating system, install a replacement, or recommend an energy-efficient system for your new construction.
We have extensive training and expertise in all stages of installation, repair, and maintenance of most major HVAC manufacturers. We’ll inspect your current unit to help you determine if it can work more efficiently, or whether a replacement is truly necessary.
Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation!