Here’s a not-so-surprising stat from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): the average American spends 93% (yes, 93%) of their time indoors. This is not only because of the restrictions imposed regarding outdoor activities but also because of the nature of one’s work. Although this may seem safe, staying indoors for long periods of time can also potentially affect one’s health, thanks to the issue of indoor air quality or IAQ. This refers to the condition of indoor air, whether it is safe to breathe or potentially harmful.
IAQ is significantly impacted by the condition of your HVAC system. If the HVAC system is working properly and every component is functioning as it should, you likely will not have to deal with indoor air quality issues. This is the reason why it is important that you work with professional HVAC contractors to help you find the right solutions for any heating and cooling issues you may have. If you want to improve the life of your HVAC system, preventive maintenance is key. The best time to get your HVAC system inspected is during spring or fall, prior to the hot and cold months, respectively. This will help you get ready for summer and winter.
However, there are things that need immediate attention, especially if you want to keep your HVAC system reliable throughout the year. The purpose of the HVAC system is to keep your home comfortable throughout the seasons. Although it’s built tough, you need to be able to take care of it regularly so it can keep working as it should.
To keep your HVAC system in tiptop shape, here are tips to help prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system and prevent premature breakdown.
1. Keep It Clean.
Dirt and debris can affect how the HVAC system works. Particulates tend to restrict proper airflow, hence preventing efficient cooling and heating. Make sure that not only is your HVAC system kept clean but the surrounding areas are trimmed and tidy as well.
2. Improper Installation.
Improper installation could lead to a system failure which could potentially set you back by a few hundred dollars (or more). To avoid improper installation and the damage it can cause, make sure to hire only a licensed and trained HVAC professional.
3. Size Matters.
Just because the AC is big does not always mean it is better. To determine the correct HVAC system size, call your local HVAC service contractor for advice.
4. Call a Professional.
The DIY approach can sometimes do more harm than good. If your thermostat is not registering the ideal temperatures during summer and winter, you could probably perform simple troubleshooting. However, if the problem persists, you will have to call an HVAC professional.
5. Cut Off the Supply of Water to the Humidifier During Hot Weather.
When the weather is especially hot, stop the supply of water to the humidifier of the furnace system. Set the humidity stat from 30 to 40 percent during winter. If you do not want to strain your HVAC system, make sure the registers are set over 20%.
6. Replace the Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries Regularly.
Carbon monoxide is a toxic type of gas. Make sure your detector is working properly and replace batteries at least once every year.
7. Avoid Improper Lubrication.
Keeping moving parts in the HVAC system lubricated helps prevent friction and premature wear-and-tear. Once these parts become damaged, they cause the HVAC system to become less efficient. Make sure to apply lubrication regularly to keep the system in good shape.
8. Keep the Condensate Drain Line Clean.
The drain line could collect potentially harmful microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, as well as dirt and algae. Clean it periodically to avoid the accumulation of organic matter.
9. Watch the Color of the Furnace Flame.
A crisp blue flame means that the furnace is working properly. However, if the flame is burning a shade of yellow or orange, turn off the furnace and call your repair company right away.
10. Consider a Replacement.
If your furnace has been working for 15 or 20 years, you likely will spend more for repairs over the long term than for a replacement.
11. Watch for Power Bill Spikes.
An inefficient furnace will consume more energy than one that is in good working condition. It will also fail at keeping certain rooms comfortable. Even if you cranked up the thermostat, the rooms will still feel cold.
12. Call for Repair.
If your AC system short cycles (it switches on and off frequently within short periods of time), it is not cooling your home enough to complete one heating cycle. When this happens, you need to call a professional for help.