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In today’s blog, we get to do one of our favorite things — offering up some tips to help out our readers! As the title of our blog already informed you, our post is all about providing a few HVAC maintenance tips for new homeowners. Well, to be fair, long-time homeowners might find these tips to be useful as well, especially if they aren’t the type of “DIY” people who like to repair their own equipment and such!
That being said, keep reading if you are looking for a bit of general guidance regarding how to get the most bang for your buck on your HVAC system!
Educate Yourself On The System
Whether you are a first-time homeowner or paid off your house before the Berlin Wall came down, it’s key to know the HVAC system your house has. Do you know if it has heat pumps, a boiler, mini-split systems, or central AC? Do you know what those terms mean in the first place? If not, that’s a pretty good place to start. Once you have a working knowledge of HVAC system types (because you are a diligent reader of the R&R Heating And Cooling blog, naturally), you can figure out what kind of fuel your HVAC system uses. It might be propane, natural gas, electricity, or oil.
After you’ve gotten those essentials out of the way, you can move onto learning additional information about your unit, such as:
- Age – If your HVAC system has been properly maintained by a professional HVAC contractor (like us at R&R!), there’s a good chance it could last well over a decade. Other times, systems fail and need repairs. Typically, most HVAC systems start showing signs of trouble after ten to fifteen years of operation.
- Warranty – Speaking of the possibility of HVAC repairs and such, it’s always a good idea to know your warranty. Not only do you want to know its term, but you also should have an understanding of what sort of actions (if any) might unintentionally cause the warranty to be void. And then, avoid those things!
- Efficiency Rating – We’ll give you the gist of what you need to know: each HVAC system has a rating of EER (energy efficiency ratio), AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) or HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor). The rule of thumb here is, the higher the rating, the more efficient your HVAC system is.
- Maintenance Inspection Results – If you are a new homeowner, it’s important to understand the state of your HVAC unit so that you can be prepared for whatever the future might bring. Failing to get a reading on this will leave you exposed to potentially costly repairs (or a full-on HVAC replacement) instead of addressing problems before they get too far out of hand. If you can, ask the previous homeowners for their inspection results. If none are available, we’d recommend giving us a call so that we can perform a comprehensive HVAC inspection for you! Better safe than sorry, folks.
Be Proactive About The Ductwork
Maybe you made your way to this blog because you’ve recently noticed that your home seems to have uneven temperatures from time to time. Or, you might have noticed that your home is dustier than it has been in a while, and that problem seems to be getting worse. Or, your home might feel too humid, smell musty, or your energy bills have sky-rocketed of late. If any of those circumstances describes your situation, it could be because your ductwork needs to be reviewed. The answer could be down to a simple cleaning, or there might be a leak or two involved. Either way, problems with ductwork can seriously affect the performance of an HVAC system, so it’s best to be proactive when you are suspicious of a ductwork leak.
Keep The Area Around Your HVAC System Clear
Here’s a tip that requires next to no technical knowledge or ability: make sure you keep the area around your HVAC system clear! If you are a landscaper or a green thumb, this is probably already accomplished in your yard. But if you are more of the indoorsy type, this should serve as sufficient motivation — your HVAC system could be harmed or even break if you don’t make sure it has proper airflow. This means you need to keep all shrubs, bushes, grass, weeds, pets, trees, and other greenery at least three feet away from your HVAC unit. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep your system free of snow and other debris provided by Mother Nature (or otherwise).
Don’t Close Your Vents
This is an HVAC tip that consistently surprises our customers and clients. Many people think that closing off the vents in certain rooms will simply divert the cool air into other rooms in a more efficient way. While that logic certainly makes some sense, doing so will actually cause your energy bill to increase due to the fact that your system will have to work harder to maintain the desired levels in your home. That’s why you’ll hear HVAC professionals tell you to take care to never blocking your vents with objects such as books, furniture, or blankets. There are alternative options if you are looking to segment the climate control in your home, and we at R&R Heating & Cooling would be happy to walk through some of those options with you!
Change Out Your Air Filters
If there were one HVAC tip you could easily implement, right now, it just might be this one. What’s more, so few people actually take the time to change out their air filters, despite it being a ridiculously easy task. It’s simple, effective, and it will keep your HVAC system in good working order for a long time, if all else goes well. The frequency with which you need to change your air filters depends on the manufacturer, but typically doing so every six months is a “ballpark” range that you should be safe with. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for clarification.
Yearly HVAC Maintenance
The final tip we’ll be offering up in today’s blog is one which requires a disclaimer: let’s be clear here, we have a horse in this race. Seeing as how we are HVAC contractors ourselves, we’ve got some skin in the game. But that doesn’t mean we will provide you with unnecessary, costly suggestions. HVAC units are expensive, and as such they are an investment. This means you need to protect your investment with proper maintenance. If you don’t, small problems that go unidentified turn into bigger issues which require repairs. As we mentioned above, sometimes repair work is off the table because the problem is too severe. This would require a full-on HVAC replacement.
We don’t want that to happen unless you absolutely have to, so we thought we’d provide a word of warning regarding the importance of HVAC maintenance! Getting your HVAC unit tuned-up once a year is a relatively affordable expense, too! That’s why we’d call it an essential, especially if your warranty has expired. If you have any questions about HVAC maintenance and what all it entails, check out our air conditioner maintenance resource.
Choose The Best HVAC Company In Southern California
Here’s a bonus tip to send you on your merry way! Thanks for reading our blog, and if you are looking for an affordable, reliable HVAC company in Southern California, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at R&R Heating And Cooling. Our business hours are 24-hours a day, every day of the week! Whether you are in need of an AC unit repair, an HVAC installation, or another kind of heating and cooling services, we’d love to hear from you and help you out as best we can. For experienced, trusted HVAC service, get in touch with our heating and cooling experts today!