For every homeowner, one of the most important tasks is monitoring the household’s air system. Both the heating unit and HVAC system are delicate machines requiring year-round upkeep as the seasons change.
However, whether you’re an experienced homeowner or currently moving into your first home, it’s crucial to know the basic rules of maintaining the airflow and integrity of the HVAC system. Here, we will look at two common HVAC mistakes to avoid, helping to give your unit longevity and keep your energy bills low.
1. Air Filters and Ductwork
The first common mistake many homeowners make with their air conditioner is forgetting to change out the dirty air filters. One of the main reasons for poor air conditioning is the airflow blockage caused by a dirty filter. In general, dust, debris, pet dander, and all kinds of allergens can become caught in your AC system’s filters, which can lead to a number of issues. The basic rule of thumb is to replace them every few months.
Keeping in mind that your family’s health is the top priority, remember that a dirty AC filter doesn’t properly prevent dangerous or hazardous natural pollutants from circulating throughout the household. Quite simply, the most important job of your unit’s filter system is to prevent that poor indoor air quality from circulating. If any of your family members have health problems, such as asthma, clean filters are an absolute necessity.
In addition, when your air filters are clogged, it forces you to increase both the use and power of the air conditioner unit. In effect, more energy is being used for the amount of cool air you should already be getting, which quickly increases the amount of money you’re spending on your monthly utility bills.
For this same reason, your air conditioner’s ductwork is of equal importance. While the air filters purify the cool air as passes through the ventilation system, the air ducts are the actual means of airflow distribution for each room of the house. Your duct system gets a lot of daily use, and leaky ducts have a way of releasing the cool air before reaching the targeted areas. Much like a dirty air filter, this will cause less energy efficiency and a higher monthly bill. To play it safe, have a professional HVAC technician inspect your duct system once a year at the very least.
2. Regular Maintenance Throughout the Year
Perhaps the biggest mistake that most homeowners make when it comes to their air conditioning unit is avoiding preventative maintenance. Scheduling check-ups from an HVAC technician is an important part of responsible HVAC care, yet many people avoid it. This could be for a number of reasons. Some homeowners fear the cost of each HVAC technician’s visit or the potential expenses that may come from discovered problem areas.
However, without a professional’s keen eye, common problems can easily become worse, and significantly more expensive. Likewise, a professional technician can easily notice breakages or leaks within your home’s ventilation, vents, or any other issues that could lead to poor indoor air quality.
The best course of action to avoid expensive HVAC repair is to purchase a maintenance program agreement. For an annual fee, your home would be eligible for multiple visits from an HVAC technician throughout the year. In addition, a technician will monitor your air conditioning unit’s upkeep, clean the ductwork, change out the air filters for you, and make important suggestions regarding the unit’s lifespan. In the event of complete system failure, a professional technician can also advise you on the best and most cost-efficient replacement air conditioning unit. If you’re truly concerned about the longevity of your HVAC system, it may be worth the investment of an ongoing maintenance agreement for your home.