Let’s face it, we’ve been through a tough couple of years, and now more than ever, it’s important to try and control our budget effectively. But, the external temperature changes can have a huge effect on our indoor comfort, and it’s important to relax right now. Finding the optimal temperature is key when you want to unwind, but if your HVAC system isn’t running optimally, it can lower performance and increase your energy bills. This doesn’t have to be the case, you can make changes to your habits and take steps to get the best out of your heating and cooling equipment.
A Short Quiz on Your HVAC Habits
It makes sense to get an idea of where you are right now when it comes to taking care of your HVAC system and running it efficiently. So, we’ve put together a short quiz with five questions to see how you stack up against other homeowners. Choose A, B, or C as your answer for each question and we will add up the results at the end.
Question 1: How do you prepare your AC system for Summer?
A: Check and change the air filter, dust the vents and tidy the area around the outdoor unit.
B: Contact your local certified and licensed HVAC specialist and ask them to carry out a seasonal tune-up.
C: Ignore it, everything is running fine.
Question 2: The AC system isn’t cooling your home during a party, what do you do next?
A: Ask everyone your guests to bring plenty of cold drinks and ice with them.
- Contact your local heating and cooling specialist for an emergency repair.
C: Start up the fans, open the windows, and hope for a stiff breeze.
Question 3: The HVAC system sounds strange, what do you do next?
A: Grab your trusty toolbox and waste your entire weekend “fixing it”.
B: Call your local HVAC professional and ask them to check it out for you.
C: Put your fingers in your ears and hope the noise stops soon.
Question 4: The next energy bill is due, what will you need to pay?
A: It’s going to cost more because my heating and cooling use have increased.
B: It’s probably going to be similar to the same month last year.
C: I have no idea, some bills cost more and others less, it’s always a surprise!
Question 5: Your HVAC system is failing, do you have an upgrade plan?
A: I will ask my HVAC contractor to select the ideal unit and fund it with my credit card.
B: I’ll choose a monthly home comfort subscription to manage the charges efficiently.
C: I will purchase the largest HVAC system available and install it myself.
Ok, it’s time to add up the results, if your answers were mostly B’s, you have pretty good HVAC habits. You’re already protecting your heating and cooling investment and you have some clear future plans to maintain your indoor comfort. If you answered any of the five questions with an A or C answer, you need to consider some changes to help you get more out of your HVAC system and to save money.
5 Proactive HVAC Habits to Protect Your System
Let’s take a more detailed look at the five questions in our quiz and how they can be developed into new habits that can protect your home and HVAC system.
1. Prepare Your AC System for Fall
This advice applies equally to your furnace and heating system when you need to prepare for winter. When we don’t use a system for a while, it needs some professional attention to make sure it’s ready for the busier months ahead. The best time to schedule routine maintenance is prior to the start of the cooling or heating season. Many homeowners leave this until the last minute and delays can occur because HVAC companies are struggling to meet this demand. So, book early or even better enroll in a program, you get preferential treatment and we will remind you when it’s time for your maintenance visit. During the visit, the technician will perform checks and tasks that will improve the safety, performance, and energy efficiency of your system. If they discover a problem, they will let you know and recommend a course of action. Fixing a smaller issuer earlier is almost always an easier and less expensive option.
2. Choose an HVAC Company with a 24/7 Emergency Repair Line
Even a well maintained HVAC system can fail and this always seems to happen at a very inconvenient time. The last thing you need is a system sitting idle when the temperature is hot or cold. Always choose a local HVAC company with plenty of experience, good reviews, and a 24/7 emergency repair service. Some companies have an emergency repair program included as part of a more extensive maintenance plan. This will give you peace of mind because you won’t need to find an HVAC repair company during an emergency situation.
3. Don’t Ignore Strange Noises
Your HVAC system is complex, it has a lot of components and some of the mechanical parts move. During normal operations, you may hear the furnace ignition click or a whooshing of treated air at the vents. But, if you can hear unusual noises, it almost always means that there is a problem and needs to be fixed quickly. Even a small loose part can affect other components around it to create a larger problem. Don’t attempt a DIY repair because it’s easy to make the problem worse if you’re not sure what you are doing. Contact your local certified HVAC specialist and get them to check it out for you.
4. Track Your Energy Costs Carefully
An occasional and gradual change in your monthly energy costs is understandable. But, if you notice large changes that occur quickly, this can indicate that something is wrong. This is especially true if you have noticed no improvement in your home comfort. Energy is being wasted somewhere and it can cost you a lot of money. Investing in a new high-efficiency HVAC system makes sense if your heating and cooling equipment is near or at the end of its lifespan. A loss of efficiency could be corrected by your local HVAC specialist if the system is relatively new.
5. Have an HVAC System Transition Plan
Most heating and cooling systems last for 10-15 years, and regular maintenance can place them at the upper end of that range. But, even well maintained systems don’t last forever and you need a plan in place to maintain your indoor comfort. Making a plan now is a better way to approach the problem, and it’s a good way to avoid making big decisions under pressure. Speak to your local HVAC company and ask them about making a transition plan to ensure that you get heating and cooling continuity with few or no upfront costs.
If you want to learn more about any of the topics we have discussed here, contact your local HVAC specialist today.