For many people, their heating and cooling units are probably the most expensive appliances they have at home.
HVAC systems are a substantial investment. They cost a lot of money to buy, install, and operate, so it only makes sense to ensure that they last as long as they should. The thing is; some people aren’t aware that they’re committing HVAC mistakes that are not only detrimental to the performance of their HVAC, but shortens the lifespan of the unit as well.
If you want your HVAC system to function better and last longer, avoid the following HVAC mistakes at all costs:
Skipping Routine Inspection and Maintenance
Homeowners sometimes forgo routine HVAC maintenance when it looks like their unit’s working just fine. The thing is; even if you’re taking good care of your HVAC system, it still needs periodic professional attention to run smoothly and efficiently.
Ideally, you should get your HVAC system checked twice a year – once before the summer and another winter season kicks in. With regular inspection and maintenance, you can avoid costly breakdowns, keep your energy bills low, and rest assured that your HVAC won’t malfunction when you need it most.
Not Cleaning and Replacing Filters
Another common mistake that homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC system is not paying attention to the condition of the unit’s air filters.
The air filter is responsible for trapping dust particles and bacteria; not cleaning and replacing it regularly can negatively impact the quality of air that circulates around the house. Also, dirty air filters can interfere with the heating and cooling efficiency of an HVAC unit, which leads to higher energy costs.
Homeowners are advised to clean the filter of their HVAC units at least once every two months and replace it when necessary.
Constant Tinkering with the Settings
If you’re living with a lot of people, chances are that you tinker with your HVAC settings a lot. A comfortable temperature for one person may not be comfortable for the other members of your household, so you end up constantly changing the thermostat to suit your individual preferences.
Fiddling with the settings too often can have drastic effects on the unit’s overall performance and efficiency, so it would be best for the entire household to agree on a stable thermostat level.
If maintaining the same setting is not an option, consider installing a programmable thermostat. This way, everyone can set their preferred temperature for the specific hours when they’re at home, without having to tweak the settings every now and then.
Turning HVAC Off When Leaving the House
Many people still believe that turning their ACs off when leaving the house is the best way to cut down on energy costs. But while it’s true that your unit won’t consume electricity if it’s turned off, the system will use more energy trying to get back to a comfortable temperature once you turn it back on.
Unless you’re going somewhere and won’t be home for at least a day, keeping your AC on allows the unit to operate more efficiently.
Installing an Improperly-Sized Unit
Choosing the wrong size HVAC unit is bad news for your home and your pocket. A unit with a larger capacity uses up more energy than necessary, while a unit that’s too small will take more time to heat or cool the room. Either way, you’ll end up wasting energy.
When shopping for a new HVAC unit, make sure to choose one that meets your cooling and heating needs just right. You need to consider the size of the room and the windows, as well. If you don’t know how to determine the correct capacity for your home, ask help from an HVAC professional.
HVAC systems can get damaged and malfunction due to a number of reasons, but mostly as a result of wear and tear.
Anytime you detect something wrong with your HVAC system, contact a technician right away. Many homeowners tend to push HVAC repair until the last minute; but the longer you wait, the more likely it’s going to break down for good.
Also, if planning to attempt DIY repair on your HVAC system to save money, don’t. You might end up causing more damage or, worse, destroying the unit beyond repair, if you don’t know what you’re doing. It may cost money to hire a professional, but it’s the best way to get your system up and running in mint condition again.
These mistakes may not seem like they’re affecting the performance of your HVAC system at first, but sooner or later they can lead to comfort issues, increased utility bills, and shorten the lifespan of your unit.
Help your HVAC out by avoiding the mistakes we’ve mentioned above. Most importantly, schedule regular maintenance sessions with your HVAC technician to minimize the chances of emergencies and keep your system running effectively for as long as possible.
About The Author: Sara Olsen is the Content Marketing Manager of Emergency Air. When not writing articles, she makes the most of her time with her family and gives back to the community.
Photo by Álvaro Bernal on Unsplash
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