An HVAC system keeps the indoor temperature of your home comfortable year round. As a resident of Richmond, Virginia, you experience a wide range of temperature changes from summer to winter. You want the heating, ventilation and air conditioning of your home to work efficiently with good indoor air quality. For optimum functionality, you need to regularly maintain the heating and cooling system to keep it in great working condition. By following maintenance tips throughout the year, you are assured of heating and cooling your home without any major problems.
Once the cold weather arrives, homeowners need to periodically monitor the heating system and look for such issues as extreme temperature differences from room to room, dirty air filters and inconsistent air flow from the ducts. Any of these may indicate that the heating system is not working properly. During this time, you have to make certain that the ducts and vents are clean and free of dust and debris. You also need to inspect the air filters to see if they are dirty or clogged and restricting air flow. If you have a gas furnace, inspect the pilot light flame to see if it is clear blue. Other colors may mean there is a problem. For gas furnaces, you also have to check the drain of the heat pump to ensure there is nothing blocking it. You can check if the thermostat is working efficiently by turning down the thermostat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night. You also need to look at your energy bills. A higher than normal bill may indicate a problem with the system.
Your spring cleaning should also involve the HVAC system. During the spring, you probably aren’t thinking as much about heating or cooling your home. This is the best time for a bi-annual maintenance checkup of your heating and air system if you prefer to have two inspections a year. Your local Richmond HVAC professional should check the ductwork for air leaks. Every three to four years, you should have the ductworks cleaned by a professional. This will increase the air quality in your home. Another way to breathe in cleaner air is to check the air conditioning filters and the gas furnace filters for dirt and grime. Cleaning or replacing these filters increases air flow and system efficiency. Spring is also the start of allergy season so cleaning the air filters every month is a good idea, especially if allergy sufferers live in the home. As part of ongoing maintenance, check for loose or disconnected electrical cords. This can lead to the system working harder and using more energy.
For continuous summer cooling of your home, you need to clean or replace air filters every month. You also need to inspect the cooling system to make certain it is not leaking too much and not draining properly. If there is too much water inside the system, this means it is not working efficiently. You have to check the condensate drain and condensate tube of the cooling system to clear them of any clogs or obstructions so condensation can drain out. Without proper drainage, water damage is possible, and mold and mildew can form. Another summertime task is to turn off the water to the humidifier of a gas furnace. Using a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature a few degrees at night and when you are out of the house reduces wear and tear on your system while also lowering energy costs.
Fall is the perfect time to consider buying a new HVAC system that is more energy efficient, especially if your current system is more than 10 years old. Gas furnaces now have a very high-efficiency rating of close to 97%. You should also think about purchasing a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. These types of thermostats give you more control over the temperature settings. It is important to have the heating unit or heating and cooling system in your home professionally inspected and cleaned before the start of winter. A preventative maintenance involves checking every part of the system. The HVAC contractor will look for any problems and make the necessary repairs. You need to replace the furnace’s humidifier filter and turn the water back on because you turn it off in the spring.
Your heating and cooling system are an integral part of your home. A well-maintained HVAC unit gives you a decade or more of efficient heating, cooling and ventilation. With preventative maintenance by a professional every year, small issues with your system don’t turn into huge and costly repair jobs. By following DIY maintenance tips, your HVAC operates at efficient levels throughout the year while also saving on your energy costs.