If you are a first-time homeowner, you may wonder what you can do to keep your home’s various systems in good condition. Many of us who go from renting and having all our issues taken care of by a maintenance team may feel overwhelmed to suddenly find out that all of our home’s issues, from clogged toilets to broken down air conditioning, fall on our shoulders. However, you don’t need to worry. With some knowledge and help from the professionals at Moe Plumbing Services, you’ll be in great shape and ready to enjoy your new home.
This month we look at your HVAC system and provide tips on keeping it running smoothly for years to come. Keep reading to learn more.
Protecting Your HVAC System
While living in an apartment or rental, you may have had central heating and air, or you may have had baseboard heaters and a window AC. Regardless of your setup, if you were renting, your landlord was likely responsible for maintaining and repairing your HVAC system. Now that you own your own home, you are the one responsible. This can be intimidating, especially if you are working with a type of system you are unfamiliar with.
The average HVAC system costs between $5,000 to $10,000. It is also one of the most-used systems in your home. In fact, most homeowners use some aspect of their HVAC system every day, all year long. Consequently, protecting and maintaining your new home’s HVAC system should be a top priority. But how do you go about doing this?
Quick and easy ways to extend the life of your HVAC system:
- Clear debris from your outdoor unit every month
- Replace your air filters every three months
- Schedule seasonal AC and heater maintenance
- Schedule duct cleaning every two to three years
These four tasks are very easy and take almost no time. For most homeowners, the challenge comes from remembering to do them, especially scheduling annual or biannual appointments. We recommend setting calendar reminders on your phone to help you remember to do each of these tasks.
Once you have these first four tasks down, you may ask if there is anything else you can do to keep your HVAC system working smoothly. There is! Keep reading for more helpful tips on keeping your heating and cooling systems running smoothly.
Tip #1: Know When to Turn Your AC Off
A constantly running system is more likely to have parts that wear out and break. It’s also less likely to last its full lifespan if it is overworked. Though our summers are hot and long here in Glendale, you can use your air conditioning strategically to both keep cool and keep your system from being overworked. This helps you extend the lifespan of your current cooling system and saves you money on your utility bills.
Tips for using your AC more strategically:
- Use a smart thermostat that learns your habits and preferences
- Make sure your thermostat is reading the temperature in your home accurately
- Set your thermostat in the 72-74° range – temperatures below 72° can be difficult for your AC to maintain in the height of summer and therefore require your AC to run more and longer
- Utilize fans to help evenly distribute conditioned air throughout your home
- Open doors and windows at night and in the early morning when the temperature outside is cooler, and use your fans to help pull the cool, fresh air inside
- Hang blackout curtains to help keep the sun from heating up your home
- Try not to cook at the hottest point in the day
These are all ways to maximize your air conditioner use while reducing your dependency. However, you also want to remember that your goal is to maintain a steady temperature in your home. Review Tip #2 below to find out why.
Tip #2: Maximize Your Energy Efficiency
Big temperature changes are difficult for your AC to adapt to, and you want to avoid letting your home overheat. When your home’s temperature gets too warm, your cooling system must work twice as hard to bring it back down. This uses a lot of energy. Meanwhile, keeping your home at a stable temperature requires less energy as your AC only has to work to adjust the temperature a couple of degrees at most.
Other ways to help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system include:
- Keep doors and windows closed while running your AC or heater
- Make sure all vents and registers are open and not blocked by furniture to ensure that air is moving freely through your home
- Make sure your home is effectively sealed and insulated, including doors, windows, attics, and crawlspaces
- If you notice anything wrong with your system or start hearing strange sounds while its running, schedule repair service with a professional HVAC repair technician
Tip #3: Know Whom to Call When Something Goes Wrong
When it comes to keeping your HVAC system in good condition, the most important part of the puzzle is knowing whom to call when something goes wrong. Whether you’re hearing strange sounds or your system just isn’t cooling or heating as it should be, having a reliable, honest HVAC technician on hand is your secret weapon. At Moe Plumbing Services, we have helped many new homeowners across Los Angeles get their systems back up and running.
We are also committed to providing new homeowners with the information they need to take control of their heating and cooling systems. We believe that simply recognizing the signs of an AC or heating problem goes a long way in getting your system back in shape.
Signs your HVAC system may need professional help:
- Your system cycles on and off repeatedly
- Strange sounds are coming from your ductwork
- The system can’t reach or doesn’t hold the temperature you set
- Your thermostat is malfunctioning or won’t turn on
- You smell burning or other foul odors when the system is running
These are just a few of the signs that your system is struggling. Over time, you will get to know your system and how it operates. Trust your gut; if you think something is off, call us. Our HVAC specialists will be out in a flash to help you.