HVAC systems play an essential role in your home by providing thermal comfort and maintaining good indoor air quality. On top of that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, HVAC units account for up to 53% of energy consumption in an average home. Therefore, as a homeowner, you must maintain the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Below are the top HVA procedures that can help to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
According to the Indoor Air Quality Association, maintaining your HVAC unit can reduce your energy bills by up to 30% and prevent costly repairs and replacements. On top of that, it keeps your system in top condition, ensuring it’s efficiently heating and cooling your home. But most importantly, it leads to a well-functioning HVAC unit, which helps to keep the air in your home clean and safe. As such, regular maintenance is one of the top HVAC procedures that you should be familiar with.
Many HVAC companies offer routine maintenance services, which you should schedule as often as possible. These services include a general assessment of your system’s components — heating, cooling, thermostat, etc. — to ensure they’re working perfectly. The HVAC technician will also do an electrical check to ensure there’s no issue with the wiring and all components are running smoothly.
HVAC contractors will also service your system during routine maintenance visits to improve efficiency. This can involve cleaning the air filters, lubricating the moving components, cleaning the condenser coils and drains, etc. In addition, they can calibrate your thermostat, leading to more efficient heating and cooling of your home.
Inspection is another one of the top HVAC procedures that can keep your system running smoothly. First, it can help to detect and fix inefficiencies in your system, leading to lower bills and better indoor air quality. On top of that, it can identify problems with your system, allowing for timely maintenance or repairs.
You can also schedule an HVAC inspection if you’ve noticed issues like increased energy bills, inefficient heating and cooling, and short cycling. In addition, most companies will assess your unit as part of the maintenance package, especially during annual maintenance visits. Lastly, an inspection is one of the top HVAC services Chapel Hill NC to hire when looking to buy or sell a home.
HVAC inspection involves the thorough assessment of all your system. This includes the air conditioning components like the evaporator coils, drain lines & pan, condenser unit, refrigerant, fans, and electrical components. Your HVAC technician will also check the furnace components, including the furnace cabinet, heat exchanger, vents, ignition, furnace blower, and thermostat. Lastly, they’ll inspect the air ducts for leaks, poor airflow, or inefficient heating or cooling.
Air Filter Replacement
Air filters are often overlooked but very vital components of your HVAC system. First, it traps dust, debris, allergen, and other pollutants, ensuring the air coming into your home is clean and safe. Secondly, they prevent the clogging of your heating and cooling unit, thus improving its efficiency. Therefore, air filter replacement is another one of the top HVAC procedures to take advantage of as a homeowner.
According to This Old House, you should replace your HVAC filters after every 90 days or so. However, the frequency can vary depending on the type of filters you have and how often you use your system. For example, you may need to change your filters more often — after 20 to 30 days –if you have pets or use low-quality filters. On the other hand, you can wait up to six to 12 months if you don’t use your HVAC unit very often, for example, in a vacation home.
Lastly, you can change the air filters when upgrading the current ones. For example, according to the EPA, most HVAC units come with MERV-8-rated air filters. However, you can boost your filters by up to MERV-13, allowing your system to trap more pollutants, including bacteria and viruses. However, before making such an upgrade, you should consult an HVAC contractor to ensure you’re installing the correct filter in your unit.
According to the NADCA, cleaning your HVAC system can remove trapped pollutants (which could be potentially circulated in your home), thus leading to better indoor air quality. In addition, it can reduce the strain on your unit, making it more efficient and reducing its energy consumption. Therefore, you can hire cleaning services if you’re looking for HVAC procedures to benefit your system.
An HVAC company can offer you comprehensive cleaning solutions for your system. This can include cleaning the air conditioning components like the fans, cooling coils, drain lines, and filters. They’ll also clean the heating components, including the furnace cabinet, flame sensor, plenums, heat exchanger, and blower fans. It’s also a good idea to clean the debris near your HVAC system’s outdoor unit to prevent contamination.
Lastly, most contractors also offer air duct cleaning services. According to the EPA, this may be unnecessary unless your ducts contain mold or are unusually clogged with debris and pests. However, in such cases, you should also hire an HVAC repair company to look at your system; these issues could indicate an underlying problem with your unit. A professional hvac repair company is best suited for completing this work.
HVAC Testing and Air Balancing
Your home needs balanced heating and cooling. Without this, some parts of the house might become too hot or too cold, leading to discomfort. In addition, it can lead to your system working overtime to correct the situation. Fortunately, you can avoid these problems using one of the top HVAC procedures – air testing and balancing.
Air testing and balancing involve assessing whether your HVAC unit is sufficiently heating and cooling your home. Then, HVAC technicians make the necessary adjustments, leading to balanced airflow. Usually, it’s a solution performed on commercial central air units, but it’s just as vital for a residential HVAC system.
During an HVAC testing and balancing procedure, a technician will measure the airflow and pressure your system delivers in each room. They will then assess whether the unit is heating and cooling each area of your home sufficiently. Then, they will check for issues causing your system to be inefficient.
Depending on the results, you can expect various adjustments like calibrating the thermostat, increasing or reducing the fan speeds, and opening or closing HVAC dampers. Your technician may also recommend repairs to fix issues causing imbalanced heating and cooling. This can include repairing leaking or clogged components or replacing damaged parts.
Indoor Air Quality Test
According to the WHO, over 3.2 million people die annually worldwide due to indoor air pollution. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your HVAC system properly cleans the air in your home. As such, an indoor air quality test is another one of the top HVAC procedures that you should regularly schedule.
An HVAC company will test for several airborne pollutants during an indoor air quality test. This includes mold, Radon, bacteria & viruses, dust particles, and volatile organic compounds. In addition, HVAC technicians will also asses your system for issues that could be causing poor air quality.
HVAC contractors will then offer necessary remediation solutions depending on the outcome of the air quality test. For example, they can clean, replace or upgrade your filters, service the HVAC system, or repair damaged components that could be causing your unit not to clean the air efficiently. However, the test could also reveal an underlying problem, for example, mold growth in your home. As a result, you may also need to hire more professionals to improve your indoor air quality.
According to the Brookings Institute, air conditioning is vital to public health, especially during extreme weather conditions. As a result, it’s crucial to have your HVAC system running smoothly all year round for when you need it the most. Unfortunately, even with regular repairs, your unit can still break down, making repairs another one of the top HVAC procedures to consider as a homeowner.
One of the top reasons to call an HVAC repair contractor is if your system is not heating or cooling your home. However, you might also require repairs if experiencing other issues with your system. This can include short cycling, thermostat problems, drainage problems, electrical control failure, insufficient heating or cooling, foul odor, etc.
You can also schedule emergency HVAC system repairs in urgent situations. This can include your system breaking down during a heat wave or a cold winter. You might also need emergency repairs if your unit is leaking refrigerant or gas or if you hear loud noises.
HVAC Energy Audit
According to the University of Florida, your HVAC system can lose up to 40% of the heating and cooling energy due to leaks in the duct system. In addition, faulty thermostats, clogged filters, windows, and doors can cause your system to lose energy. Due to these energy losses, your system works harder to heat or cool your home, leading to high energy bills.
Therefore, an energy audit is one of the most vital HVAC procedures you should schedule for your home. The audit helps to identify areas where your home is losing energy, which can help you save money. In addition, it can unearth hidden issues with your system, allowing you to fix them early.
An HVAC contractor will examine your system’s components during an energy audit, including the heating and cooling units. They will also assess the thermostats, ducts, vents, windows, doors, and other areas with air leaks. Lastly, they might also perform a thermal imaging test to help pinpoint the leak locations.
Depending on the test, the contractor will make recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. This can include servicing or repairing the unit, replacing it, repairing or redesigning the ducts, and sealing leaky areas of your home. They also recommend adjustments to your HVAC system to make it more efficient in heating and cooling your home.
HVAC Load Calculation
Getting the sizing right during HVAC installation is vital. After all, an undersized unit will need to work harder to heat or cool your home, while an oversize unit can cause extreme temperatures on both ends. In both cases, your HVAC system will be inefficient, leading to high energy bills.
You can avoid sizing issues by hiring HVAC contractors to perform a load test. During the assessment, they will calculate the energy required to heat or cool your home sufficiently. As a result, you’ll be able to select a system that offers excellent thermal comfort while keeping your bills low.
Besides the installation phase, load calculation is one of the top HVAC procedures to schedule if you notice inefficiencies with your system. During a load test, a technician can identify underlying issues, for example, clogged filters or inefficient ducts. Consequently, you can fix these problems, leading to a more efficient heating and cooling system.
HVAC Upgrades and Replacement
Maintaining and repairing your HVAC unit can make it efficient and extend its lifespan. But unfortunately, even with good TLC, your system can break down or become inefficient. In such cases, upgrading or replacing the unit can be a better solution for your home.
Upgrades are one of the top HVAC procedures you should consider if you’re having issues with your system. For this, you can use various HVAC supplies to boost the performance and efficiency of your unit. For example, you can give your system new life by replacing components like filters, condensate pumps, compressors, temperature controllers, refrigerators, fans, etc. You can also install additional features like heat and energy recovery ventilators to boost the efficiency of your system.
Besides upgrades, HVAC replacement is another top solution to consider, especially if your system is too old and inefficient. According to Energy.gov, replacing your old system can reduce heating and cooling costs by 20% to 40%, resulting in substantial energy savings. Lastly, you can consider a new HVAC installation if your current system is too small or too large for your home and keeps breaking down.
Besides keeping your home warm or cool, an HVAC system is one of the top investments for your home. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure it runs smoothly at all times. Fortunately, the above HVAC procedures can keep your system in top condition, saving you from several hassles, like costly repairs and replacements and an uncomfortable or unsafe home.