Numerous misconceptions surrounding heating and cooling systems persist, leading some homeowners to commit bad habits. These habits, in reality, cause more harm than good.
In this blog, Cool Zone Air Conditioning and Heating takes a look at some of the bad HVAC habits you need to avoid, as well as good habits you can start cultivating moving forward.
1. Adjusting the thermostat constantly. The startup or shutdown phase for your furnace, heat pump or AC is arguably the toughest part of the HVAC system’s job. When you change the temperature reading on your thermostat often, you risk the unit experiencing frequent on and off cycles. This puts unnecessary strain on your equipment. Eventually, you’ll require heating and AC repair or, worse, premature replacement.
For your HVAC system to run smoothly throughout the day, make sure to keep your thermostat at the same temperature. If you need to adjust the reading at certain times of the day, consider installing a programmable thermostat. Whether there’s no one at home or it’s time to sleep, the thermostat will do its job of keeping your home comfortable without affecting your HVAC system’s performance and efficiency.
2. Planting near your outdoor unit. Blocked airflow prevents your HVAC system from performing its best. Planting shrubs or other plants too close to the outdoor unit not only restricts airflow, it also increases the risk of plant life growing into the unit’s interior and affecting important components like the compressor or fan. Trusted AC repair technicians advise against placing anything near your outdoor HVAC unit that may obstruct airflow. If possible, maintain a clearance of 12 and 24 inches on all sides of the equipment. Make sure to clean the surrounding area as well to get rid of dirt and other debris that may get inside the unit.
3. Closing registers and vents. You might think that closing one vent in an unused room can help you save energy. However, that actually affects your HVAC system’s performance and efficiency. When you start closing vents, you alter the amount of space that receives heating or cooling, making your equipment act as if it is not sized properly for your home.
4. Not changing the HVAC filter. Air filters protect your HVAC system from dirt, dust and other airborne debris that can get inside the unit and cause damage to its interior components. Clogged filters hinder airflow entering the system, preventing it from performing efficiently. At the same time, dirty air filters affect the air you breathe inside your home. Getting into the habit of changing your air filters is the best AC maintenance job you can do as a homeowner. Do this every one to three months and you not only preserve your HVAC system’s lifespan but also help to extend it.
5. DIY repairs or installations. There’s nothing more destructive to an HVAC system than going the DIY route and disregarding professional service. For some, the idea of handling repairs and installation on their own stems from the need to save on costs, not knowing that this can actually lead to multiple major issues, from unintentional damage to shorter equipment lifespans.
There’s a reason why HVAC technicians are trained and certified to perform heating and AC replacement and repair. They understand the complexities of furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners, which is something that can only be acquired through years of vocational training and in-the-field experience. There’s value in leaving HVAC issues in the hands of the professionals, and that’s worth more than what you’ll be saving when you try to fix your heating and cooling equipment yourself.
6. No preventive maintenance. During spring and fall, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional HVAC technician to inspect and maintain your furnace or AC. This allows you to head off any potential issues that might compromise your system’s performance. Unfortunately, not all are proactive when it comes to maintenance. Before things go south in terms of your indoor comfort, make sure you put preventive HVAC maintenance on top of your priorities as a homeowner. The last thing you want is for your AC to break down when you need indoor cooling on a hot summer day.
From the bad habits, we move to the good ones that we recommend you start doing. Follow these and you’ll preserve your HVAC system’s health while cutting monthly utility costs.
1. Cool efficiently. Less strain on your HVAC system can prolong the lifespan of your heating and cooling equipment. Start by keeping your thermostat within a reasonable range. The ideal thermostat reading to achieve energy-efficient cooling this summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit when everyone’s around. When no one’s home, you can adjust it a few degrees higher. By doing so, you will get the most out of its serviceable life.
2. Clean often. Another thing you can do is to clean your home often. With less clutter in your home, there will be less restrictions in terms of airflow. Make sure that your indoor and outdoor components are free of obstructions such as furniture around the vents, and dirt and weeds near the outdoor unit. Using the vacuum regularly also helps lessen the dust that your filters catch. These tasks will not only improve airflow but also ensure better indoor air quality.
3. Schedule professional maintenance. With HVAC maintenance, you reduce issues that can lead to expensive repairs, keep your family safe and preserve or even extend the lifespan of your furnace, heat pump or AC unit.
Your HVAC system will only run smoothly if you take care of it properly. To keep your home comfortable, make sure to schedule an appointment with Cool Zone Air Conditioning and Heating today. We provide stellar service for all your residential and commercial HVAC needs. Call us now at (623) 322-0933, or fill out our contact form for an estimate!