HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) keeps our homes warm during the winter days, cool in the summer and maintains the air quality throughout the year. Usually, HVAC maintenance is done either by the company that installed everything in your house or by another team of professionals twice a year. But you can contribute to the longevity of your HVAC appliances by following these useful tips and tricks. You don’t need special training to increase the efficiency level of your system. Here’s a few pointers on what you can start doing today:
Heating is a must as soon the weather starts being chilly, just as air conditioning starts working when it gets too hot for shoes. But neither of these two can work forever. And there’s only so much you can do about taking care of them and making sure they run smoothly.
If your air conditioning is making funny noises or not cooling the room as it used to, that’s not something you want to ignore. Before you rush over to the phone to call on your handyman, there are some steps you can take that will save you time and money. First of all, make sure the drain line didn’t accidentally get disconnected or clogged. This is one of the most common problems. If the air conditioning won’t turn on, head over to your thermostat and check if it’s set to “cool”. You might also want to make sure the battery is still working. Check to see if there is a tripped fuse that’s playing tricks on you. If you feel your air conditioning is not working as well as last year, change the filter and make sure nothing is obstructing the cold air returns and registers.
Heating systems are no different. But how do you know when they’re worth replacing or fixing? Here are a few guidelines that will help you make an informed decision. If you’re not dealing with a clogged filter or a tripped fuse and you’re looking at repairs that will cost you an arm and a leg, think about the equipment’s life span. If it’s older than three quarters of its estimated life expectancy, you should feel no remorse for deciding to replace it. You should also think about your safety. If the heating system is a safety hazard you should have no second thoughts about buying new equipment. Start adding up the costs of the repair and the costs of replacing the appliances. How would the scales tip? If repairing your heating system will cost you over a third of the replacement sum, you should go ahead and change the fifteen year old equipment.
Nothing is more irritating than the furnace breaking down on a cold winter morning. The silver lining here if that you can check for the issue yourself, before resorting to an HVAC professional. Some of the simplest steps you should make include checking the thermostat, making sure there’s enough oil in the tank by using a dipstick and feeling the cabinet to see if it’s warm. If you can’t hear the furnace running, it could mean the filter is so clogged that the flow of warm air has no way to pass.
Replacing the dirty filter with a brand new one should do the trick. If that wasn’t causing the issue, play around with the thermostat switching it from “automatic” to “run”. Make sure the circuit breaker isn’t tripped. If this keeps tripping, call an electrician to check everything’s running smoothly. You should also check to see if the furnace reset button is popped up – this might indicate an obstruction or lack of oil. If you hear knocking sounds from your furnace, most likely there’s air in the lines and you can purge it yourself. Squealing sounds point to issues with a belt which can be fixed with some oil.
In order to avoid a water heater replacement, there are some steps you can take to make sure you get to enjoy it for as long as possible. Set your thermostat to 120 degrees. This way, you’ll be saving as much as 5% in energy costs and you won’t risk scalding. Make sure you don’t keep anything too close to your heater and follow the two feet clearance rule of thumb. You should also drain a quarter of the tank several times a year. This trick will remove any sediment and debris.
Another easy tip to remember is to switch your thermostat to “vacation” settings when you go on holiday. Hot water heater repair costs aren’t too steep, but you should stay on top of simple maintenance tasks so you can take water heaters off your mind for as long as possible. If you’re looking for new equipment or if you need to replace an outdated system, check out the Kenmore water heater which is known for its durability and reliability.