Keep your HVAC investment in tip-top shape for maximum comfort, energy efficiency, and long operating life:
· Change the blower filter at least twice a year – once before the heating season and once before the cooling season.
· Keep components clean, especially the outdoor condenser/compressor unit. Remove dirt & debris, and cut back vegetation at least two feet on all sides.
· Use a programmable thermostat: When you’re away from home or at night when sleeping, allowing the temperature to fall (in the winter) or rise (in the summer) by 10 degrees for 8 hours or more can save 5%-15% on heating and cooling costs. With a heat-pump, however, only use this tip during the summer, as the heat pump’s heating cycle is more efficient when left at a steady temperature.
· Temperature settings do not impact heating/cooling speed, it will only make your HVAC system run longer to reach the suggested setting.
· Have your HVAC system serviced by a trained technician twice a year. While there are cleaning tasks that most homeowners can accomplish, other tasks, like checking combustion in gas or oil furnaces or ensuring there are no leaks in a refrigerant line, are best left to experts.
· Insulate and air-seal your home properly – HVAC equipment is much more efficient if the home’s shell is efficient. (for a diy guide, check out this one from EnergyStar.gov.)
· When planning for a new HVAC system, whether installing for the first time or replacing an old system, insist that the HVAC contractor perform exhaustive “Manual J” calculations to calculate the system size. Systems that are either too small or too large will not run efficiently, provide poor comfort, not properly address the home’s humidity needs, and will likely fail earlier than necessary.
· In any home, regardless of whether gas or oil is used for HVAC or other purposes, install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for your family’s safety.
· If you heat and cool with electricity, consider upgrading to geothermal heating and cooling. These systems cost a bit more up front, but they last up to twice as long as air-source heat pumps, operate more quietly, and save money on energy bills. As an option in these systems, waste heat generated by the air-conditioning cycle in the summer can be used to heat your domestic hot water for free.
McCoy's Heating, Air, & Plumbing take care of homeowners in the Jackson and surrounding areas since 1981. Call today at 731-668-7492 to ask about any of the maintenance tips or to schedule your tune up!