5 HVAC Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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What are the 5 HVAC tips that every homeowner should know?


Homeowners can have a big impact on the overall condition of their HVAC equipment. We will talk about five of the top tips and tricks that any homeowner can do in order to maximize the performance and extend the life of their HVAC equipment. No special skills, knowledge, or tools are needed for you to do these simple tasks.


1) Change your filters

Changing your air filter on a regular basis is one of the most important and impactful things a homeowner can do to extend the life and performance of your equipment. Every year we go on dozens of no heat or no AC calls just to find that the only thing wrong was a plugged up filter. Just remember the general rule of thumb that a 1” filter should be changed monthly and a 4”+ filter should be changed every 9-12 months. 


2) Keep your AC condenser clean and clear of obstructions

The AC condenser is the part of an air conditioner that sits outside and sucks air through a coil and blows it out the top. The coil can become plugged with cottonwood, grass clippings, and other dirt and debris. A homeowner can take a hose and spray the coil to clear it of the debris that builds up. At most homes, this should be done roughly once per year. A plugged coil can lead to reduced performance and even damage to the components that will now have to work harder. Additionally, keep obstructing vegetation at least one foot away from the condenser to allow adequate air flow. 


3) Keep cat litter away from your HVAC equipment

Cat litter as well as cat urine contain chemicals that are very harsh on the metal components of your furnace, boiler, or air handler. These chemicals can cause corrosion and oxide build up on sensors inside your equipment that will reduce the lifespan of that part. Unfortunately, it is very common for us to find litter boxes placed directly next to a customer’s HVAC equipment. While this won’t break the equipment right away, it will reduce the overall lifespan.


4) Keep temperature setbacks to a minimum

It’s very common for most people to want the temperature of their home to be lower at night when they are sleeping and warmer during the day. This in an of itself is a perfectly fine thing to do but there are a few things you want to keep in mind. The greater the setback in temperature, the longer the system will have to run to make that temperature back. During the winter, If you keep your day time temperature at 70 and set it back to 62 at night, your furnace will have to gain back those degrees come morning. This can cause a furnace to run for an extended period of time which can cost you more money and cause your furnace to run more. Remember that its not only the air temperature that is dropping but also the surfaces of your home and furniture. We recommend a setback of no more than 5 degrees as long as you are able to set it back for at least 8 hours.


5) Get your HVAC equipment maintained on a regular basis

Maintenance is something overlooked by many people. Time and time again, we get called to customers’ homes who never get maintenance done and only call for problems. Many times, the problems could have been avoided had we or another HVAC contractor conducted regular maintenance on their equipment. A maintenance visit consists of cleaning, calibrating, and testing your HVAC equipment in an effort to extend its life and increase its performance. Many times, we are able to identify issues before they shut your system down and leave you hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Manufacturers recommend annual maintenance for your furnace, boiler, or air conditioner. Some even go so far as to require maintenance inorder for their warranty to be valid. 


Homeownership can at times be overwhelming with the things you need to know but these 5 tips will help you get the most out of your HVAC system and avoid much unneeded headaches.