As a new homeowner, you may have found yourself overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with owning a home. Household maintenance unlocks a whole new world of tasks that you may not have been familiar with before, and one of the most important aspects of maintaining your home is keeping your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system in tip-top shape.
Your HVAC system is responsible for maintaining a comfortable temperature and air quality in your home, and neglecting regular maintenance can lead to costly repairs and lower efficiency. But don’t worry, as a virtual assistant, here are some valuable HVAC tips for first-time homeowners to keep your home and wallet comfortable.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is crucial in keeping your HVAC unit running efficiently, and avoiding breakdowns which can result in costly repairs. Scheduling an annual tune-up with a licensed HVAC technician can help keep your unit healthy and running optimally all season long. It’s better to be proactive than reactive, so make sure to schedule regular maintenance and avoid disruption of your life routine.
Preventative HVAC maintenance is essential to the longevity of your system. In order to keep your unit running efficiently and avoid expensive repairs, it’s important to regularly check for any signs of wear or malfunction, such as odd noises coming from the unit, a lack of airflow, an increase in energy bills, or high humidity levels indoors.
Change your Filter Regularly
The air filter in your HVAC system is what keeps dirt, dust, and other airborne particulate out of your home. Dirty filters can cause your system to work harder than it needs to, resulting in a higher energy bill and unfavorable air quality. Aim to change your filter every one to three months—it’s easy to do it yourself if your filter is easily accessible, and saves you money in the long run.
Replacement filters for your HVAC system can be found in most hardware stores, or online from a variety of retailers. When you shop for replacement filters, make sure to check the size and type that are right for your unit—standard air filters come in many different sizes and types, so double-check before making a purchase. And remember, the higher the MERV rating, the more efficient your filter will be in keeping dirt and allergens out of your home.
Use Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat makes it easier to control the temperature inside your home—without breaking the bank! Set your thermostat according to your needs and habits. For example, you can program the heat or air conditioning to turn down when you are away and turn back up an hour before you return home, creating a comfortable environment without wasting energy or money.
Finding a programmable thermostat that works with your phone is an excellent way to maintain control of your HVAC system, no matter where you are. Many modern programmable thermostats now come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities and integration with apps on your smartphone or tablet. This means you can adjust the temperature in your home from your mobile device, allowing you to save money on energy bills and maintain a comfortable environment.
Many thermostats also come with additional features such as automatic scheduling, remote access, voice control, and more. With so many options available, there’s sure to be a programmable thermostat that is perfect for your home.
Inspect your Ductwork
Another necessary task is checking your ductwork. Make sure your ducts are clean, and there aren’t any leaks or blockages. Leaks may lead to losing up to 30% of your heating or cooling signal. You can check for leaks by running your hand over the air ducts for temperature changes and feel for airflows in inspects, valves, and joints. You’d save on bills and add comfort inside your home after ensuring your ducts are running correctly.
To keep your ductwork clean, it’s important to regularly inspect and vacuum out any dust or debris that has built up. You can also use a specialized air duct-cleaning brush to reach dirt and other contaminants in hard-to-reach areas of your ducts. If you notice any mold or mildew, be sure to take extra precautionary steps to remove them professionally. Additionally, check for any leaks and seal off any that you find. By taking these precautions and following the recommended maintenance schedule, you can ensure your ductwork remains clean and efficient.
Look for Other Ways to Save Energy
There are other ways to conserve energy and save money with your HVAC system like sealing up drafty doors and windows. You can also replace your traditional bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. Appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers can contribute to the amount of heat, so try using these in the cooler times of the day, generally between 7 PM and 7 AM. These minimal efforts can make a difference to your energy bills over time.
One additional way to save money on energy costs is by using a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature of your home based on occupancy, time of day, and other factors. With advanced features like motion detection, you can set it up to reduce energy usage during times when no one is home. Additionally, many smart thermostats come with mobile app integrations, allowing you to control your HVAC system from anywhere. This can help ensure all of your home’s systems are running as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Smart thermostats can be a great way to maximize energy savings without sacrificing comfort at home.
As a first-time homeowner, now you know that regular maintenance, changing your filter, and inspecting your ducts are essential steps in keeping your HVAC system in the best shape. You can trust a licensed professional technician for the tune-up and maintenance of your HVAC. Remember that there are other steps you can take in addition to these tips to conserve energy and save money. Be proactive, perform regular maintenance and inspections, and you’ll ensure that your HVAC unit is running in top shape, keeping your home and wallet comfortable.