It’s easy to overlook how important your HVAC system is to preserving a safe and comfortable home environment, but you’re likely to notice quickly if it breaks down. While temperature regulation is the feature most homeowners associate with their HVAC, it also does a lot more to create a healthy environment, including filtering out harmful contaminants and promoting healthy airflow within the home.
While investing in a quality system is important, maintaining it well is essential if you want it to operate at peak efficiency and keep your energy bills down. If you’re not sure whether or not your HVAC system needs attention, read on for four great tips for proper HVAC maintenance.
1. Change your filter regularly.
Rising energy bills, poor temperature regulation, and a lack of healthy airflow are all signs it may be time to change your HVAC system’s air filter. Increased allergy symptoms and dust near your air vents can also be warning signs that your filter isn’t functioning properly. An old or dirty filter won’t be able to filter out pollutants, contaminants, and allergens anywhere near as effectively, which can create real health risks for you and your family. HVAC professionals suggest that your filter should be changed at least every 90 days.
2. Invest in a smart thermostat.
A smart thermostat can make a big difference in both your quality of life and in the amount you spend on utilities every month. The biggest benefit of a smart thermostat is that it runs on a timer, so you only need to run your HVAC system when you absolutely need it. Many smart thermostats also offer zone heating and cooling, which allows you to set different temperatures for different zones within your home. Both features have the bonus effect of reducing your overall energy consumption, which is a great way to save money on energy costs.
3. Have your HVAC system inspected annually.
While you should always pay attention to the condition of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, the reality is that you likely don’t know what to look for if you want to fix a problem. Experts recommend that you have someone come and inspect your system at least once per year. If you live somewhere with a climate that is particularly demanding, it might be a good idea to have a professional inspect your system before both the winter and summer, so you don’t suffer a breakdown at an inconvenient time.
4. Replace your system when the time comes.
Experts suggest that your HVAC will need to be replaced entirely every 10-15 years. Proper maintenance can help you extend the lifespan of your system as much as possible, but eventually, every system will need to be upgraded. The good news is that prospective buyers find modern, energy-efficient, and environmentally-friendly technology to be a major selling point when shopping for a new home, so the investment is likely to pay off in terms of the effect it will have on your home’s value.
While homeowners often have a lot on their to-do list, proper HVAC maintenance should always be a high priority. Having clean indoor air can help reduce the risk of medical issues due to pollutants, which can range from minor headaches and nausea to serious conditions like lung cancer. A system that isn’t functioning properly won’t offer that protection, and the inefficient operation means that it will cost you even more money to keep it running. Even the best HVAC system is only as good as the quality of the maintenance it receives, so be sure not to neglect yours if you want your home to remain a safe, healthy, and comfortable place to be.