You want it to be cool in your home during the hot summer months and warm and cozy during the frigid winter. However, you could be making a few serious mistakes that are forcing your HVAC system to work too hard without producing the temperature effects you crave. Because temperature control consumes so much energy, you could be wasting thousands of dollars every year without realizing it. If you suspect that your HVAC isn’t functioning optimally, this guide will help you determine whether you are the root cause – and teach you how to fix your problems.
Improperly Sized Unit
An air conditioning unit needs to be sized appropriately to the size of your home. A unit that is too small won’t be able to meet your heating and cooling needs, especially during the peaks of the season; a unit that is too big will cycle on and off too frequently, wasting energy. Particularly, after you build an addition or complete a remodel, you should investigate what size unit is perfect for you.
Older homes often come with older HVAC systems. Unfortunately, even if your aged HVAC still functions, it likely isn’t doing so efficiently. Plus, you are more likely to require repairs and maintenance with an older model. If you recently purchased an older home, you should contact home warranty insurance companies in your area to determine how they can help you update your HVAC.
Closed or Blocked Vents
It is worth your time to glance around your most used rooms to find the HVAC vents. If you can’t find them, you may have blocked them with furniture or decorations, making them less effective at changing the temperature in your rooms. You might also notice the vents closed tight, which prevents the system from having any effect on temperature. While it’s okay to close the vents in rooms you don’t often use, like guest bedrooms, you should keep vents in used rooms wide open and clear of obstructions.
Some older homes lack return vents, which means air cannot return to the A/C or furnace until it is sucked through a central return. Thus, if you like to live with closed doors, it’s likely that those rooms aren’t being properly heated and cooled; you might notice hot spots or chilly drafts if this is occurring. There are two solutions for this issue: start leaving your doors open or cut off about an inch from the bottom of your doors, so air can flow freely underneath.
This is the number one biggest cause of HVAC problems. Like all other systems in your home – your plumbing, your appliances, etc. – you need to participate in regular maintenance, or else your unit will break down at the most inopportune times. You can search the Web for HVAC maintenance professionals near me or else research what you need to do to properly service your unit.
Improperly Positioned Thermostat
It seems inconsequential, but the position of your thermostat can greatly affect how well or poorly your HVAC works. Your thermostat measures the temperature of your home, so if you keep it in an area that is most often too warm, like near the kitchen, or too cool, like in a dark hallway, you probably won’t get the temperature control you truly need. If you need to change the location of your thermostat, you might consider upgrading to a smart thermostat, which lets you control your house temps from anywhere.
Chaotic Temperature Settings
The more often you change the temperature on the thermostat, the more often your HVAC will need to cycle on and off, which wastes energy and fails to provide the temperature sensation you want. Most thermostats offer schedule programming, so you can set your HVAC to relax when you are usually at work or out of the house and kick into high gear when you need the temperature more tightly controlled. This predictable pattern keeps your HVAC working more efficiently.
Changing the air filters is one of those chores most homeowners put off, but if you aren’t swapping in new filters or cleaning your reusable ones every three months or so, you are slowly killing your HVAC system. The problem is that filters become clogged with dust, dander and other particulates, and when that happens, your unit must suck extremely hard to receive any air to heat or cool. That extra exertion is bad for the machine, putting undue stress on delicate parts. Thus, you should set a reminder on your phone or calendar to change your filters.