3 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Home’s HVAC System
A well-run HVAC system makes sure that the household is comfortably warming the winter, cool in the summer and has an abundance of fresh, circulating air. Making sure the system works as it should only takes a little work on the part of the homeowner and some regular maintenance and troubleshooting on the part of an HVAC professional. Yet, homeowners make mistakes when it comes to their HVAC system that not only make living in the home uncomfortable, but shorten the life of the HVAC system’s components. Here are three mistakes to avoid with an HVAC system:
Buying the Wrong Size HVAC System
The first and possibly most devastating mistake to avoid is buying the wrong-sized HVAC system. One that is too small for the house’s needs won’t cool, heat or ventilate efficiently. One that is too big wastes energy and therefore money. These systems cycle on and off frequently and can even wear out before their normal life span. To make sure that the HVAC system is the right size, it’s best to have a contractor not just take a look at the house, but take into account its climate, if it’s in the shade, how many people live in or are expected to live in the house and other factors. That way, the house is better able to be fitted with the right-sized HVAC system.
Forgetting or Putting Off Basic Maintenance
A bit of basic maintenance is one of the easiest things to do, which may be why it’s one of the easiest things to forget. Basic maintenance means replacing the filters when they get dirty or clogged, for dirty filters can lead to a variety of problems with the HVAC. Filters need to be replaced every one to three months depending on whether there are smokers or pets in the household. Another mistake is to put off having an HVAC professional come in once or twice a year to check the home’s heating and cooling.
Another part of basic maintenance is to investigate weird noises or bad smells. These can be signs that something is wrong with the system. Squeals from an oil furnace can mean that its blower or motor needs lubricating, rumblers from a gas furnace can mean that the pilot needs adjusting, or the burners are dirty. Rattling may indicate that something has come loose or is stuck. A bad smell can indicate that something has died in the ductwork.
Improper Use of the Thermostat
The third mistake that homeowners should avoid when it comes to their HVAC is to improperly use their thermostat. Using a thermostat correctly begins even before it’s installed. For one thing, a programmable thermostat that’s linked up to the internet should be installed by a professional. The thermostat should not be placed over a heat source such as a register, a place that receives direct sunlight or near the home’s front or back door. A thermostat should also never be installed above a hole in the wall.
Other ways thermostats are misused are to set the wrong temperature, turning up the temperature to heat a room quickly then keeping the heat on all the time, even when no one is home.