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This article is written by Kent Knuth, founder of Knuth, LLC, a full service heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration maintenance company.
Kent is part of our trusted network of our certified, local home warranty contractors.
Here are a few things that you can do to make your HVAC system operate better, and make your home more comfortable.
When it comes to heating and cooling, the ultimate goal is probably not to worry about your HVAC system for any reason, other than maintenance. That’s because if we are comfortable, we never have a reason to mess with our HVAC system! There a few things that you can do proactively to help you rest easy knowing your thermostat is running at its best.
Consider these 3 things to get the most out of your HVAC system:
1) Consider Your Airflow
The first thing to think about is airflow. Whether it’s heating or air-conditioning, the system needs to have an open flow. If it does not, your HVAC system will have to work harder to make the home comfortable, or may stop working all together.
The biggest culprit of poor airflow is the air filter. Filters should be changed once every 1 to 3 months, depending on factors like pets and dust.
Interestingly, while it can be tempting to get the best filter in the store, the better a filter is, the more it restricts airflow. If you have been told that your home has air flow issues in the past, it is better to go with a cheaper filter. This will still catch the larger particles that might clog a coil, but will allow more air to flow through as well. The better airflow your home has, the easier it is to transfer heat and cool air. This, in turn, makes the overall system more efficient.
If you need a better filter because there are allergy sufferers in your home, consider looking into an electronic air cleaner.
2) Consider Your Thermostats
Heating and cooling take up a large part of your energy usage. Paying attention to how you controlling your temperature can help you optimize your HVAC system.
This may seem like an easy one, but it’s often forgotten. If your thermostat runs on batteries, be sure to replace the batteries once a year. This will ensure the system does not stop working… due to dead batteries.
Many digitals thermostats offer programming options and automatic setbacks for energy savings when you are not home.
While setting the temperature down while you are away can save energy, and money; changing too much will cause the system to work harder to catch up when you get home. This can end up costing you more energy and money than if you had just left your thermostat alone.
This is especially true in the coldest parts of the year. The system may not be able to catch back up for several hours.
As a rule of thumb, if you are setting your thermostat back when you are leaving, try to not to turn more than 3 degrees — up or down — at a time.
3) Consider Your Fan Settings
If you have rooms that are not the same temperature as the rest of your home, the easiest fix is to run the fan on the furnace all the time. You can do this by changing the fan setting on your thermostat from auto to on.
This will allow the system to keep air circulating from room to room, making the temperature more even across rooms. While this may not fix it completely, it should help.
For a permanent fix, have a professional assess your ductwork and make the necessary corrections.
You can’t predict when a pipe may freeze or your air conditioner goes out, but with one of our home warranty plans you can be prepared for it. With a home warranty plan, we guarantee the service of a repair service partner, like Kent.