Maintaining Your HVAC Unit

Proper Maintainance of Your HVAC Unit Will Bring You Substantial Savings

Have you ever wondered how your HVAC system operates? It’s quite fascinating when you think about it. Furnaces produce heat through combustion of natural gas within the burner and that heat is transferred to a heat exchanger. This warms the air as it is forced through your ducts. The cooling process is much the same but uses a coil in the process to cool the air.

Your HVAC system will consist of either a furnace and AC or a heat pump, which both heats and cools.

Keeping your Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning system (HVAC) well maintained will not only save you money over time, but you’ll extend the lifespan of the unit substantially. The bonus is you’ll also save a lot of money by not having to replace your HVAC unit earlier than necessary.

An AC unit needs regular attention to be sure it’s operating at the highest levels of efficiency. The best time to pay most attention to maintenance is just before each cooling season begins.

Here are some things to do to maintain your system and keep your costs down.

1. Periodically check the efficiency of your furnace.

Energy efficiency is measured by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). If a system is operating at say 80% AFUE this means that for every dollar spent operating the system, 80 cents is going to actual heat generation. 80% AFUE units are pretty standard. Older furnaces operate at more like 60% AFUE while newer units operate at 95% AFUE or higher.

2. Check the reliability and maintenance of your system regularly.

While your system should be running at full efficiency, it should also last over a number of years. . Make sure that you understand the maintenance schedule of your current furnace or any new furnace you may purchase in the future.

3. Check your air quality.

Your HVAC system directly affects the air quality of your home. Most systems today are built to clean the air as it is forced through, such as installed filters that catch pollutants, dust and other particles. Clean air is not only important for your breathing environment but also for the ongoing operation of your furnace.

4. Change The Blower Filter Regularly

The filter in your HVAC system should be changed at least twice a year – once just before the heating season begins and once before the cooling season begins. If you live in a particularly dusty area, you may want to change it more often. Always replace the filter with a new filter that has the same airflow rating. Be careful with ‘air purifying’ or ‘HEPA filters,’ because they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system. That can cause the indoor coil to freeze because of the reduced airflow.

Locate the filter enclosure on the indoor furnace/AC where the large fresh air return duct enters the unit. You may need a screwdriver to turn the latch to open the door to the filter enclosure. Remove the old filter and install the new filter, matching the air-flow direction arrows on the filter to the arrows on the unit. Close and latch the door.

Maintaining your HVAC system will reward you with comfort and peace of mind, and help avoid having to call in a service professional.

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