The cool days that come with spring are often the best times to get your home’s heating and cooling system ready to handle the approaching warm weather. You want to make sure it is operating correctly and there aren’t any issues as the month’s progress. Your HVAC system is the biggest energy hog in the home. It accounts for about 40 percent of the total energy used inside of the home. Taking the necessary steps to make sure the unit is running at optimal efficiency can help to offset your expanding cooling costs during the warm summer months.
Consider the following tips to keep your HVAC system and heat pump operating efficiently throughout the year.
1. Check your air filter. If the filter is dirty, you need to get it changed to prevent dust from collecting on the fins of the evaporator coils. Keeping the filter as clean as possible can help to reduce the amount of energy you are using by anywhere from 5-15 percent. Turn the power off to the handler before you attempt to pull the filter out to make sure the fan doesn’t turn on and start blowing dust throughout your home. Make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions when positioning the new filter.
2. Clear any grass, leaves, plants, weeds or other forms of debris that can block the airflow to the outdoor condensing unit, which is the larger metal box next to your home outside in the yard. Anything collecting on the fins of the unit will end up blocking airflow and reducing overall efficiency. Grass clippings that were thrown from the mower are one of the main offenders for clogging the unit. Occasionally cleaning the unit by spraying it down with a water hose is ideal.
3. Make sure the vents inside of your home aren’t obstructed with any furniture. The air in your home needs to be able to circulate throughout the vents with ease. The air conditioning system is going to work a lot less when the air is able to circulate freely throughout the home.
4. Go through all of the ductwork and make sure there aren’t any leaks in the system. If there are leaks, you need to have them sealed off to prevent leakage and extra energy costs.
5. Check your thermostat to make sure it is reading accurately. If the thermostat isn’t reading properly, your unit can end up working harder than what it needs to.
With proper care and maintenance, your heat pump and central air conditioning unit can last for 12-15 years. Take the time to regularly service your equipment to make sure it is in proper working order at all times. Spring is the perfect time to have your unit serviced for the year.