Have you ever woken up to find that your house feels like an ice box, or returned home from work only to find that your living room is like a sauna? If so, you know the importance of knowing where to turn during HVAC emergencies. The article below is intended to provide useful advice to homeowners everywhere who may find themselves in similar straits.
Make sure you check the filters in your air conditioning unit. This is important because checking your filters could make the difference between inexpensive repairs and more expensive ones down the line. Try to put it into your monthly schedule so that you don’t forget to check the filters regularly.
Get any agreement with an HVAC contractor in writing. Some contractors try to skip over this step and charge customers a fortune. If you have a certain price and warranty in writing, they cannot go back and change this information. If they do, they could have a lawsuit on their hands. Make sure you ask for an estimate in writing before choosing a specific HVAC vendor. There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to purchasing these big items. You’ll want to compare not only the cost of the equipment, but also the set up and the overall energy costs.
In order to avoid having any problems with your air conditioning unit, keep all vegetation at least two feet away from the outdoor unit. The unit should be clear of any vegetation on all sides and above. When you mow the lawn, aim the grass clippings away from the a/c unit. This will prevent grass getting inside the a/c and making it malfunction.
If you want to pay for less power use, consider installing an HVAC-specific solar panel system. Such an installation harnesses the power of the sun directly for your heating and air conditioning. Don’t worry though; you can have a switch put in that automatically connects to the power grid the days there isn’t enough sun.
An investment in a smart thermostat is truly going to save you money. You can program it to turn on and off at certain temperatures or times, allowing you to ensure that your air conditioner or heater isn’t running when it doesn’t need to be, saving you a ton. If you have a window air conditioner without a timer, use a regular outlet timer to control when it is on or off. These are the same ones you use for holiday lights, so all you have to do is plug your air conditioner into the timer and set it to cool you during the day.
You should have your HVAC system inspected at least once, but preferably twice, per year. The service will include motor inspection, oiling of moving parts, and a freon level check. This will help your system run better.
Outer coils can be cleaned with a regular outdoor hose before you turn the unit on for the season. That said, interior coils should be taken care of by a professional so that you don’t do any damage as you attempt to clean them. Bring someone in to complete a check up. Try to stay away from HVAC contractors that ask for upfront payments before they are willing to get started on the work they were hired to do. In many cases, this means that they are more concerned about getting paid than they are about making sure the job is done well.
If you don’t want to install ductwork in your home, consider a mini-split system instead. They work form the outside in, allowing your whole home to cool without a central air conditioner. This allows you to enjoy all of your indoor space in a cool, comfortable way all summer long.
Every year hire someone to give your HVAC unit routine maintenance. This will ensure that it works properly throughout the entire year. It will also allow you to have lower heating and cooling bills. When your HVAC is running properly, it will use the least amount of energy and save you money.
Improve the efficiency of your air conditioning by installing ceiling fans. Change the airflow direction of the ceiling fans. During the summer, the blades should move in a counter-clockwise direction. During the winter, the blades should move clockwise to help move the hot air in the ceiling down into the room.
In order to save money overnight, buy an air conditioner with a switch that sets it to be fan-only. This will push hot air outside and bring in cool air from near the ground. Turn this on just before bed so that you can cool the house as you sleep.
Make sure you wipe up any water that is close to the air intake of the vents of your HVAC system. Clean up any water that is standing around because water can cause mold to easily expand. Some water buildup is normal but if you’re picking up water more than once every six months you might have a problem, so contact a HVAC technician.
Is your home’s electrical set-up ready to handle a new air conditioning unit? Most homes have 115-volt circuits in place, but larger air conditioners need 230-volts to be used. Some smaller units may need their own dedicated circuit as well to ensure your home doesn’t go dark when you turn them on.
Ask for references from any contractor you’re considering. You want to be able to ask if what was expected is what the homeowner got, such as being on time and on budget. This will help you stay away from scam artists, but only if you call those references!
If you have known the frustration of an HVAC failure, you know that one of the best things you can do as a homeowner is acquaint yourself with a skilled contractor. However, knowing what to look for in an HVAC professional takes a bit of research and study. Use the advice found above, and you will always be prepared for anything.