No matter how hot or cold it is outdoors, you want to be comfortable indoors. You count on your heating and cooling system to keep you that way. Giving your HVAC system regular attention can help you make sure that it runs well throughout the year. Frequent check-ins and the support of a professional HVAC team are the keys to keeping your furnace and air conditioner in top shape.
Clear Your Vents
Proper airflow is essential for effective HVAC operation. Without it, the warm or cool air can’t effectively move throughout your home. You won’t easily achieve the indoor temperatures that you find most comfortable. That puts excess demand on your heating and cooling system, which can lead to premature wear and high power bills.
To improve airflow, pay attention to what’s going on around your vents. The air should be able to flow freely throughout the area. In general, make sure there are at least 6 to 12 inches of open space around each of your vents — both those that put climate-controlled air into the room and the air return vents. Don’t put furniture, toys, drapery or other items in that space.
Also, keep your vents open. Some homeowners try closing some vents to redirect airflow or save money. Unfortunately, the method can actually make it harder to achieve the home temperature that you’re looking for. It can force your system to work harder. Leave your vents at least partially open so that your system can work as it was designed.
Clean the Ductwork
Just as you want the air to flow freely out of your vents, you also want unobstructed air travel through the ductwork. Dirty ducts can hinder the airflow. They can also add dust and debris to the air that your family breathes.
Duct cleaning can solve this issue. Dust your vent covers regularly so that they don’t get buildup on them. Occasionally, you might want to unscrew the covers to dust the area just inside them as well.
Of course, you probably don’t have the equipment to reach all the way into the far reaches of the ductwork. It’s smart to call in the pros for that job. Your home will benefit from a pro-grade ductwork cleaning session once every three years.
Change the Filter
Another way to promote healthy airflow is to keep your filter clean. A blocked filter is much less effective at trapping dust and other allergens. It also demands more energy expenditure from your system.
For most HVAC systems, swapping out the filter is an easy task. You may have a disposable filter that you should change every one to three months. Simply remove the old one and throw it away. Then, put a new one in its place.
Some homes have a reusable filter. You can take it out, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and then pop it back into place.
Watch for Repair Needs
Throughout the heating and cooling season, it’s smart to pay attention to any signs that your system isn’t running up to par. If you notice a problem, you can schedule a service call right away. A pro can check out the issue and suggest a fix. Approaching repairs this way — instead of waiting until you have a major problem on your hands — can protect your comfort and save you money.
Pay attention to these signs of a problem:
- Drips or puddles
- Increased heating or cooling expenses
- Strange smells or sounds
- Constant fan cycling
- Poor performance or weak airflow
Put in a Smart Thermostat
Today’s thermostats make it easier than ever to achieve your ideal indoor temperatures. To get the best performance from your heating and cooling system, it’s a good idea to install a modern thermostat.
Smart thermostats allow you to establish an automatic heating and cooling schedule. During the times when everyone is at home and awake, you can set the system to your favorite temperature. For the overnight hours, you might prefer to bring the temp up or down a few degrees. You can also plan on using an energy-saving setting during the times that everyone is at school or in the office.
A schedule like this puts you in control of your comfort. It’s also beneficial for your system. Small temperature adjustments throughout the day put less demand on your system than cranking it up when you’re home and shutting it down when you leave. Your heating and cooling units may last longer as a result.
Deep cleaning your air conditioner and furnace is a job best left to the pros, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the state of your system. If you see any debris that’s accumulated, take a few minutes to clear it away.
Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit is a prime example. It’s common for leaves or branches to fall onto the condenser. Weeds or other vegetation may grow up around it. Clearing away these foreign objects will help prevent future problems from developing. If the job seems bigger than you can handle, don’t hesitate to call your Salem HVAC technician.
Adjust the Humidity Level
Your indoor comfort isn’t based solely on your air temperature; the humidity level can play a big role in how you feel, too. Keeping control over the moisture level is a great way to support your furnace and AC performance.
In the summer, humid air can leave you feeling warm and sticky. You may crank the air conditioner extra high in an attempt to overcome the problem. However, running a dehumidifier may be more effective.
During the winter, the situation is often flipped. Your air is likely to be drier, and that can contribute to the chill you feel. A home humidifier can help warm you up. You may be able to turn your furnace down a few degrees.
Achieving the right humidity level is a smart way to reduce your power bills and improve your comfort.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
Your careful attention to your HVAC system may keep it running well and help avert any major crises. Even still, you don’t have to go it alone. Rather, you can partner with Woodward Heating for professional heating and cooling maintenance. Annual visits from the pros will improve the performance and longevity of your system.
You’ll want to plan on a spring tune-up for your air conditioner and an autumn one for your furnace. During these visits, we’ll perform cleanings and safety checks. Our trained technicians will inspect each component to make sure that everything is in top shape. You can depend on us to get your heating and cooling seasons off to a great start each year.
Woodward Heating has been serving the Salem area since 1989. Our NATE-certified technicians care for air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. We are a reliable choice for HVAC installations, repairs, and system maintenance. Our lineup of services also includes gas fireplace installations and indoor air quality improvement. We’re a family-owned company you can trust. Call Woodward Heating in Salem today to schedule your appointment.