As the temperature outside starts to heat up, your air conditioner quickly becomes one of the most used appliances in the house. The same can be said of your heating system as the weather cools in fall and winter. For your family to be comfortable year-round, it’s essential that these two systems are working as efficiently as possible — not just for the benefit of your loved ones, but also when it comes to your monthly energy bills.
Unfortunately, there are several things that homeowners do that can cause serious problems for these two heavily depended-on appliances. Don’t make these mistakes in your home! Read on to learn more.
Failure to schedule annual maintenance appointments
You should schedule a yearly tune-up for both your furnace and your air conditioner. Even if it seems like these two systems are working “just fine,” they may have a hidden problem that could ultimately lead to an untimely (and expensive) breakdown. Additionally, maintenance appointments are essential since the professional heating and cooling technician in your home will carefully and thoroughly clean and inspect all working components inside each system and make sure that the units are operating safely, which is of utmost importance when it comes to caring for your family and home.
When you don’t schedule yearly maintenance for these units, a worn-out part that should have been replaced may cause the unit to break down. Or maybe all the dust and grime built up inside your unit will cause it to work overtime to maintain the temperature you’ve set. This could lead to premature wear and tear, and higher energy bills each month. And an uncared-for heating and cooling system may jeopardize your family’s indoor air quality with dirt and dust being blown out into your living space.
Failure to regularly change the air filter
Going hand-in-hand with scheduling a professional tune-up, there are some maintenance tasks you can tackle yourself. This includes swapping out the air filter on a regular basis. Experts recommend replacing it each month, perhaps more often than that if you have smokers or pets in your home. Your filter is likely installed as part of your heating system. However, you shouldn’t mistakenly believe that you don’t need to worry about changing the filter since you are not using your furnace this time of year. The fact is that ALL air from your furnace or air conditioner passes through this same filter. The filter’s job is to collect airborne materials before they are circulated through your home.
When you don’t regularly change the filter, air can’t easily pass through, and this can cause extra strain on your heating and cooling systems, leading to premature wear and tear on the units. Besides that, it can lead to serious indoor air quality issues — bad news for anyone in your home who suffers from allergies or respiratory problems.
Neglecting warning signs of a problem
If you’ve noticed any of the following issues in your home, call a professional for diagnostic and repair services as soon as possible — before the problem gets worse (and it will if left untreated):
- Inconsistent temperatures throughout the home.
- Furnace or AC randomly cycles on or off.
- System is making an unusual noise while running.
- Strange odors are coming from the vents.
- Heating or cooling system won’t come on at all.
- Condenser (outdoor part of the AC system) has puddles around it.
Attempting to take care of repairs that need a professional
This is another common mistake among homeowners. If you have noticed an issue with your heating or cooling system, it’s important to contact a skilled and experienced technician instead of trying to diagnose and treat the problem yourself! Even if you consider yourself a handy DIY-er around the house, if you aren’t a trained HVAC professional, you’re likely to do more harm than good with the problem, and you could even risk your safety or that of your family.
Other common mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to their heating and cooling systems include: using the condenser as a “table” or propping things that restrict air flow up against it; having bushes or tree limbs grow too close to the condenser; neglecting to replace the thermostat batteries on a regular basis; blocking off vents; neglecting to reseal openings/gaps in window and door frames; and not replacing aging systems when the times comes!
To keep your family content and comfortable all year long, avoid of the common HVAC mistakes many homeowners make. Instead, if you think there’s a problem or if you have a question regarding your furnace or AC, ask a professional.