Like most property owners, it’s understandable to have questions about your home or commercial HVAC system. While most people understand that HVAC systems are an essential component of any property by keeping the air temperature and quality at a safe level, many are unaware of how the system works. Unfortunately, a lack of basic HVAC unit knowledge could lead to costly mistakes when it comes time for maintenance. You could also miss critical signs that your unit is underperforming, which could be dangerous to those in the space. In this blog, we provide the answers to these five HVAC frequently asked questions so you can identify potential problems and make more informed decisions about your unit.
Question 1: How do I know if my HVAC system is operating safely?
The most important thing you can do to ensure the safety of your HVAC system is to have it inspected and serviced regularly by qualified HVAC technicians. Consistent HVAC servicing helps to catch any minor issues before they become significant problems. You’ll also ensure that your system runs at peak performance and operates efficiently.
These are common signs you should service your HVAC system immediately:
- Strange noises. If you hear odd noises coming from your vents or the unit itself, your HVAC system may be experiencing an issue. Rattling, humming, and screeching sounds are all signs you need to call a technician.
- Leaking water. If you see water leaking from your air conditioning unit anywhere other than the main drain line, it could be a sign of a frozen coil or a clogged drain line. When experiencing leaks, you can contact an HVAC service to assist with air conditioning repair.
- Unusually high energy bills. If your energy bills seem to be rising exponentially, even though you haven't changed your normal routine, it could be because your HVAC system is not working as efficiently as it should be.
- Unusual odors. If your HVAC system emits strange smells, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Some of the most common odors from problematic systems include burning and mildew. If you notice a gas-like scent, leave the area immediately and contact your utility company.
Question 2: How long should my HVAC unit last?
A properly serviced, modern HVAC system can last 15 to 25 years. Of course, the lifespan of your system will depend on many factors. However, if you take diligent care of your system and have it serviced regularly, it may even outlive its predicted lifespan.
Factors that can influence an HVAC system’s life expectancy include:
- The age of the unit
- The quality of the installation
- How often it is used
- The climate in your area
- The type and quality of the system installed
- The level of care and maintenance
Proactively caring for your HVAC system is one of the best ways to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Hire a professional to regularly inspect and service your system and address any potential issues as soon as they arise.
Question 3: How often should I change my HVAC filter?
Most experts recommend changing your air filter every three months, but this will vary depending on the type of filter you use, your local climate, the condition of your home, and how often your unit is used. If the filter is visibly dirty, it should be replaced right away.
Factors that could require an earlier filter change include:
- The filter becoming clogged or wet
- The unit is running constantly
- The presence of pets in your home
- Any construction occurring in your area
- Living in a dusty area
You may be able to wait a little longer to replace your filter if:
- The unit is not used often
- You live in a mild climate
- The home is not occupied for extended periods (such as vacation homes)
- You have no pets, and few people live in your home.
If you have questions regarding how often you should change your air filter, contact a qualified technician to discuss filter changes with you in further detail.
Question 4: How can I save money on my HVAC bills?
There are a few things that you can do to help save money on your HVAC bills:
- Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home according to your schedule and your heating or cooling preferences. It will enable you to set your home’s temperature even when people are not there. Therefore, you can avoid drastic temperature changes and save money on your HVAC bill.
- Clean or replace your air filter. A dirty air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can lead to higher energy bills – and potentially costly repairs. Clean or replace your air filter regularly to prevent rising expenses.
- Install insulation. Properly insulate your home to keep a comfortable temperature inside and prevent cold fronts or heat waves from intruding. Keeping your home at a constant temperature reduces energy costs.
Question 5: Why is my HVAC system not cooling or heating my home?
There could be many reasons why your HVAC system is not cooling or heating your home. One possibility is that the system is not properly sized for your home, or the unit was not installed correctly. Improper airflow would prevent the air from reaching all areas of your home.
If you think you may be experiencing any of these issues, it is best to contact a qualified technician to help diagnose the problem and recommend a solution.
Protect The Health of Your Home with HVAC Maintenance Today
As a trusted company providing HVAC services to the MD and DC areas for many years, we often address these frequently asked questions about HVAC. Do you have another HVAC question? Connect with the experts at Smith & Company HVAC company to get answers and ensure that your HVAC system receives the maintenance it needs to operate efficiently for years to come.