While you can buy manuals on how to maintain your HVAC system or shell out hundreds of dollars to consult with an HVAC professional consultant, you probably want to invest the money that you would spend on a consultation or learning materials in HVAC on repairing and maintaining your HVAC system. Since repairs can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars when something in your HVAC system has gone awry, it’s best to seek out free HVAC advice before you resort to paid advice options. Unless you plan on going to school to become an HVAC professional, the free advice you receive from materials on the internet or library books is probably just as good as any suggestions you could get by spending money on that guidance.
Don’t Forget the AC
Some of the best free HVAC advice we can give is unrelated to the heating system in the winter. If you forgot to schedule an air conditioning repair during the summer months or fall months, you may want to catch up on those repairs in the winter. Although the AC side of your system may not run until late spring or early summer comes along, it’s better to be prepared for your home to require cooling than to wait until the last minute to schedule a repair. In early spring and summer, HVAC professionals might be booked since many people could have also waited to complete their AC repairs until it was time to turn on the AC.
If you have health problems that require air conditioning or cooler temperatures in your home, it’s especially important to stay on top of maintaining your air conditioner. Going without an air conditioner in this case may result in worsening health problems. It could also cause flare-ups that cause you to call out of work, school, or other obligations.
Even if you don’t have a health condition that requires you to use air conditioning in the warmer months, our free HVAC advice is to keep your home at a comfortable temperature all year round. Putting off AC repairs could make you and your family grouchy due to the heat when the temperatures start rising after winter ends. It could also end up costing you more if a simple issue becomes complex over time due to the AC not getting the maintenance time it needs. Repairs can turn into full replacements of the unit if you don’t stay on top of maintenance, so we recommend paying attention to little cues from your AC that it needs some TLC.
If you’ve noticed that your AC unit refuses to cool your home, the issue may lie in one of the crucial parts of the AC such as the outdoor condenser unit if your AC is powered through a central air conditioning system. According to carrier.com, “Your central air conditioning system likely includes an outdoor condenser unit. The exterior of the condenser unit features a large outdoor coil, which wraps most of the way around the outside of the unit. The coil includes a series of thin metal “fins” which are spaced very tightly together. If your air conditioner is running, but not lowering temperatures inside, one issue could be a blocked or clogged condenser coil. When operating correctly, the condenser fan draws air into the outdoor unit through the condenser coil to pull heat energy out of your home. Dirt, grass, and other airborne debris can accumulate between the fins, clogging the coil. A dirty coil can lead to reduced energy efficiency, lack of cool air from the registers, or in extreme cases, complete system shutdown or damage to the compressor from overuse. You can attempt to clean the coil by clearing away debris, carefully vacuuming the coil with a brush attachment, or rinsing gently with a hose. If your system still isn’t cooling, it’s probably time to call a pro.”
Fix Your Heater Before Winter Starts
When it’s warm and comfortable outside, scheduling a heating repair may be the last item on your to-do list. Unfortunately, the weather could turn cold suddenly depending on where you live. If this happens, our free HVAC advice is to not be someone who gets stressed out calling every HVAC company in your area with high hopes of securing a spot on their packed schedule. From one year to the next, you should prepare for winter by maintaining your heater before you need it. Scheduling an HVAC inspection in a transitional season like fall or spring can help you ensure that your heater and cooling system are functioning at an optimal level before the temperatures dip below your comfort zone.
While you are more than welcome to schedule a heater inspection more often if your HVAC company recommends it, the professionals’ free HVAC advice is to inspect and fix a heater before winter. According to professionalservicestoday.com, “Furnace maintenance is vital for preventing damage to your heating system. Regular furnace inspections are one way to ensure your furnace gets the care it needs. Most homeowners frequently ask how often to have a furnace checked. HVAC professionals recommend having your furnace checked at least once annually to ensure optimal functionality.”
As their article continues on professionalservicestoday.com, “The commonly recommended time for furnace inspections is before the start of winter. The period before winter is ideal for furnace inspections because it ensures your furnace will not fail when the icy weather arrives.” When it’s wintertime, it’s even more important to promptly schedule repairs, maintenance, and replacement of a heater if you notice something seems off. Otherwise, you could leave your family in the cold or have to rent out a hotel room for a night if your house isn’t warm enough for you to stay inside. What’s more, when the heater isn’t working, it can cause your pipes to freeze and burst. This will make it so that you have to shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements of not only parts of the heater but aspects of other systems in your home as well.
Check on the Insulation
If you want your heater to do the best job it can in the winter, you’ll want to make sure that you stay on top of any basement foundation repair needs so that your house stays insulated in the winter. Our free HVAC advice is to evaluate your home from the base of the foundation to the rooftop to see if there are any places where cool air might seep into your home or warm air might leak. Insulation is just as important as having an effective heating system for your home. When your home is well insulated, it can save you hundreds of dollars every winter on gas or whatever materials you use to heat your home. This is because good insulation keeps cold air out and hot air inside your home. As an additional perk, strong insulation will keep precipitation and the elements from affecting the inside of your home. During a terrible snowstorm, you’ll appreciate the work that great insulation can do to protect your family and home from inclement weather conditions.
If you put off insulating your home till winter, you may wonder if it’s even possible to get professional help with installing insulation at that point. Thankfully, there may be some potential solutions to your problem if you’re willing to get creative. According to paragon-protection.com, “Installing spray foam during the winter is more challenging, but you can increase the potential for a successful installation in several ways. One way to successfully apply spray foam insulation in the winter despite the unideal conditions is to use a winter blend of spray foam. Closed-cell spray foams can be formulated into a winter blend that allows them to withstand colder environmental and surface temperatures. If you want to install open-cell spray foam insulation, however, it’s not possible to create a winterized formulation. Instead, you must create a suitable environment at the installation site.”
If you’re concerned about how the insulation in your home performs its job, you may want to consult with contractors who can point you in the right direction for bettering the insulation in your home. Once your home is properly insulated against the heat and cold, you should notice a difference in how often you run to turn up the thermostat or turn it down in the warmer months. You may also enjoy a difference in your heating and cooling expenses over time.
Plan for Year-Round Climate Control
After you’ve finished calling in air conditioner services, it may seem like your AC is irrelevant. After all, now you’ll have to focus on heating your home and preparing it for the winter months. Before you get too excited about shirking your responsibilities and requirements as an AC owner until next year, our free HVAC advice is to make concrete plans for how you will keep your home comfortable all year round. This means coordinating maintenance services and creating a budget that suits your heating and cooling needs for every season.
While you may think you can forget about your AC service tasks altogether until next year once summer ends, this is far from the truth. Unfortunately, being a homeowner means planning unless you want to pay for last-minute services or risk your home’s appliances breaking down when you need them most. One aspect of planning for controlling the climate of your home is deciding what temperature would be most cost-effective while remaining comfortable enough for your family to enjoy occupying your home.
If you don’t know what temperature is best to keep your home all year round, you can turn to the experts for some free HVAC advice. According to theontimeexperts.com, “The best way to ensure thermostat efficiency is by programming (or manually adjusting) your thermostat to a higher temperature (or lower, in winter) while you’re away from home during the day and while you’re sleeping at night. In the summer, only lower your thermostat to 76°F (24°C) when you’re at home or need to cool off. During the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F (20°C) in the same pattern.”
As theontimeexperts.com continues to explain, “Allowing your home’s temperature to climb (or dip) for as little as four hours a day translates into significant savings on your utility bill. For example, during the winter, turning back your thermostat by 10° to 15° for eight hours saves you anywhere from 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill – a savings of as much as 1% for each degree. The same applies to summer cooling, as well. The percentage of savings is even greater in milder climates.” At the same time, you should strategically place your thermostat in a place where you can expect an accurate read.
Finetune the Furnace
As a homeowner, you should prioritize furnace repair. This will ensure that your furnace is safe to run during the winter. You should also change the furnace filter regularly.
Cut Down on Humidity
If your house is too humid, you should look into dehumidifier rentals. They may provide free HVAC advice on lowering the humidity. You can also increase the humidity if it’s too dry in the winter with humidifiers.
Evaluate the Whole HVAC System
Besides AC repairs, our free HVAC advice includes recommending regular inspections. You should inspect your HVAC system every year. What’s more, you should ask a professional to do it.
Call in the Professionals
If you’re having trouble heating your home, you need to call an HVAC company to fix the system. Even if you think you could fix the problem, the pros are your best bet. They go to school for training, so they know what they’re doing and how not to inflict further damage.
If you have an advanced HVAC problem that can’t be answered through a quick search on the internet, you’ll have to pay money for advice. You’ll also have to pay for the repairs and work that would be required to put that advice into practice. Still, for general ideas on how you can ensure that your HVAC system is ready to heat your home all winter long, you can use our free HVAC advice to your advantage and save some money along the way.