Heating and air conditioning can be very expensive. In fact, these bills can often take more than half of your complete utility expenses, which is not to be ignored. This can be even more if you are not using your heating and cooling system properly or if you are not maintaining it. Especially so if your system is faulty.
However, repairing it and maintaining it can be costly too.
This is why your HVAC system needs constant maintenance – the simple kind, that you can do yourself at no extra cost to you. This can make your system work better until the next professional maintenance, lower the cost of that maintenance and all future repairs that may happen. You can prevent big damages and problems that could really put a dent on your budget.
Plus, you can save on monthly bills if you maintain your HVAC system regularly.
Here are some of the best tips on how to maintain your HVAC system at no extra cost to you:
Clean the Condenser Unit
Sure, you may think that the proper cleaning requires a professional and a hefty price too but this only goes for in-depth cleaning routines. This you should definitely not do on your own, because you risk breaking something or making a damage that needs even more repairing.
However, a simple cleaning can be done outside of the condenser unit outdoors. This you can do on your own simply and effectively. You may not even be aware how much trouble a dirty condenser unit outside area can cause for your entire HVAC system. It can make it work less efficiently and spend more power.
This is a simple thing you can do yourself once in a while to improve the performance of your HVAC system and make it work more efficiently.
Vacuum Indoor Vents
This is another simple process that can be done with no extra costs. Of course, you want to be careful in the sense of not breaking anything and making sure that after you are done everything still works properly.
Vacuuming dust and debris away is one of the best things that you can do for your system. It can work more efficiently and spend less power, making your bills lower. The process will mean less wear for your system because your system has to work really hard to provide proper cooling or heating with all the dust.
So, cleaning your system can be infinitely beneficial for your wallet and the environment in general. You will also be a lot healthier as the dust ends up in the air in your home and it can cause all sorts of allergy and pulmonary issues.
Vacuum dust and debris from your indoor supply vents and your system will be able to maintain a steady airflow. You should also make sure that there are no items blocking your system like blinds, toys, furniture and so on.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Your thermostat can also make a big difference in your HVAC system efficiency. You would usually set your thermostat at a temperature you want but this can mean more money waste for you. In essence, adjusting your thermostat to be 5 to 8 degrees lower in the winter or higher in the summer can help you save money and energy at no real discomfort for you.
It will not make a big difference in how you feel but it will mean that your system will not have to work as hard. You will spend a lot less energy and thus spend a lot less money on your monthly HVAC bills.
If you have a programmable thermostat, it can be even better. You can adjust your temperature automatically during the day.
You should also make your temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter when you are not home or when you know that you are not going to be home for a while. This can help you save up a lot of money and your HVAC system will also suffer less wear from all the hard work.
The environment will also reap the benefits of this.
Keep Heat Away from Thermostat
Your thermostat will record how high or low temperature is in your home. This means that if there is an appliance near by producing heat, they will register higher temperatures than they really are everywhere else in your home.
For example, if there is a light bulb from a lamp nearby or right next to the thermostat, it may be much warmer there, so your thermostat will recognize that temperature as the base temperature for your home. Then your HVAC system will have to work harder in the summer to cool your home off, even though it doesn’t really need to.
The same can go for windows, especially if they are older and they let in some of the outdoor air. During winter, it will be a lot colder around the windows than it is in the rest of your home and your heating system will have to work harder to maintain a steady temperature.
This will make it spend more energy, making your bills much higher too.
So, keep your thermostat somewhere it can’t be affected by appliances or windows. This should be a place that reflects the general home temperature. Keep in mind that TV, computers and other similar appliances give off heat too.
Close the Blinds
When there is a lot of sun outside during the summer – or at the hottest times of the day, that is – you should keep your blinds closed and curtains on. This can keep some of the heat away from your home and help your HVAC system keep a steady temperature without all of the extra work that it would take without the blinds on.
You can do a similar thing for your windows in the winter. For instance, you can make sure that they are properly sealed and seal them if they are not. But if you are looking for completely free ways to do this, you can use cloth to seal the bottoms of your windows and even the sides if possible.
Clean the Drain Line
Keeping the drain clean can make your HVAC system efficient as well. It can also help save your basement from the water in case the drain becomes blocked.
The drain is often found by the cooling coil indoors. This is usually found mounted above the furnace.
The best way to do it is to flush it with a cup of chlorine bleach and then to rinse this with one gallon of water. This should keep it clean for the season. Doing this twice a year can make sure that your system is clean and efficient.
Don’t use Appliances During the Heat of the Day
When you use your dryer or dishwasher during the hottest times of the day, you make the same mistake you would make by putting a lamp by your thermostat. Running it when it’s the hottest time of the day during the summer, it can draw in warm air and warm up your home which means that your air conditioner will have to work a lot harder to achieve the best temperature. The grid can easily be overloaded if too many people are running their appliances at once.
This can then cause it to spend more power than necessary and you will have to pay high bills because of that. It can also put a lot of wear on your system.
So, as you can see, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your system work properly and maintain it on time. You can do all of these things for free and your home will be more efficient for it.