By Brian Sodoma, for Service Experts
With autumn around the corner, homeowners will soon be preparing for the cold months ahead. Cold weather puts new demands on your HVAC system. To prepare your furnace for the heavy work it will need to do, scheduled HVAC maintenance should be on your fall checklist. It’s essential for your system to run efficiently in order to reduce the likelihood of repairs at an undesirable or unsafe time, such as during a storm. Here, an experienced specialist from Service Experts shares five questions to ask yourself to see if you’re ready.
As soon as the cold sets in, many companies prioritize repairs over maintenance requests. Getting your HVAC system tune-up done before the first bite of winter cold means that you will be ready for the season. It’s also highly recommended to look for a contractor who employs qualified technicians, said Mike Carson, manager of technical training and field operations support at Service Experts. To further check into a contractor, ask what’s included in their tune-up. Here are a few must-haves:
Summer can get hectic, which means it’s easy to forget to replace your heating and cooling system’s air filter. Filters capture dust, pet hair and other airborne particles, so replacing a dirty filter with a clean one improves your system’s operational efficiency and boosts indoor air quality.
“When you don’t replace the filter, the system needs to work harder to pull in air, which can lead to early failure,” Carson remarked. “Some homeowners will choose a cheap fiberglass filter. They’re less expensive, but pleated filters trap more dust and particles. On the other hand, some can be too thick and restrictive. During your tune-up, ask the technician to suggest which filter is best for your system.”
Your thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system. It’s important to make sure it’s in proper running order by changing it from cool to heat mode, setting your heating setpoints, checking your schedule on a programmable thermostat and replacing the batteries if required. At this point, you should turn it on and listen for any strange noises or signs the system is struggling to turn on.
If the furnace is older, a smart thermostat is a useful product to own. It can save you up to 20% on each year’s power bill. Although a programmable thermostat adjusts settings according to the time of day, a smart thermostat also factors in your behavior. Most designs can be linked to your smartphone so that adjustments can be made remotely. For increased safety, more sophisticated smart thermostats may be connected to smoke alarms and be controlled by voice commands, among other useful features.
“A smart thermostat is an inexpensive, but powerful intuitive device for your home,” Carson said. “The learning curve will be long forgotten once you start enjoying the convenience and energy savings it offers.”
Examining your doors and windows for air leaks before the winter weather sets in can save you a lot of stress later. Not only does this cause drafts, making your living space chilly in the winter or warm in the summer, but the cold air can also lower the temperature in your home, forcing your furnace to work harder and increase your utility costs.
If you notice an air leak ahead of time, you can take preventative steps before winter arrives, such as:
“Avoiding wintertime HVAC issues starts months before winter even begins,” said Carson. “Take the time now to make sure your home is ready so you’re not paying for it later.”
About 90% of U.S. homes need more insulation, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association. That can have a significant impact on your heating system, which will have to work harder to keep up during times of extremely hot or cold weather. Autumn is an outstanding time to think about adding insulation, if you think your home needs more. But what are the signs your home needs more insulation?
“If your attic insulation is less than seven inches deep, it’s inadequate,” Carson noted. “Adding more will probably save you another 20% on your energy bill. Inconsistent room temperatures and drafts could also be signs of poor insulation. Services like blower door testing, home energy audits and infrared cameras can help determine where your home may need more insulation as well.”
To learn more about HVAC maintenance or to arrange a tune-up with Service Experts, visit https://www.serviceexperts.com/.
Student loan debt in the United States has been a growing problem for a very long time. Today’s total student debt has reached some $1.7 trillion, with the average college graduate owing $20,000 to $25,000. If you’re considering your academic journey or advising someone who is, it’s crucial... Continue reading
The HVAC industry is in a constant state of change. With technological innovations and ever-important environmental concerns, the skills demanded of HVAC specialists are evolving faster than ever. Preparing to adapt and satisfy these new challenges is a must for anyone wanting to join the... Continue reading
Air conditioning is an important part of modern life, especially during steamy summer months. When you run the air conditioner, you expect nice, cool, refreshing air to enter your home. But sometimes, AC units release weird or concerning odors that make you wonder if something’s... Continue reading
© 2023 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.