Every homeowner desires a cool home in summers and a warm and cozy one in winter. Throwing a wrench into these simple plans are some mistakes that homeowners commit unknowingly. They may appear to be inconsequential but have the tendency to run the HVAC unit into the ground.
Today, let’s take a few minutes to learn how you may be digging your HVAC unit’s grave. Invariably, you aren’t the only ones committing these blunders. There are others as well, so share your learnings to help the people around you.
How You Dig Your HVACs Grave?
Your heating and cooling system will last around 15 years if you take good care of it and don’t ignore any warning signs that it displays. Starting with the most common mistakes, we will move down to those that are rare but are equally dangerous to the longevity of the HVAC unit.
1. Ignoring Annual Maintenance – Every HVAC unit needs annual servicing or maintenance. Even the manufacturer asks for it for the warranty to remain active. However, many homeowners believe that maintenance is a wasteful activity. According to them, it costs money and renders no benefits. Well, here’s news for them. Maintenance involves many activities that guarantee the smooth running of the HVAC unit. Tightening of loose parts, cleaning of dust and debris accumulated inside the unit, inspection of the blower fan and motor, etc. are just some of the activities undertaken. These activities aim to catch any budding troubles in the system before they develop into bigger problems. Ignoring annual maintenance means forgoing the chance to correct issues within the system while they are still uncomplicated.
2. Overlooking Dirty Air Filters – Experts recommend changing the air filters every month. However, if, for some reason, that is not possible, the air filters should be changed at least once every quarter, which means four times a year. Since dirty air filters restrict the flow of air, they force the system to work harder due to which it heats up and breaks down. Clean air filters mean that the air flows freely into the system, and it does not have to operate under any undue pressure. A unit that breathes in easily will also breathe out efficiently, providing adequate heating and cooling.
3. Closed Or Blocked Vents – There are times when knowingly or unknowingly, the homeowners land up closing or blocking the vents. The room was not in use, so you thought closing the vent will save energy. Or you were tired of the same old set-up and changed the look by moving a few pieces of furniture completely unaware of the fact that you blocked one or more vents. Since the HVAC unit performs the same amount of work, closing or blocking the vents will disrupt its performance. Due to the closed vent, the air now has to move towards another location, but that is easier said than done. Mostly the ducts will spring a leak due to added pressure. In turn, the cooling will not be up to par anymore, and the unit will have to work under stress again without any success in achieving the previous efficiency.
4. Constantly Changing The Thermostat Settings – Changing the temperature settings on the thermostat throughout the day is a bad idea. It makes the unit work under stress due to the need to work between drastic temperature differences. It creates highs and lows that, in turn, leads to more wear and tear of the machinery. You need to maintain temperature consistency and make for any shortfalls by switching on the ceiling fan or drawing the blinds. If necessary, check the fan setting on the thermostat and change it to “ON” if it is on “AUTO”. You can also try adjusting the fan speed. Neither of these steps puts any strain on the HVAC unit and keeps it working efficiently for a very long time.
5. Not Paying Attention To The Size Of The Unit – There is no one size of the HVAC unit that suits all homes. Depending on the size of your home, the size of the unit will vary. Purchasing an oversized or undersized unit are both terrible decisions. An AC that is too small for your home will have to work harder and be under constant strain to produce the necessary cooling. Conversely, an AC that is too big, will frequently short-cycle and thereby increasing the power consumption. A proper sized AC will cool your home efficiently without heating up and consuming too much power.
6. Ignoring The Warning Signs – Mostly, when something starts going wrong in the HVAC unit, it starts giving some warning signs. These signs could vary from various noises coming from the unit to frequent tripping of the circuit breaker and many more in between. The idea is to recognize that something is different, and it was not there before. Once you realize that your HVAC unit is behaving abnormally, don’t ignore it because it is still working to your satisfaction. Ignoring the problem will escalate it to a bigger one, which may kill your unit untimely.
7. Incorrect Positioning Of The Thermostat – The thermostat has temperature sensors to judge the ambient temperature. These sensors are sensitive, and so the positioning of the thermostat is of significant importance. Placing the thermostat near appliances that generate heat or a sun-facing window will run havoc with the sensors. It boils down to the fact that the thermostat will be unable to judge the coolness or the warmth of the house correctly. Therefore, the thermostat should be placed away from any heat source. Neither should it be installed in a dark hallway, which is way cooler than the rest of your home. It will send wrong signals to the HVAC unit and make it work incorrectly.
The comfort of your family depends, to a very large extent, on your HVAC unit. To keep it running for years, you need to understand it a bit better. Maintenance should never be overlooked and when your HVAC technician gives you some advice, try to think about it with an open mind instead of assuming that he is trying to fleece you of a few more dollars. When it comes to your HVAC unit, the technician is the best person to consult. You will only enrich with their knowledge and experience.