HVAC systems, as per Energy Star account for 43% of a household’s energy use. There are a lot of proactive steps you can take to ensure prolonged life and low maintenance costs. These steps will also help in reducing your Northern California energy bills in the long term.
Do Not Close Indoor Vents
When you close indoor vents, you put additional pressure on the system because of limited air circulation. The ECM or electronically commutated motor blower has to work harder, which can cause wear and tear. The same holds true for systems with permanent split capacitor (PSC) blower as well.
Do Not Open Windows
You can get tempted to open windows to allow ventilation, especially during hot summer days. However, this only causes loss of conditioned air. Your system will need to work extra hard to bring the indoor temperatures back down again.
Keep Your Home Dust Free
You should clean your floors and rugs on a regular basis to prevent dust accumulation. That can lead to your ductwork becoming clogged because of particle build-up.
Plug Air Leaks in the House
An impermeable barrier is created between the indoor and outdoor air when you leak proof your house. Gaps tend to fill the house with hot air forcing the HVAC system to run for longer. Inspect all doors and check all windows for leaks.
Do Not Use Dirty Air Filters
Be proactive in replacing clogged air filters or else it may obstruct airflow. Filters are known to convey dust and dirt directly into the evaporator coil, affecting its heat absorbing capacity. Speak to your local HVAC technician for the right filter replacement schedule.
Consider Attic Insulation
Air will not be able to leak outside when you insulate the attic in your home. This will prevent your HVAC system from working extra hard. If you can see floor joists, you probably need more insulation in the attic.
Protect Outdoor Components
You should not allow outdoor components to be exposed to the elements. You should cut back foliage and remove any debris, such as cut grass and leaves. You should also consider covering rooftop units to protect it from snow, rain, and other weather elements.
Keep the Ductwork Clean
Ducts can easily get dirty over time. Check for dust, dirt, debris, mold growth and particles being released from the registers. These elements can jeopardize the wellbeing of your system by impacting airflow.
Keep the Condensing Unit Clean
There is an exterior condensing unit in most residential HVAC systems. There are metal fins on the unit which can easily get clogged when exposed to dirt, debris, and pollen. You can use a water hose to spray away dust buildup.
Check Evaporator and Condenser Coil Fins
Bent fins can restrict or block air flow causing premature coil failure. Get in touch with a trained HVAC technician for preventative maintenance to avoid costly repairs later on.
Clear the Condensate Drains
There will be a drain line leading from the indoor evaporator coil to the outside unit. Drains can be made from PVC or copper. There should be a consistent dripping on hot and humid days if the condensate drain is working as it should. Clogged drains will cause water to drip from the indoor unit.