You just bought a new home…CONGRATS! It’s an extremely exciting time, but boy, it’s one of the biggest financial adventures you’ll undertake whether it’s your first or fifth house. From nailing down your must-have features, racing around to look at houses before they fly off the market, and then the financial number crunching on top of it all can be super stressful.
If you’re lucky, your new home was move-in ready with few needed renovations or appliance upgrades. And hopefully, the previous owner proactively shared previous, inspection reports for the HVAC system. Often, unfortunately, neither is the case. So, we have some tips and tricks for maximizing the life of your home’s system.
How is your house heated and cooled?
Do you have a central air conditioning, a heat pump, or a mini-split system?
It’s important to know how old your system is, whether it was properly serviced. If the previous owner had it maintained regularly by a professional HVAC company, it’s easy to get inspection reports and find out whether there were any problems or repairs.
To keep the HVAC unit in top condition, you need to have the filters changed as recommended by the manufacturer. Changing your air filters regularly is a bit like changing the oil in your car regularly. It helps your system heat and cool more efficiently and saves you money. Clean filters also reduce allergens in the air. There are even some systems that remind you when your filters need to be changed. And, if you think you’ll forget, get this service as part of a regular maintenance contract.
If your landscaping is well-maintained, this helps the system to operate efficiently. Shrubs, plants and any other foliage should be at least two feet away from your outdoor system. Avoid grass clippings, leaves, dirt, and other outdoor debris from collecting on or near your AC Unit. Use a broom to sweep the base of the unit clean and remove any shrubbery growing too close nearby. Also, keep any toys or garden tools away from the unit. In case anything falls near or on the HVAC system, make sure you remove it.
You may have heard the rumor that closing off vents in rooms (not often used) can save on energy costs. Conversely, this does NOT save money. When the vents are closed, the system has to work harder to maintain the same temperature levels in the house. Therefore, it’s recommended to keep the vents open and remove anything that blocks the vents.
Your home’s duct system is a branching network of tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings. It carries the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Air ducts are one of the most important systems in your home, and if the ducts are poorly sealed or insulated, they are likely contributing to higher energy bills. Ducts that have leaks, or are improperly installed, can cause you to lose anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of your energy.
If you’re moving into your new home during the winter, a little bit of ice on your HVAC system is probably normal. However, if it’s a warmer season and/or the amount of ice is larger, then you need to have a professional assess and address the issue.
You don’t want to wait until your system needs repairs to search for a dependable service provider. Do some research in advance and source a trusted contractor. They should be licensed, have been in the business for many years, and be able to provide you with emergency services.
If you’ve recently purchased a new home in our Phoenix service area, trust your HVAC questions and issues the experts at FH Air Conditioning. Give us a call at (480) 648-0017 or schedule an appointment online.