The HVAC system in your home is a component to having a nice living space. If it's too hot or cold, or you having no air blowing at all, the only thing that follows is misery. You know how expensive it is to fix, so it is vital that you prevent these things from occurring. Below there are many good tips to help you keep up with proper HVAC maintenance.
If you must hire someone to help you out with your HVAC system, be sure to learn about all of the requirements your state has legislated regarding licencing and insurance. You need to be able to ask anyone you plan to hire if they meet these requirements before you hire them.
Be sure to get every quote or estimate in written form. You have no recourse on a verbal agreement, so a written contract is a must. This will allow you to follow up if something goes wrong or you don't get what you were promised, protecting you from shady contractors.
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When your contractor comes to fix your unit or install a new one, he should walk around your home and investigate what's going on with your current set-up. They should be looking for how much insulation you have, where your windows are and what quality they are and more.
If you have fans in place to help make your HVAC more efficient, be sure that they're turning in the right direction. They should be pushing air downwards over the people in the room to help cool their skin. If it's blowing upwards, all it does is push hot air into the room.
If you are uncertain about which HVAC contractor to call when you experience an equipment failure, take the time to ask friends and family for personal recommendations. By doing this, you will be able to feel more confident about the choice you make, because you will have gotten the opinions of people you already know to be trustworthy.
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Don't ever let your home temperature get dangerously high. An air conditioner can only cool your home by 20ºF quickly. If the temperature in your home rises to 100 degrees F or higher, cooling it will only drop the temperature to 80 degrees F. This isn't a very safe condition for a homeowner to sleep in, especially when the humidity levels are considered.
Make sure things don't get too hot or cold where your thermostat is. Any electronics or heat sources like lamps or televisions nearby can trick the thermostat into thinking the home is warmer than it actually is. This just means it runs your air conditioning longer than necessary, wasting energy and money.
If you currently have a manual thermostat, consider installing a programmable one. You can set your system for different temperatures depending on time of day and if anyone is home. Also, you can set upper and lower temperature settings to allow for a comfortable range of temperatures so that heating and cooling don't kick in when not needed.
Find an air conditioner calculator online to determine what models are best for you. Buying a unit that is too large for your home is a poor decision that wastes money. Look at the manual for more information.
Ask your friends, relatives, and coworkers about their experiences with HVAC contractors in your area. People who've had great service are usually willing to tell of it. This will also provide you with good information on which contractors you should avoid hiring.
When you're purchasing an HVAC system, make sure that you get a unit that is properly sized for your space. If you buy a unit that's too large, it won't be energy efficient for your needs. Read over the owner's manual to see the manufacturers suggestions as to the cooling capacity of the unit for the most accurate information.
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Call in a contractor to find out if you can install an air conditioner on your current forced-air system without having to install new duct work. This can save you a ton of time and money, plus it takes up less space in your walls and rooms to boot.
If you can, find a way to create shade over your outdoor HVAC unit. This can actually save you money as shaded air being pulled in by the HVAC unit is typically 5 to 6 degrees cooler than air that's heated by direct sunlight. It's a smart solution to lowering those energy bills.
When you are looking to buy a new air conditioner, consider your climate. If you live in a hot, dry area, then an evaporative cooler will be your best bet. If you live in a humid area, opt for a compressor-style unit as it's the only one which will work.
When buying an air conditioner, you want to find out with a SEER rating of 13 or higher. 13 is the minimum standard set by the government, so higher ratings, while not mandatory, are going to offer you better efficiency. SEER ratings can go as high as 19, so keep this in mind as you shop.
Do not close your vents. Keep air vents open and unblocked at all times. Many people believe that closing off a vent will save them money on cooling costs. This is not true. It can actually damage your HVAC system. Closing vents can cause your cooling coil to freeze and damage the compressor.
If you live in a hot climate, don't use duct tape on your HVAC. It just dries out and falls off, leaving you with leaks all over the place. Instead, use mastic sealant to cover any holes or gaps in duct work and you'll keep your home comfortable all year long.
About two-thirds of homes have ducts that leak. These can lead to as much as a quarter of your utility costs. Sealing the ducts is something you can do easily and cheaply, and it can significantly decrease your electrical bill yearly thereafter.
Now that you are aware of the importance of having the correct HVAC system installed in your home, get referrals about HVAC companies in your area. Use this tips in the article to guide you in your choice. Make sure you choose wisely and the cost of your energy usage will show the difference.