Summer is coming, and with the sun shining longer and the temperature rising, it means a few more hours of outdoor activities. During this period of change, we shouldn’t neglect our heating and ventilation systems that have worked so hard for us over the winter.
Maintaining a healthy HVAC system not only keeps the system healthy, it can also keep you and your home healthy. Air pollutants and pollutants can put physical strain on your body, this is one reason why proper maintenance of your equipment is so important. Scheduled maintenance can also save you on energy costs.
An energy-saving spring cleaning activity is to check the condition of these systems. This measure not only reduces energy costs, but also improves the quality of your indoor air. Filters are a quick DIY project to alleviate these two concerns. Old filters can put a strain on your system, which means the system works harder and performs less efficiently, which translates into higher utility bills. Dirty filters can also force dust and contaminants into your home. This maintenance measure extends the life of your system and ensures that the air in your home is clean and filtered. Ideally, homeowners are advised to inspect these filters once a month for effectiveness. You may need to replace it at least every three months, and even more often with heavy use.
Professional maintenance can also increase your energy savings and improve indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends doing this every six months. A certified HVAC technician can ensure that your system is operating safely and efficiently. They can determine the remaining life expectancy of the system, ensure proper ventilation and ignition, determine the efficiency of your ducts or pipes, and provide recommended heating and cooling settings for maximum comfort and savings.
HVAC best practices
- Check the condition of your vent connection pipe and chimney. Parts of the venting system may have deteriorated over time. Chimney problems can be expensive to fix and can help install new heating equipment that doesn’t use the existing chimney.
- Check the physical integrity of the heat exchanger. Leaking boiler heat exchangers leak water and are easy to spot. Furnace heat exchangers mix combustion gases with house air when they leak – an important safety reason to have them inspected.
- Adjust the controls on the kettle or oven to provide optimal water and air temperature settings for both efficiency and comfort.
- If you are considering replacing or retrofitting your existing heating system, have the technician perform a combustion efficiency test.
Contact the Walking Mountains Science Center energy programs to see how we can help. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 970-328-8777 for discount options and our list of local contractors.
Matt Parker is Energy Program Coordinator at Walking Mountains Science Center.