Does your HVAC system seem mysterious to you? Don’t worry! We’re here to help with this great article that will give the low-down on how it works.

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It’s 3 systems in one (although not all homes have all 3 systems in place).

  • There’s the Heating System, which is the furnace. It draws in fresh air, heats it, and pushes that air through a filter and out into your house. Some homes have electric heat, others have oil heat and others have natural gas.
  • There’s the Air Conditioning System, which is your air conditioner. It draws in fresh air, runs that air over cold coils, and then pushes that air out into your house. Some homes have an external air conditioning unit, others have a window unit that is not actually connected to your ventilation system (but just cools the air in the room), and some homes don’t have any air conditioning.
  • There’s the Ventilation System, which includes your ductwork that runs through the walls, delivering hot or cold air to each room.

These 3 systems work together to make sure your home is as warm or as cool as you want. Some can be very complex (including special filters and programmable thermostats), and others can be very simple.

So, what do you need to know about your system?

 First, it’s good to be familiar with where your furnace and air conditioner are located. Second, it’s good to know which circuits power the plugs that your furnace and air conditioner use (so you can shut them off if necessary). Third, it’s good to know if there are filters that each system uses so that you can clean and replace them regularly.

Here’s what to do with your system regularly:

#1. Make sure your system runs from time to time. Use your sense of sight, smell, and hearing to detect anything unusual about your system. (Note: if you are starting your system up after a long time of not running, you may detect a very slight burning smell, which is probably a light accumulation of dust on the heating unit. As long as it disappears quickly, this is usually nothing to worry about, although you should call your local HVAC company if you are at all concerned.

#2. Keep vents clear. There are intake vents where fresh air is drawn in, and exhaust vents where warmed or cooled air is pushed out. Keep these vents clear so you can create circulation throughout your home.

#3. Have your ducts cleaned regularly. Dirty ducts will distribute dust and allergens throughout the house, and plug up your furnace filter. Clean ducts will move warmed or cooled air freely.

#4. Clean your filters regularly (about every 1-3 months) and replace them regularly (about every 3-4 months) for maximum efficiency and the cleanest air.

#5. Check for cold spots or hot spots. Your home should be comfortable but sometimes you may find that some areas of your home are colder or warmer than others. This can be fixed by running fans or by calling your local HVAC company to see what they recommend.

#6. Have your local HVAC company service your HVAC system regularly and recommend ways to improve efficiency and cost savings. They probably have many tools and strategies that you weren’t even aware of, which can help you save money and breathe easier.

Summary

Your HVAC system may seem like a complicated system but it’s really quite simple. It warms or cools the air, and it moves the air around your house, all so you can keep your family safer and more comfortable. Get to know your system and learn how to keep it running smoothly and you’ll enjoy it for a long time to come.

Your home is an investment, and your home’s HVAC system is an investment in the comfort and safety of your family. A well-maintained HVAC system is an important part of your home. Homeowners who take the time to care for their HVAC systems will get a long life out of their systems and save money and time in the long-run while enjoying a comfortable home year ‘round.

Use these tips to help you:

#1. Clean the fan blades and coils near the end of fall. Falling leaves from trees can clog up your air
conditioning unit’s fan and coils so clear it out after the leaves have fallen, and don’t let too many
leaves pile up around the unit. Pay particular attention to grass clippings while mowing and when you use a leaf blower. Note: make sure to turn off the power before cleaning the unit.

#2. Have your HVAC system serviced twice per year, in the fall and the spring. This type if preventative maintenance is highly necessary to ward off any expensive troubles from coming your way.

#3. As the temperature outside drops, remember to turn off your outdoor condenser unit. This means that you should turn it off to prevent damage if the weather falls under 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure your system works well each year, which could save you quite a bit in repair costs.

#4. Equipping your home with a programmable thermostat can be an excellent way to cut utility costs. In fact, you can save as much as 10 percent on both heating and cooling when you turn your thermostat down by 10-15 percent for at least 8 hours daily. Some can even be controlled from a computer or
smartphone.

#5. Clean your ducts and filters. As temperatures drop, HVAC systems will run, and can burn off the dust that has accumulated over the summer. To avoid a smoky smell, and to avoid blowing dust around your home, have your ducts and filters cleaned.

#6. Walk around your home and check to make sure there is no furniture blocking the vents. Not only do blocked vents make your HVAC system work unnecessarily harder, it can also be dangerous to have something sitting on a hot vent for too long! It is important that you take care of your unit. When HVAC systems fail, they can be costly to repair. But these tips can help to prolong the life of your HVAC unit and keep your family safe and comfortable
for many years.