Your HVAC system is one of the most important parts of your home. Not only does it give you a chance to sit as comfortably as possible while you’re indoors, but it also controls how energy efficient your property can be. Heating and cooling affect monthly bill changes more than any other portion of your property, so it’s a good idea to get to know how you can fix this issue. These are five innovative ways anyone can improve their home’s HVAC system and why a large part of it is just simple maintenance.
CHECK YOUR SEAL AT ALL POINTS
If air can escape and unbalance your HVAC system: it will. Check the seal on every portion of your home. This means windows, doors, soffit, and anything else that catches your eye. To look for an air leak, take the time to light a candle that doesn’t have high sides around it. Carry this lit candle carefully near windows and doors, and watch for the light to flicker towards or away from any entrances. Regardless of whatever way it flicks, if it moves strongly, that means there’s a leak there.
The best course of action is to replace the door or window if they’re older, but that’s not always feasible. Taking a moment to seal these entrances will allow your property to be comfortable and more efficient. If you can’t afford to replace all of your older windows, consider getting a window replacement insert that will make it look just as good!
UNDERSTAND YOUR INSULATION
Insulation is one of the most important players when it comes to keeping your home as comfortable and cool as possible in the sweltering heat. If you don’t have good polyiso sheathing where it’s needed, you might as well have a window open in your home.
When you’re checking your insulation, look at its levels and how well it’s performing. If your home has been in the family for over forty years, and you don’t know the last time the insulation was checked, talk to a professional about checking for asbestos to be safe.
When you replace your insulation, it’s a good idea to get as much as necessary. Make sure areas like walls and floorboards are also insulated. This is especially important if your property has a crawlspace. Many homeowners forget this portion of their property and allow this open gap under their feet to steal as much cool air as possible.
LOOK AT YOUR HOME’S EXTERIOR
Although most homes in the area are built with CBS stucco-appearing exteriors instead of steel board and batten siding, that doesn’t mean the exterior of your home isn’t at risk of letting air through.
Every season you should take the time to inspect the exterior of your home for any issues like cracks. This could mean you have rust forming on the steel bars that hold it together. This spalling will allow heat to seep into your home, and moisture can leak in and cause even more trouble.
If you see these cracks, take the time to get them and the source repaired as soon as possible to avoid future issues.
REMEMBER HOW HEAT AND COOLING FUNCTION
Heat travels up, and cold air sinks, so make sure to consider where your air source is coming from. In the long summers, you’ll want cold air to be able to fill your home from top to bottom.
If you have a second floor in your home, it might be a good idea to have an additional thermostat for that floor. This area of the home is always much warmer than the lower floor, which means you’ll have to make extra efforts to keep it cool if your whole home is running on the same thermostat.
MAKE SURE YOUR UV LIGHTS ARE PULLING THEIR WEIGHT
Many HVAC systems are set up with a UV light near the coil and drain pan to keep them as clean and sanitary as possible. This can help prevent mold and bacteria from growing, and sterilizes the system 24/7.
These lights need to be maintained, and swapped out every year. Of course, the light can stay lit for longer than this, and if you check in on it you may assume it’s working, but after it passes this one year mark the light is less capable of killing bacteria, which can make the system hazardous to anyone living in the property.
Check your UV light, and set reminders for yourself to schedule replacements or maintenance every year.
EVERY HOME COULD USE HVAC UPGRADES
How old is your HVAC system? Although you may think your property is perfect, taking the time to upgrade this area can save you money and trouble in the long run!
Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on HVAC maintenance with his readers. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching HVAC technology in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.