In a few short days we will be celebrating the New Year which, for many people, means coming up with a list of resolutions. While losing weight or making more money are usually the top concerns, Metro is suggesting adding a few home improvement resolutions as well. Since we’re the premier HVAC company in Chattanooga, we decided to come up with some realistic goals for our customers. By adding these simple, yet effective, HVAC actions to your New Year’s list you’ll help maximize efficiency, save energy and extend the life of your unit.
Check for Duct Leaks
One of the costliest problems that can occur with your HVAC unit is a leak in the ductwork. Leaky ducts in a forced-air system are a common occurrence and can contribute to major energy loss and poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Make sure that your ducts are sealed by investigating the accessible areas for air leaks. This can be done in a number of ways, but the easiest is simply placing a stick of incense close to the area in question.
If the smoke shows signs of irregular movement, there is probably a leak. Foil tape or foam insulation can be used to close off the leaks. But this practice is only for exposed areas that can be easily accessed. The majority of your return and supply ducts are hidden within the walls of your home. If you are experiencing a gradual increase in your energy bill, you might consider getting an HVAC professional to check your ductwork for potential leaks.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
The best thing that you can do for your HVAC is to schedule annual maintenance from a professional technician. A thorough assessment of your unit in the fall and spring will ensure that it’s in top condition before the summer and winter (when use is constant). Maintenance will also help ensure that minor problems with the system don’t become expensive repair issues.
A way to ensure that the conditioned air stays in your home is to keep it well insulated. It is always good practice to check the insulation level in the walls, attic and crawlspaces as it can deteriorate over time – or become compromised by leaks or rodents. Attic and wall insulation is different from house to house, so there isn’t one sure method to figuring out the density (or condition). But there are a few good DIY tests that you can perform in certain homes. If you feel that your home might benefit from additional insulation in the New Year, contact an energy professional to assess your home for a recommendation.
Clear Away Foliage Around Condenser
The condenser is the outdoor component of your cooling system (which works, in part, through outdoor heat dispersal). The condenser helps achieve this through air circulation into and out of the condenser coil. This is why the area around the condenser must be clear for adequate ventilation. While shade is ideal for the condenser, trees and shrubs that are too close will compromise the air flow. Make sure that there is at least 1 to 3 feet of space next to the intake grilles of the unit.
Update Your System
Is this the year that you update your HVAC system? If your unit is more than ten years old and you’ve been experiencing performance issues, you might consider investing in a new unit. Frequent repairs, noisy performance, humidity issues and excessive dust are all signs that your HVAC might need to be replaced. If you are considering system replacement, contact us today to schedule a full assessment.
Educate Yourself on Your HVAC
This year, take some time to learn more about how your HVAC system works. The more you know about the operation and care of your central air system, the easier it will be for you to manage problems. During your next scheduled maintenance, ask your technician to outline how the system works and keep notes for future reference.
Metro would like to wish you and your family a healthy, comfortable New Year! We would also like to remind you that we will be there whenever there’s a problem or concern with your central air system. Contact us anytime, day or night, to schedule a repair, installation or service call.
Looking for information on your HVAC system? Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want! Call us today at (423) 616-1025!