Give that HVAC System Some Love
How often should you get your HVAC system serviced? We recommend it every year! And we suggest changing your filters at least 3X a year. Scheduling an HVAC specialist annually to do a safety check and clean and inspect your system will help catch issues before they become problems and increase the lifespan of your system. We also look for other efficiencies and long-term savings by exploring new thermostats and measuring airflow to detect duct leaks. Nest claims that their smart thermostat can save you somewhere between 10-12% on energy and some of their competitors claim up to 20%.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is not a single system or appliance but rather individual systems that typically share a blower and ventilation system. There can be some variation in how these systems work and the complexity varies with every property. Some homes we work with have as many as five or six AC units! When we first on-board a new client we connect with the HVAC company on record to get a lay of the land. Furnaces, blowers and AC units can be hidden in hard to detect areas like attics, rooftops, etc.
Here is some basic info on how each system works -
AC UNIT - AC units are typically outside the home and use electricity and refrigerant fluid to cool air. Warm air is exchanged for cooler air and then distributed through the home. Simply explained, the compressor, the condenser coil and the evaporator coil work together to convert gas into liquid and back into gas again. Hot air is discarded and cool air is pumped through the ducts by the blower fan.
FURNACE - Your furnace is typically inside the house usually in a closet, basement, attic or garage out of sight. A flame and gas heat up the heat exchanger and exhaust is sent out the flu and warm air is pushed through the ducts via the blower. In this case cold air from inside the home is exchanged for warmer air. The warmer air basically pushes the dense cold air back to the return where it travels back to the furnace to be warmed.
Understanding how the system works and its setup can help us troubleshoot common issues like temperature fluctuation and high energy bills. Waiting until something is “wrong” is too late to give your HVAC some love.