Your HVAC system can be a rather complicated part of the home and any homeowner who has this type of equipment installed will probably have any number of questions about maintenance and longevity.
The major components that comprise your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system typically include a heat pump, furnace, air conditioner, filter, and so on. In order to better understand how all of these things can be kept in proper working order, let’s take a look at some of the most common HVAC installation questions that consumers just like you will often ask their HVAC company.
How to preserve the life of an HVAC system?
One of the most widely overlooked components of an HVAC system is usually the very thing that can keep it running stronger and longer or damage the equipment if left unchanged. That item is your filter.
Consider how much you paid to purchase and install your HVAC system you are certainly going to want to maintain it properly for the best possible efficiency and performance. But too many homeowners neglect to check or replace their filter and that can lead to big problems. Ironically, the filter is one of the least expensive components, costing only a few bucks each.
With that said, be sure to check your filters once a month and always replace no later than every three months. Depending on the type of filter your HVAC system uses and how often you use the system, three months may be too long.
Dirty filters make it harder for air to get through the system, overtaxing it to the point of lesser efficiency at the very least and potentially damaging the system at the very worst.
What do all those letters mean?
Air conditioners and furnaces come with certain ratings that indicate efficiency and performance of your air conditioner or furnace. These letters such as SEER and BTU are very informative when it comes to having an HVAC system installed in your home.
The following are the most important acronyms you’ll need to remember as you decide which components you want to be installed:
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
This rating gives you the efficiency level of your heat pump or air conditioner as it operates over the cooler seasons. The higher the rating, the better the efficiency of that particular unit.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)
This rating provides the consumer with an accurate reading of your furnace and the efficiency with which it provides heat based on how much fuel it consumes.
British Thermal Unit (BTU)
BTU is probably the most commonly familiar rating but not everyone knows exactly what it means. It rates how much energy is required to raise the temperature in one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In heating terms, when you light a standard match the heat that comes off that flame is tantamount to one BTU.
How routinely should I service my HVAC system?
Great question. Every HVAC system, no matter what type you own or how big or small it may be, should be serviced by a professional at least once a year. However, if you rely on your system with more frequency regardless of the season, you may want to have it checked out twice a year.
How big or small should my HVAC system be?
This is a tough one to answer without first seeing the location where the system will be installed. If your air conditioning unit is too large it could overpower your home or business by cooling it too fast and that can lead to moisture build up damaging the property.
If you find that you’re having a problem with air conditioning on an older system, it may time to replace the unit. Any air conditioner that is roughly 15 to 20 years old will likely need to be taken out and replaced by a newer model. This can also help you avoid costly repair bills and prevent from damage being done to other components of the system
Does a ceiling fan work in lieu of air conditioning?
Though it may seem like a ceiling fan set on high may cool down the room but, in reality, it’s only blowing the air around only making it feel as if it’s cooler when you stand underneath it. That doesn’t cool the air through the square footage of the room so when you are further away from the fan the air is warmer. Air conditioners actually cool the entire room by cooling the air within instead of blowing it around.