What HVAC maintenance can save my summer?
Spring is a traditional time to clean and repair your home after the long winter season. It is also the best time to have an HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) contractor perform an annual pre-summer inspection of your system. This will ensure that your cooling system will be working properly when the hot, humid summer weather arrives.
According to ENERGY STAR
, a typical contractor maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check furnace system controls and thermostat. This will insure that the starting cycle is working properly so the unit keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy (and money) when you are away.
- Tighten the electrical connections and lubricate all HVAC moving parts. Faulty electrical connections and lack of adequate lubrication can reduce the life of the unit components. An improperly operating system can also cost you in the increased amount of electricity you use.
- Make sure the condensate drain is working properly. Not only can a plugged drain or pipe cause water damage, it can also affect the humidity levels in your home.
- Clean the evaporator and air conditioning coils. Dirty coils can cost you money. They reduce the system's ability to cool the home so it must operate longer, leading to higher energy bills. Longer operating times also reduce the system's life and increase the amount of energy needed to operate.
- Check air conditioner refrigerant level. Too much or too little refrigerant will affect system efficiency, increasing energy costs and system life.
- Make sure blower components are properly adjusted. ENERGY STAR® guidelines indicate that airflow problems can reduce system efficiencies by up to 15 percent!
- Change air filters on a regular basis. Dirty filters reduce system efficiency and increase costs.
Proper homeowner and professional maintenance will allow your system to do its job and save you money. The average West Virginia homeowner spends $2,168 annually on home energy needs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that heating and cooling operations account for up to 74 percent of this total.