Homeowner HVAC Tips

Save Money On Your HVAC System

If you own your own home, or multiple rental properties, one of the easiest ways to save money is to do some minor home repairs yourself. Especially in an environment like we are in right now, I think we could all use some extra money. 

There are so many systems in a home that many people don’t realize. When things start to fail, a lot of headache and expenses are to follow. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some things you could do to prevent these failures? Lucky for you, today we are going to go over some tips focused on your home’s HVAC system to keep things running smoother for longer.

1: Change Your Filter!

One of the easiest, and most commonly known things to take care of in your heating and cooling system is your filter, located on the return air side of your furnace. With many years of HVAC experience, you can see all the problems that doing the simple task of changing your filter can prevent. 

First off, a clean filter keeps and catches all the nasty stuff in the air inside your home. Pet hair, dust, even random objects that fell into vents! Changing your filter will also improve the overall airflow your unit puts out. It makes sense that a clearer path of air causes better airflow, right?

 A dirty or restrictive filter can also cause your unit to build up ice on the coil inside your home which can lead to flooding when it thaws, and obviously a non working air conditioner. Dirty filters also create too much heat building up inside your furnace, causing it to trip out. An HVAC tech can come out, press one button, change your filter, and charge you several hundred dollars for that simple fix.

2: Washing Coils

While many people know to change their filter, this next step gets overlooked more often than not. That is washing your condenser coil. Your condenser coil is located on the outdoor part of the unit and it is the part that wraps all the way around the sides of the unit. 

When this gets clogged with dirt, cotton, or other debris, your unit cannot function correctly. It will cause the unit to eventually trip and stop running, and can even damage major parts of your HVAC system that lead to major repairs.

This is another repair that many homeowners get upset about calling a company out for. The technician will come out, take a garden hose and wash all the dirt off your coil, push one button and your unit will fire right back up, again costing you several hundred dollars. Wash it yourself and take a vacation with that money!

 

3: Replacing Your Thermostat

Changing your thermostat also is not as hard as many people believe it to be. Diagnosing a bad thermostat should be done by a technician, or someone with a good amount of mechanical and electrical knowledge. If you just decide you would like a new thermostat, or take your old one off to paint, you can reinstall it yourself and save some serious money! 

When you take the thermostat off, make sure to take pictures of what wires are being used and where they are connected. If a good technician installed it, the wire colors should match up to the labels on the thermostat. The normal colors you see are red, green, yellow, white, and sometimes black. These are labeled as R, G, Y, W, and BLK. Normally red is your power, green controls your fan, yellow controls cooling, and white controls the heating. 

ALWAYS make sure your furnace is turned off before you start any of this, because you can short the board out and have to call a technician out anyway if proper precautions aren’t taken.

Conclusion

Most things beyond these simple preventative maintenance tips should be performed by a trained professional. All of these tips should be done with the POWER TURNED OFF at the respective unit. That being said, these simple tasks will help you save plenty of money on service calls, and avoid being stuck in extreme heat or cold. As someone with experience I can tell you, systems always go out at the worst times. If you try to get a mechanical contractor to your house at the start of summer or winter for an HVAC related issue, don’t be surprised at all if they tell you it will be a couple of weeks before they are able to get to you. Save yourself the headache and keep your unit kicking for years to come.

Seth is a freelance writer who specializes in outdoor and mechanical/homeowner topics. You can catch him out in the mountains when he is not writing or tinkering with his next mechanical project. Get in contact with him at SethDillman.com

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