As the seasons start to change, one thing always remains constant. You depend on your home HVAC system to keep you and your family comfortable throughout the year. Particularly in New England, we can see freezing temps followed by 70 degrees on back to back days.
There are many common HVAC issues that really need professional assistance to fix. However, there are also common home HVAC signs that any homeowner can check. It helps if you ask the right questions to know if a pro is needed to keep a small issue from turning into a big problem.
To help, here are some common home HVAC questions that many new homeowners may find useful.
Basic Home HVAC Questions
1. What does HVAC cover?
HVAC simply refers to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems throughout your home.
Generally, home HVAC systems should be checked out by a professional annually to ensure they are in good condition and running properly. Homeowners that follow annual maintenance can expect to increase the longevity of their HVAC system.
2. How can I increase the efficiency of my HVAC system?
Proper maintenance is a great way to increase the efficiency of any HVAC system. Common HVAC maintenance includes an annual check up, but also includes regularly cleaning or replacing air filters (which any homeowner can do). For example, SolvIt offers a variety of home maintenance protection plans that cover annual inspections.
Also, taking steps to reduce the workload of your HVAC system will increase its efficiency. Consider adding shades to rooms with significant sunlight to keep the general temperature in check.
3. Is my air filter clogged?
For those homeowners that rely on a furnace for their heating needs, then the air filter is a small, but critical component. Air filters should be check monthly and changed when dirty. Even if the dirty filter in your system seems to be doing its job well, it could be causing your system to work harder to produce the desired results.
Keeping your filter clean can prevent premature wear to your system and save you money, too. If you are not sure how to check, clean or replace your air filter, then this should help.
4. Is my thermostat working?
Panic is the general feeling when the heat or AC goes out. And this is completely understandable because your home becomes very uncomfortable.
However, keep in mind that often, the AC or heat is on the fritz due to a broken thermostat. This is good news because the cost to fix is drastically lower and much quicker. The first step is to check the batteries, then consult the instruction manual for other simple DIY fixes.
If you cannot fix the thermostat, then consult an HVAC pro to take a look. If the thermostat is still the culprit, then they would be able to remedy the situation much quicker due to experience.
5. Why does my energy bill fluctuate?
New England experiences huge fluctuations in our normal weather, which can mean your HVAC system is in constant use (particularly in the spring and fall). However, occasionally, you may see fluctuations in your monthly energy costs although you have similar usage throughout the month.
One reason that may cause the fluctuations is repeated interactions between the HVAC components (furnace or AC unit) and the thermostat. If the thermostat is malfunctioning and continually triggering the HVAC system to work, then you may see a spike in costs.
Technical Home HVAC Questions
6. What is the pilot light and how do I fix it?
A pilot light is a small gas flame, which serves as an ignition source for a more powerful gas burner. The pilot light is the source that powers the components of your home HVAC system, including hot water heaters and central heating systems.
Pilot lights do go out occasionally. If your pilot light goes out more than once per season, this could indicate a problem. Although, some homeowners will shut them off for the summer, everyone should know how to light his or her pilot. It isn’t too difficult and there are usually instructions printed on the equipment itself.
7. Why is one room too hot or too cold compared to the rest of the house?
Simple. Rooms may vary in temperature due to ductwork.
Vents carry both hot and cold air throughout your home to reach each room. Although ductwork varies from one home to the next, many supply lines that lead to the individual rooms of your house have a damper at the main supply line that is used to restrict airflow. When some rooms cool or heat much faster than others, it may be because the dampers are not balanced.
Reducing the airflow to a line allows more conditioned air to flow to other areas of the home, and finding the right balance of dampers will help each room of the house receive the right amount of heated or cooled air. As a result, each of the rooms in your home will remain comfortable every season!
8. What is leaking?
Air leaking refers to a few things throughout your home. First, air may “leak” outside of your home through gaps in the windows, doors and even electrical sockets. To identify and fix these leaks, then many homeowners will have a home energy audit completed because this will source the leaks and provide a list of projects to fix the leaks.
Additionally, leaks may refer to refrigerant leaks that mean your AC unit will no longer be able to cool the air. As a result, the AC will blow air, but not cold air. Small leaks at the valves are often the cause and sometimes finding the exact point of the leak can be very difficult.
If you have tried everything else and believe this might be your issue, it is usually best to call your HVAC technician to address the issue.
9. What does home HVAC maintenance cover?
Ultimately, taking some preventative steps will help to maintain your HVAC system. The following actions will help keep your system in order and save some money.
- Check vents and ducts for any debris or dust that may prevent hot air from moving into your rooms.
- Have a heating professional perform routine maintenance on a schedule.
- See how your thermostat is performing and increase efficiency by turning it down to 55 degrees at night.
- Inspect air filters to ensure they aren’t clogged and interfering with regular airflow.
As a result, you will benefit from a properly running HVAC system.
- Ensuring a safe and comfortable home.
- Keeping your warranty intact.
- Reducing your energy bills in the winter.
If you decide that a professional HVAC technician should be called to your home, then here are some tips to find and hire the best HVAC pros around your neighborhood.
Of course, if SolvIt can help, then we are here 24/7 to provide reliable and trustworthy service. Contact us today with any HVAC needs!