5 Tips to Minimize the Strain on Your HVAC System During the Summer
Southern California is one the hottest regions of the US, and therefore leading in air conditioning use and installation. However, frequent and incorrect use can put a strain on your unit, leading to the breakdown of its components and need for frequent repairs. Here’s how to warrant good and responsible use of your system during the hottest times of the year.
What effect does opening and closing doors frequently have on your HVAC system?
Closing doors actually doesn’t help with energy efficiency. It can actually decrease it and increase your monthly bills. The reason is that closing doors obstructs airflow in your home, and your HVAC unit needs proper airflow to function at its best.
The air in the room becomes pressurized due to the obstruction, but that pressurized air has to go somewhere and it finds ways to escape. Then, that air is replaced by incoming air: through the chimney, the furnace flue, or even the water heater. This creates a continuous draft in the interior of your home. When air isn’t coming in directly through your HVAC system, it can be a problem. If the air isn’t getting filtered, you could get dust, humidity, dirt, and even carbon monoxide (CO). This can potentially damage your home, and it can also be dangerous to you and your family due to high levels of CO or mold growth.
What effect does drafty windows have on your HVAC system?
Conduction occurs when heat escapes through the glass. The result is colder air hovering around the windows that can feel like a draft. Drafts result from gaps and cracks that allow indoor air to escape, and outdoor air to make its way inside. If there are no visible cracks or gaps around a window, conduction is the likely culprit. You can buy thick drapes to pull over these windows at night to reduce the effect, but doing this during daylight hours reduces the amount of natural light in your home.
If, on the other hand, you see gaps or cracks around the window frame, drafts are interfering with your home’s ability to maintain a comfortable temperature. Besides being uncomfortable, drafts can also make your heating and cooling system work overtime to maintain your home’s interior temperature. As we mentioned above, anytime your HVAC system has to work harder, you end up paying more in energy costs. Higher energy bills aren’t the only potential expenses that come with an overworked HVAC, however; parts inside the system may begin to wear down or break, resulting in unexpected maintenance charges. An overtaxed HVAC may also require replacement earlier than estimated, leaving you with the expense of a whole new system.
How much strain does it add to your HVAC system if you don’t change your air filters?
There are many unfortunate side effects that come with unchanged filters, here are the most common ones:
Leaving your AC filter unchanged for a long time can lead to dust collection in the moving parts of the AC like motors and valves. This restricts the airflow that strains your HVAC system as it forces it to generate more power to function making the unit less energy efficient. Moreover, changing the AC filter each month saves about 15% on utilities and helps you avoid repairing charges.
Accumulation of moisture and mold
The air in your AC filters circulates the air bringing whatever is in your AC with it including germs and dirt. If you have a higher efficiency filter and fail to change it long enough, a buildup of moisture can cause mold to collect in the ducts resulting in a release of germs and allergens into indoor spaces. Changing your AC filters will prevent dust allergies and other illnesses.
Malfunction of AC unit
A loaded AC filter will start to make the AC unit warm and will not cool as it normally should. The air conditioner will start to blow out warm air and this ultimately shortens the lifespan of the unit. This will also speed up the wearing of your AC mechanics leading to a greater cost of repairs.
Get a Professional to Inspect the System Annually
Regular maintenance checks are essential to keep the system functioning at optimal performance. Hiring TOTAL 1 AC & HEATING to inspect the system at least once or twice a year allows you to spot reversible and irreversible damage that may deter the unit from working well.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Your thermostat helps your home reach its optimal temperature. The difference between a programmable and a manual thermostat is that the programmable kind will adjust and readjust itself according to environmental conditions. It does so without waiting for your input, decreasing the strain on your system. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperatures you need, when you need them. You won’t have to continuously readjust the temperatures that would cause the system to work harder to achieve the new temperature settings. There are new smart thermostats where you can adjust the settings via the phone app, so whether you’re at home or away, you can adjust the AC if need be.