When my husband and I purchased our house, we knew we would have to replace the HVAC units within a few years. We also needed insulation and new windows. After talking with an energy specialist, he suggested we first address the insulation, then the windows and finally the HVAC unit-unless, of course, it broke down before those other problems could be fixed. Luckily, our units are still doing OK, but there are a few things we are doing to make them last as long as possible.
Getting an annual checkup
We’ve had a heating and air professional come out and give our units a checkup, so to speak. It’s kind of like getting a tuneup for your car.
Changing the air filters regularly
The No. 1 thing that every HVAC pro has told me to do to keep our units running better and longer is to regularly switch out the air filters. This is something that we haven’t always been on top of in the past. Since we need to keep our units going as long as possible, we decided getting an air filter delivery subscription would be the best way to make sure our air filters get changed on time. Every three months, the new filters arrive at our doorstep and we change them out. We don’t have to remember when our filters need to be changed anymore.
Cleaning the air ducts
We haven’t done this yet, as it’s a job for the pros, but we are planning to do it soon-especially since we did almost a full renovation to this house before we moved in. The air ducts definitely need a good cleaning.
Setting your thermostat respectively
If it’s a blazing-hot 100-degree August day and your unit is set at 65 degrees, your home is most likely not going to ever reach that temperature-but your unit will be running all day trying. Knock it up a few degrees so that your unit isn’t running overtime. Maybe even consider getting a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperatures. Also, give your unit a break when you can. If it’s a nice spring or fall day, turn the unit off and open up the windows.
We bought blinds for many windows in our home soon after we moved in and realized that some areas of the house felt like a sweatbox by the afternoon. Using blinds to block out the sun keeps rooms cooler and the unit running less.
Do you have any other tips to add for making your HVAC unit last? There are also ideas here for cutting your energy costs.
Jenna LaFevor rants on at Rain on a Tin Roof about DIY projects, junk décor, thrifty finds, crafty creations and other decorating dilemmas. She went to UTC, where she got a teaching degree that now collects dust. When she isn’t trying to keep her kid from climbing out of the circus ring or making sure her husband’s shirts are taken to the dry cleaners so she gets out of ironing, she can be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cheap beer in the other. But if you’re buying, she’ll have a cosmopolitan. You can email her at [email protected] or you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @raintinroofblog or at her blog. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.