Now that summer is leaving, it’s time to start getting ready for fall and winter. For North Andover locals, that means preparing for the blistering winds and snow that comes with it. Is your HVAC ready?
If you couldn’t answer that question, then that means it’s time to call a professional. HVAC technicians can help give you tips to ensure your unit’s up to date and in good condition to handle the upcoming cold months. After that, there are things you can do to keep your unit prepared and ready.
Keeping your system in good standing is important when it comes to the performance of your unit. Here are the best heating and cooling tips for North Andover locals.
Be Proactive With Your HVAC
The best way to ensure your HVAC unit will last its normal lifespan and longer is to be proactive in preventing any issues. There are signs you can look for to indicate your system needs to be either repaired or replaced. If you catch these issues early enough, you may not have to think about getting a brand new unit.
If you have noticed any of these issues below, it’s recommended that you call a professional to assess your unit about the next steps:
- Rising energy bills
- Unusual sounds or smells
- Constant repairs
- Dust build-up around your home
- Unit running longer than usual
Some of these issues are minor and only indicate repairs need to be made. The best way to find out about the condition of your unit is to call a technician over to observe and see if the issues have progressed to need a full system replacement. For instance, dust build-up around your home can be a simple fix. This means you need to replace your air filters.
A unit running longer than usual or rising energy bills indicate a more serious issue. This typically means the system is getting older and the parts are not working as they used to. A rising energy bill means that your current HVAC is having to use more energy to produce the temperature you have set it to on the thermostat, or there is a leak somewhere air is sneaking out of that is not making it to your home. It’s recommended to assess your unit before these issues arise.
The older your unit gets, the better your chances are of the parts breaking down. HVACs are only supposed to last between 20-30 years. If your HVAC has reached its lifespan, you could notice the system starting to run slower. If you can’t remember the last time your unit was replaced, it’s time to get a new system.
HVAC Maintenance Ensures Longer Use
Performing routine maintenance is a crucial step in ensuring the longevity of your system. To keep your unit in its best state, you should have a technician over to look at your unit twice a year and to make regular tune-ups. These check-ins should be once during the spring then again in the fall. These are the best times to have a technician catch anything major before the big weather changes.
Apart from this, there are things you can do yourself to keep your HVAC unit clean. If you have to set reminders to clean your indoor and outdoor compressor, do it! Most people forget about cleaning their HVACs, but performing routine maintenance is one of the best tips to get the majority of a unit’s lifespan.
The biggest maintenance tip for the indoor compressor is keeping the air filters regularly swapped out and cleaning the air ducts. Unfortunately, the outdoor compressor is going to require a lot more work.
It can be very intimidating to clean the outdoor compressor, so if you feel hesitant, you can always ask your technician to clean it when they are over-performing their routine check-up.
To clean the outdoor compressor, you will need:
- Coil cleaner
- Coil cleaning brush
Here is how you clean your outdoor compressor step-by-step:
- Clean away any debris, leaves, or sticks from the outdoors that has gotten in the way of your outdoor unit
- Turn the power off
- Remove the fans
- Hose down the inside coils
- Apply coil cleaner and let it sit for fifteen minutes
- Scrub the coils with the cleaning brush
- Rinse off the cleaner and reassemble the fans
The better care you take of your HVAC, the longer it will last and perform the best.
Research The Best Heating And Cooling Company In Your Area
One of the most significant heating and cooling tips for your HVAC unit is to hire the right company. If you have to replace your unit entirely, this is the first thing you should do.
Installing a new HVAC is a major investment a person can make. These units cost thousands of dollars and should be picked out for your home expertly. However, it’s not an easy task to find the right unit for your home. A lot goes into making the decision that the best HVAC company can help you with.
To find the right company, start by doing your homework. Then, thoroughly research and gather about three or four companies in your area to consult with further. Once you have the names, schedule an in-person meeting if you can to compare.
When you consult with potential companies, here are things to consider:
- Cost – the cost of the new HVAC unit will be added to the labor cost for installation. The average cost for replacing a new HVAC unit is between $6,000-$10,000, depending on how many square feet it measures. Because of this, you should think of your budget and choose a company that fits what you’re willing to spend.
- Reviews – before you consult with a company, browse their reviews online. Look for positive or honest reviews to indicate the company’s work ethic and previous customer satisfaction. If a company doesn’t have any reviews, ask to see a portfolio of their previous work.
- Experience – You should select a company that has a strong background in their work. This will help to give you peace of mind that you hired a trustworthy company.
- Go with your gut! – When you consult with the different companies, you will know which company is best. Your budget should be flexible to accommodate a business that can perform the job expertly for just a little more. As you consult with these businesses, look for who seems the most reliable and trustworthy.
After consulting with each company and getting a ballpark figure of how much the project will cost at each business, select the one that makes the most sense. Most companies promote giving free quotes, so take advantage of this offer and speak with companies to see who can help you the best.
Save Money With Ductless Heat And Refrigeration
When it comes time to replace your system, think about installing a completely new system to help save you money! Ductless systems provide the best money-saving benefits after installation.
As the name suggests, these systems do not need air ducts to travel air or heat throughout the house. Instead, ductless systems are little boxes installed on walls, ceilings, or floors of a home and put in each room a homeowner needs heating or cooling.
Homeowners have complete control with ductless systems, making them very energy efficient because the homeowner can choose when to run and stop these systems.
With ductless systems, you will save your money on the back end. However, it’s important to note that a ductless system will cost more to install than a central unit. Whereas central units are responsible for running on a routine to the entire house, ductless systems are more controlled.
These systems are tricky to install yourself. They require wire cutting and hooking of refrigerant lines and careful consideration for where they’re placed in your home. When you have a ductless system installed, it’s important to note that there should be no curtain, furniture, or wall art danging in its way. A ductless system needs to be spaced out from everything for safety reasons.
If you want to know if your North Andover home could benefit from a ductless system, speak to your technician. They are great systems for older homes, businesses, or recent additions/specific rooms in your home.
How To Create A Budget For Your System Replacement
Everyone knows that replacing HVACs is costly. However, if that is in your foreseeable future, creating a budget can be a wise choice. Based on the average new system cost, you should settle on a figure that fits within your income. To help out with costs, most HVAC companies have financing plans that assist by creating monthly plans that are more affordable than paying upfront.
Once you figure out how much you can spend on a new system, the search for the right company begins. You can also do your own research on the best systems out there that will help save you money in the long run.
Most modern HVAC units are built with better energy-efficient technology to preserve energy and heat/cool your home effectively. These systems are great at saving you money after installation and still getting the job done.
Some HVAC contractors will try to push their own brand of HVAC units on you, and if that’s the case, you should think twice about working with that company. It is better to create a budget that allows you to invest in a reputable system than one made by a local company. Known, trustworthy systems that have a history of being energy-efficient and satisfactory for previous customers will benefit you in the long run and is worth budgeting for.
Limiting the amount of drafts in your home is another important heating and cooling maintenance tip to ensure that no air or energy is wasted. If there is a window up or a crack in ductwork, this can become costly and hard for your system to get used to.
When your HVAC unit is turned on, its goal is to provide air to your home that matches the temperature you have set on your thermostat. Unfortunately, drafts or any breaks within the system can cause that air to sneak out, which means your system is going to have to work harder to heat or cool your home to the desired temperature. What this does is uses more energy than you have to pay for.
So, how do you prevent this?
First, make sure there are no open screen doors or windows whenever your HVAC is running. If it is a sweltering summer day and the windows are up, make sure your unit is completely off. When the air conditioning kicks back on, close all windows and doors.
The next thing you can do is check your ductwork for any leaks or tears. If you do not check for tears in ductwork, air will be sneaking out without you realizing it, which will cause issues for your home and system. Checking for tears or leaks goes back to being proactive and observing your system before any problems get out of hand.
Find The Right Size For Your Home
Another big heating and cooling maintenance tip is to choose the right size for your home if you are replacing it. This part can get tricky and requires a lot of math, which is why it is best to hire a company that can help you with this part of the process.
Finding the right size for your home is crucial. Too big a unit will only work in short cycles, and too small of a unit will not generate enough heat or air to your home and have to work harder, resulting in wearing out of the part quicker than it should.
Not only will the right size benefit your energy usage, but it also will help with repair costs. It’s normal to have a system that needs to be turned now and then or have parts that sometimes break. Having the right-sized systems means those repair costs will not cost you an arm and a leg to repair. If you have too little of a system, you could be spending money on repairs constantly, whereas a more extensive system’s parts may be expensive themselves.
Finding the right HVAC size for your home also means that you and your family will be able to enjoy the heat or air consistently without any breakdowns that leave you in an uncomfortable situation.
Don’t Forget Your Air Filters
Though a smaller portion of your system, your system’s air filters are still integral to making sure everything is running smoothly. Your air filter is responsible for producing the healthy air that you and your family breathe. In addition, the filters trap harmful pollutants and elements from the outside your system is bringing in.
Air filters need to be replaced every three to six months. If they are not regularly changed, the system could become clogged up, and pollutants could pass through. Air filters are simple to fix yourself and should cost around $20 to replace. As you replace your air filters, it would be an excellent time to inspect the air ducts and inspect them for any leaks that could be patched with duct tape.
Call The Best With Home Services
Do you need help with maintaining your HVAC? We’re here to help!
128 Plumbing is the best in the business, helping North Andover locals with their HVACs for over 29 years. We offer the best advice and maintenance tips to keep your units working expertly over the years.
If you need your HVAC replaced or are unsure of what you can do to make your system perform better, give us a call. Our office number is (781) 670-3261. We would love to hear how we could help you with your unit.
Be a step ahead of the weather. Don’t wait until it’s too late!