HVAC systems are complex mechanisms composed of ducts, appliances, filters and other accessories. The average homeowner may have a basic or moderate understanding of how the system works, but there is always more to learn. If you’re curious about your HVAC system, here are some frequently asked questions to browse.
Q: How long does an HVAC system last?
A: Most HVAC systems will last around 10-20 years. As they age, you will notice they run less efficiently. Your energy bills may go up, the machinery may begin making noises and the whole system will break down. When this happens, you can call for HVAC repair in Jacksonville, FL. The technician can help you determine if you should repair the problem, overhaul the system or replace it entirely.
Q: What tips can I use to lower my energy bills?
A: This is one of the most frequently asked questions for any HVAC professional. There are a number of ways, both minor and major, that you can use to lower your HVAC-related energy costs.
- Upgrades. A new, high-efficiency system will save you money on your monthly costs. This is a major upgrade and will require a high initial investment.
- Adjust the thermostat. A programmable thermostat is ideal, but manual adjustments work as well. If your furnace runs to heat your house, consider lowering the temperature five or so degrees. Likewise, in the summer, consider raising the target temperature for your air conditioner by five degrees. The adjusted temperature allows your HVAC system to operate less, using less energy.
- Adjust your vents. In unused, closed rooms, close the vents so your air conditioning doesn’t work overtime to cool rooms you’re not using. Make sure your vents are open and unblocked in common rooms, to guarantee proper airflow.
- Maintain your system. If your HVAC system is dirty, broken or old, it has to work harder to affect the climate of your home. Contact someone for HVAC repair in Jacksonville, FL to tune up your system. Some minor repairs, such as air filter replacement and duct seals, can be done yourself.
Q: How often should my HVAC system be inspected?
A: Typically, you should inspect your HVAC system in the spring and the fall. A regular tune-up will check for leaks in critical ducts and pipes. It will also include wiring inspections and fan motor inspections, to ensure that everything works properly. A carbon monoxide inspection for furnaces also helps guarantee the safety of your system. Regular tune-ups can be performed as part of HVAC repair in Jacksonville, FL.
Q: What about air filters? How often should I change mine?
A: You should change your air filter at least once every six months. Cheap disposable filters should be changed closer to once per month. As your air filter catches dust, it becomes harder for air to move through it. This forces your HVAC system to work harder to push the air through your home, which makes it take longer to cool or heat your home. This decrease in efficiency can be a drastic rise in your energy bills. A clean air filter also reduces wear on your HVAC system, increasing its lifespan.
Q: How do I choose the right HVAC system to replace my current system?
A: You will likely need a professional opinion. Choosing an appropriate HVAC system requires that you calculate what your home needs and what you can afford. Jacksonville summers can be extremely hot and humid, requiring a powerful, efficient air conditioning system. You should avoid choosing a system that is too large for your home, however, as the increase in power does not speed up cooling. You will, of course, need to know your budget as well. The best systems are expensive, but they are worth the money. If you are replacing an existing system, consider HVAC repair in Jacksonville, FL before you replace the system entirely. It may be easier to repair than replace your current system.
Q: What about my ducts? Will they need to be replaced?
A: Depending on the age of your home and the quality of the initial installation, you may benefit from replacing your ducts. Many duct systems were installed improperly, and over time, they spring leaks. In some cases, ducts are not properly insulated, meaning much of the efficiency of the system goes into exposed surfaces in basements and attics rather than the intended rooms. Once again, contacting a qualified HVAC repair technician in Jacksonville, FL will help determine whether or not you need to replace your ducts. In most cases, you will need some minor sealing work performed. Some of this work you can perform yourself. In other cases, you may benefit from calling in a professional.