On the JK Blog, we’ve talked about things you SHOULD do to help prevent issues with your home comfort systems, and the importance of regular maintenance. But do you know what NOT to do? Read on for six things JK Mechanical’s HVAC technicians say you should never do to your HVAC system:
- Don’t Block Your Vents
A properly designed heating & cooling system is designed to deliver clean, consistent comfort throughout your entire home. When vents (and other sensitive equipment like thermostats, sensors, and vents) are blocked with furniture, storage, debris, etc., it can cause your home to feel less comfortable, your system to work harder and less efficiently, and can even become a health and safety concern. We recommend leaving a 6”
clearance around supply and return vents, and keeping all vents, sensors, and intakes free of obstruction and debris.
- Don’t Ignore Warning Signs
Your HVAC system running a few degrees higher or lower, making an odd noise, or a small condensate drip may not seem like much cause for concern, but these and more can be symptoms of a larger problem. Pay attention to how your system is running, schedule regular professional maintenance appointments, and communicate any concerns you may have to your technician to ensure your system is working as it should.
- Don’t Forget Your Filter
Heard this one from us before? It’s one of our favorites, but it’s important enough to bear repeating: a single neglected air filter can easily cause an expensive, inconvenient system repair. Changing your air filter on the recommended schedule (typically every 1-3 months, but this will vary a lot based on the type of equipment you have and the environmental factors of your home) is one of the most important and most cost-effective moves you can make to keep your indoor air quality good and your unit working well.
- Don’t Prioritize Short-Term Savings over Long-Term Value
At JK Mechanical, we understand that your home comfort system is a significant investment. While it can be tempting to cut costs up-front by installing a less efficient system or by avoiding professional maintenance, some of these choices can lead to higher operating expenses, a shorter life expectancy for your unit, or even expensive and damaging breakdowns due to cut-rate repairs and maintenance. Trust your contractor and your technician to honestly explain the value in your investment and help you make the choice that works best for your budget and your home now and for years to come.
- Don’t Play Fast & Loose with the Temperature
If you (or your family members) are in the habit of adjusting the thermostat several times a day, it could be causing your HVAC system to work a lot harder than it should. This can be especially true for heat pumps, which don’t deal with setbacks as efficiently as furnaces or boilers. Either pick a temperature and stick with it, or invest in a smart or learning thermostat that will work with your system to adjust the temperature throughout the day without losing efficiency and wasting power.
Bonus Tip: If you do constantly find yourself nudging the thermostat back and forth because your HVAC system isn’t providing consistent comfort, that can be a sign of an issue with your zoning, thermostat sensor, system size, or all of the above. Give us a call or mention your concerns to your technician at your next Precision Tune-Up.
- Don’t Take on DIY Without Smart Safety Practices
Are you a confident DIY-er? Remember that the first step to any DIY improvement, maintenance, or repair is to follow all safety standards. Know where your controls are including the eemergency switch or disconnect and the breakers connected to your system. Use real tools (not flatware or other Macgyvered tools) in safe operating condition. Wear the proper protective equipment. And, when in doubt, call a professional for assistance.
If you have any questions about using and maintaining your system safely, talk to your technician at your next service appointment or Precision Tune-Up and they will be happy to offer guidance. Schedule online or contact us here for help.