Today let’s continue the trend that started off yesterday by looking at some aspects of home HVAC ownership that affect both the air conditioner and furnace. For most people, this is the combo that provides them with the conditioned air in their house that they’re used to. And these two machines are intrinsically connected to one another in such a way that talking about them both together is convenient and provides knowledge about how to maintain your HVAC system as a whole.
Both the furnace and the air conditioner, though they perform opposite tasks, use many of the same components and principles to accomplish those tasks. They both use the ductwork in your house to deliver the air that they both blow about using the same fan. And of course, both are controlled using the same thermostat somewhere in your home. So today we’re going to take a look at some of the most common mistakes that air conditioner and furnace owners make that end up costing them money and putting their two HVAC appliances at risk of the need for repairs. Read on to learn about the top air conditioner and furnace mistakes that Austin heating and cooling experts see homeowners make.
Turning to the Wrong Austin Air Conditioning and Heating Contractor
This mistake is a very understandable one simply because of the sheer number of options available when it comes to professionals in the HVAC business and how many purport to be more experienced and professional than they are. But this mistake can cost you dearly down the road so it is always best to put in the research before you do any hiring. Whether you’ve got to replace an air conditioner or furnace or you simply need some winter or spring maintenance done, make sure you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing and who has a good reputation in Austin heating and cooling.
It’s great to compare prices between contractors of great quality, but be wary of quotes that are much lower than the rest. You may be getting a company that is not licensed or insured, which means the repair most likely won’t be high quality.
And if the job isn’t done right the first time, it will cost you more money down the road to fix the problem again. Hiring a trusted, reputable expert in heating and air conditioning in Austin will help ensure your system gets fixed right the first time. An HVAC system is a critical part of your home and a big investment. You should only trust it to highly-qualified technicians, even if it means spending a little extra.
Holding Off On Repairs and Maintenance
One mistake we see people make time and time again is related to the previous one but distinct in its nature. In an understandable attempt to save money, or just put off the inevitable, people will often wait too long to have their air conditioners and furnaces looked at, repaired, or maintained. This is understandable because these things can be significant cost-wise, but the thing you’ve got to understand is that putting off repairs and maintenance is only going to cost you more in the long run.
Think of it like this. In many cases, when you notice something is off about your air conditioner or furnace, it’s still in a position where a small Austin AC or heater repair can bring it back to full working order. But if you wait until it has absolutely given out, the repair may be much more expensive or it might have succumbed to damage so great that it needs to be replaced, greatly ramping up the cost. It is always better to take care of issues when they’re small.
Getting regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system isn’t just an above and beyond homeowner task. It is nearly essential. Energy Star recommends yearly maintenance of your heating and cooling system. It can improve efficiency and extend the life of your equipment, and an expert technician can spot small problems before they become large, expensive ones.
Air conditioners and furnaces are quite remarkable machines. Yet, we’ve come to take these amazing machines for granted. We want to turn them on in one season and have them work through half the year when we turn them off and expect it to work again six months later. Would you expect to run your car daily for six months, then park it for six months, and then expect it to work again with no maintenance ever? No, of course not. The same is true of your air conditioner and furnace. Both need yearly maintenance to ensure that it is working correctly. Fixing little problems can prevent big problems in the future. Much like regularly changing the oil on your car can prevent the engine from seizing up down the road. Make scheduling a maintenance visit part of your spring cleaning and winterizing routines.
Forgetting Air Filter Changes
One essential but often overlooked component of your HVAC system, one that affects your air conditioner and your furnace alike, is the air filter. This small sheet of filtering material located just inside one of the return vents in your home is much more important to the healthy operation of your heating and cooling system than you may give it credit.
Air filters have two main purposes. Essentially, they protect both your lungs and your air conditioner and heater from the disadvantageous effects of particles and contaminants that float around in the air by filtering them out as the air circulates through your HVAC system. An air filter that hasn’t been changed recently is going to be too clogged with contaminants to keep them from entering the furnace and air conditioner and potentially causing problems. It’s also going to result in less clean and healthy air for you to breathe, which can be the start of a whole host of health problems.
So don’t put off your air filter changes. The filters on your furnace and air-conditioning system need to be checked and changed regularly. A dirty or clogged filter will impact efficiency and could even cause damage to your system. Change filters every one to three months, per the manufacturer’s instructions. You may find you need to change them more frequently during times of heavy use, or if you have pets or live with a smoker. This will help keep your indoor air clean and keep dirt out of your HVAC system, extending its life.
Getting Too Much Fresh Air
This mistake may sound a little counterintuitive at first but stay with me. Everyone wants fresh air; that’s a given. We all know that fresh air is good and stale air is bad. As a result of this, many people take the next logical leap into assuming that opening windows and doors on days when it is nice outside will be beneficial as it will take some of the work off their furnace or air conditioner and it will help promote fresher and cleaner air within the house.
There are many problems with this assumption though. Firstly, if your house is properly ventilated, you’re not getting stale air. No house is completely sealed off from the outside world, so worrying about not getting enough fresh air in your house is probably useless in most situations. Secondly, opening doors and windows is terrible for the efficiency of your HVAC system, as it relies on insulation to get its job done. The better insulated your house is, the less warm air is escaping during the winter and the less cool air is escaping during the summer. If you’re helping this air escape by opening doors and windows you’re just making it harder for the furnace or air conditioner to work.
When it comes to HVAC appliances, newer models are typically more efficient than the generation of models that is currently being replaced. While this efficiency can help you save money on your energy bills as well as reduce your environmental impact and increase your home comfort, the appliances cannot achieve these feats without responsible use by the homeowner. This means that you should always keep your windows and doors closed while using your furnace so the heat does not escape outdoors; this dramatically reduces efficiency. You should also refrain from placing pieces of large furniture in front of vents and air ducts so that the flow of heat is not impeded.
Many of us love those warm spring days and think we’d just love to get some of that fresh air into our homes. So we open up a bunch of windows and doors and bask in the pretty weather. But as the day warms up, we begin to complain because our home has gotten hot as the outdoor air floods the home. As nice as fresh air sounds, most of us don’t actually want the indoors to be as warm as the outdoors. We also don’t want the dirt and pollen coming in from outside. Go outside to enjoy the nice weather and keep the inside cool for you to return home and relax. It will save you in your energy bills and keep your air quality as pure as it can be.
Common Mistakes and Air Conditioning Repair in Austin
How to take care of your home central heating and air conditioning in Austin isn’t exactly a skill taught in school so it is completely understandable why there are certain easily avoidable mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC. We’ve covered a few of those mistakes in this tip of the day in an attempt to educate about the small but important things that should be avoided when you have an air conditioner and a furnace to use and take care of.
In addition, don’t forget that regardless of how good your HVAC maintenance habits are, you’ll eventually need to schedule some regular professional maintenance if you want your air conditioner and furnace to last you as long as possible. AC Express is an Austin AC repair company that accomplishes everything from heater repair in Austin to air conditioning maintenance and replacement. We operate throughout the Austin area, from Hutto and Manor to Pflugerville and Round Rock. For top-notch AC repair in Austin, call today!