Owning your own home is a big responsibility. Aside from the routine tasks that go into keeping a household running smoothly, there are numerous areas for homeowners to monitor throughout the year. As seasonal changes occur, it’s especially important to keep up with routine maintenance on your home’s HVAC system. Since your HVAC includes both the air conditioner and heating system, it’s a good idea to make sure both the unit and thermostat are always prepared for the changing weather.
Aside from your home’s comfort and family’s well-being, your HVAC system can also dictate your energy efficiency and, ultimately, your energy bill. With that in mind, here we will take a look at some of the most important tasks needed for maintaining your home’s air conditioner and furnace, as well as how to tell if your thermostat is faulty.
Simple Maintenance Tasks
As a homeowner, you can put together a basic checklist of responsibilities to ensure that your home’s HVAC remains running smoothly. Although certain issues will make you consider replacing your thermostat if it’s faulty, it’s important to first double-check a few preliminary areas. For example, your thermostat problem might actually be an issue with your unit’s ductwork and ventilation. The first thing on your homeowner checklist should be to inspect the ventilation network and air filters. Before you opt for a new thermostat, be sure your ducts, vents, and filters are clean. Although these may seem like simple solutions, it’s important to remember that your furnace and air conditioner share those vents, meaning airflow issues could arise throughout the year. Likewise, your air filters are directly responsible for removing allergens and debris from the household’s airflow.
HVAC technicians advise homeowners to change their filters every few months, as the debris can build up and greatly reduce airflow. When that happens, the organic toxins from outside make their way into the house, lowering your air quality. Additionally, your HVAC system will suffer greater wear and tear. Ultimately, you’ll end up with a significantly higher monthly utility bill.
Signs of a Faulty Thermostat
If you’re still having issues with your temperature settings, it’s time to check your thermostat. Of course, the greatest sign of a malfunctioning thermostat would be if your household’s temperature doesn’t match the thermostat’s reading. You may also be noticing numerous “cold spots” around your home. In this instance, the first thing to check is the old thermostat’s batteries. As simple as it sounds, when the unit fails to match the correct temperature, old batteries are a common reason many homeowners assume their HVAC is the problem. Likewise, you may have recently had a new HVAC or new thermostat installed, meaning there could be a basic connection issue between the two units. If you have a loose connection or the two units are incompatible, it’s always best to double-check with a professional technician.
A popular solution for many modern homeowners is to install a programmable thermostat. As a relatively new technology, a programmable or “smart thermostat” allows you to preset your preferred temperature at any time, even with an app for your mobile device. Most importantly, you can program your air systems to stay within the most affordable range, which allows you greater control over your energy efficiency and overall monthly energy bills. If your thermostat issues continue, a programmable thermostat may be the most cost-effective solution.
However, there is no substitute for regular maintenance from a professional HVAC technician. While keeping an eye on your home’s thermostat, ductwork, and filters are all important tasks that you can perform yourself, only a technician can perform needed safety checks. If your faulty thermostat is giving you issues prior to a seasonal change, it’s always best to consult a professional for your system’s longevity.