One of the earliest precursors to home air conditioning services was a system installed in the New York Stock Exchange Building in 1903 — the first time a building was air conditioned exclusively for comfort. And air cooling in general goes back a lot longer: The ancient Egyptians hung wet reeds in their windows, and 2nd-century Chinese inventor Ding Huan invented a seven-wheeled, mechanically operated fan. But home air conditioning services have come a long way since then, often as part of complete-home HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.
These systems, though handy and efficient long term, can be pricey to install. Here are three maintenance tips for taking care of your significant investment:
- Get Inspections
If you’re installing a new HVAC system, have an HVAC expert do an inspection of your home to maximize efficiency. The way an HVAC system is installed can have long-lasting effects both on how well it heats and cools your home and how much it costs to do so.
If you have an existing system, having an audit can help you determine if you can make modifications for greater efficiency. Proper ventilation in your attic, for example, can reduce the energy costs of an HVAC system by 10…12%. And it makes no sense to be losing all your heat to uninhabited areas of your home because of poor design.
Getting regular checkups is also a good idea if you don’t want to find yourself needing emergency furnace repair when the temperature is 20 below.
- Change Your Filters
HVAC systems are complex, and most repairs should be left up to professionals. You can, however, reduce the need for repairs by regularly changing your filters. Changing filters at least once every three months can drastically cut the likelihood of costly damage.
You can also do some careful cleaning. If your evaporator is accessible, clean it approximately once a year with a stiff brush to remove buildup.
- Don’t Mess With the System
A properly installed HVAC system should provide even heat and cooling without too much fussing on your part. If you find yourself frequently making adjustments to the thermostat or closing registers to control temperature, it’s probably time to call one of the heating and cooling companies in your area to see what’s wrong with the system.
Failing to do so can cause damage — and additional repair costs. Closing more than 20% of your home’s registers at a time can place a strain on your HVAC unit.
Do you install HVAC units? Do you think central air offers the best home air conditioning service? What recommendations do you have for homeowners? Share in the comments. See this reference for more.