Ways to Extend the Life of an HVAC System

March 1, 2020

An HVAC system that works well is virtually ignored. However, everyone notices if it stops producing heat or pushing out cool air. It is common neglect that leads to such expensive repairs.

The cost of HVAC repair is a common complaint when repair technicians have to pay a visit. These systems are like most things in life — they do not perform well when they are neglected. Instead of paying attention to subtle signs that there may be a problem, most people do not recognize an issue exists until there is a major malfunction or complete failure of some type.

To reduce repair bills, many people have started searching for ways to extend the life of their system. Here are some tips our expert HVAC technicians at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning in Macomb County commonly recommend to extend the life of your unit and save you money and frustration.

Change Your Filters

The very first thing you can do is keep an eye on your filters. You should change these at least every 90 days. However, not all filters will last that long. Filters are rated for how long they will likely last, depending on the contaminants in the air. The dirtier the air, the faster the filters will clog and need to be replaced.

When filters get clogged, they add strain to the system by restricting the flow of air through it. This additional strain puts extra wear on the fan motor, increases the heat in the exchanger and puts more draw on the electrical components. In short, it reduces the service life of your system.

In addition to checking your furnace filter, be sure to keep an eye on the other filters in your home. These include the filter in your kitchen hood vent, the bathroom ventilation fans and your vacuum cleaner. Keeping these clean helps to improve your indoor air quality and keeps more contaminants out of your HVAC system.

Improve Air Circulation

Speaking of restricted airflow, many people do not recognize the challenges their system faces throughout their space. The more easily air can move through a space, the more efficiently it can be heated or cooled. This also creates less drag on your HVAC system.

There are a couple of common things most people ignore or do not know to improve air circulation. The first is to keep doors open as much as possible. This allows air to move freely from room to room.

The second is to ensure the vents throughout your house are clear so that air can flow unrestricted. Even putting furniture that sits a few inches above a vent can restrict airflow enough to reduce efficiency and impede proper air movement.

Reduce Airborne Chemical Contaminants

Airborne chemicals put a major strain on HVAC systems. You may not spray these chemicals directly on any part of the system. However, you are putting chemical particles into the air every time you spray an aerosol can, light a wax candle, use an air freshener or even use a cleaner in your home.

Those particles make their way into your HVAC system and wreak havoc. They settle inside the system, developing a sticky film on the heat exchanger, the circulating fan and inside the heat ducts.

This film then acts as a glue for other particulates, such as dust, dirt, mold and fungus. All of this adds up to clog the components, causing major strain on the system. The more you can reduce the use of chemicals, the better it is for your system as well as your health. Consider switching to natural air fresheners like essential oils or natural, plant-based cleaners.

Use the Auto Fan Setting

The motor that controls the circulating fan is one of the components that undergoes the most strain. This is caused by the system merely running and the fan working to circulate the air around your house. It also collects a lot of dust and other airborne contaminants, which increases the resistance on the motor.

Many people like to circulate the air around their home, which is a good thing. However, many people unknowingly switch the HVAC circulating fan to the “on” position to achieve this, meaning it runs all the time. This significantly reduces the life of your circulating fan motor, something that is not a cheap fix. As the air moves through the HVAC system, you are also increasing the contaminants that collect on various components of your system.

Simply switching the fan setting on your thermostat to “auto” helps to reduce this wear on the blower motor. To help encourage circulation around your home, try using ceiling, pedestal or tabletop fans, or even the ventilation fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. These are more effective at keeping air moving without increasing the wear on the entire system.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is the brain of your HVAC system. It is responsible for managing the entire process, telling it when to turn on and off. While any number of thermostats may do the technical job you require, more advanced thermostats will help you to save on your energy bill as well as reduce the wear on your system.

Many digital thermostats are programmable, so you can keep your living space comfortable while you are there and control how often your system runs when you are not. You want to avoid turning the system off entirely when you are not home, as the energy output to bring it back to the level you desire will be much greater. However, even five degrees can make a huge difference.

Smart thermostats are another great way to reduce the wear on your system. These allow you to remotely control your unit. If you keep irregular hours, you can turn the system on when you are heading home, and then turn it off as you leave. This means that you do not have to rely on a programmed setting, and you are given greater control at your fingertips.

Schedule Regular Tune-Ups

Your HVAC system is similar to your car in that it needs regular maintenance to help it achieve a full and long service life. These regular maintenance visits include inspecting the system and cleaning components that commonly collect dust and other airborne contaminants. It also means checking consumable components, like capacitors and ignitors, and replacing them as needed so that the situation does not turn into an emergency call. We recommend servicing your AC and your furnace each annually.

Have Your Ducts Cleaned

Air ducts are the magic behind your HVAC system, delivering properly cooled or heated air where you want it. Unfortunately, it is also a place where dust and dirt collect and is a prime breeding ground for mold and fungus.

We recommend having your ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years, depending on your indoor air quality. If you do any projects that create a lot of dust, such as mudding before painting, you should have your ducts cleaned as part of wrapping up that project.

Detroit’s Expert HVAC Specialists

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning has proudly served Macomb County for more than 70 years. Our NATE-certified technicians are screened, drug-tested and trained to provide you the best service in Roseville, MI. That is why our customers have left us over 18,000 glowing reviews on Facebook, the Better Business Bureau and Google. Call us today to discuss your system and how we can help you to extend its service life. We can assist with heating and cooling repairs, installation and maintenance as well as duct cleaning.

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