How to Make Your HVAC System More Efficient
So, you’re not happy with your HVAC performance lately. Well, there are plenty of ways to remedy whatever issue you’ve run into. While some take a little elbow grease, many are simple changes to habits.
We’ve serviced many HVAC systems over the years in Los Angeles County. One thing we can confidently tell you is that taking good care of your system will make it more efficient and boost its longevity.
We’ll teach you what increasing your HVAC efficiency really means and several best practices you can do on your own to make sure you get the absolute most out of your HVAC system. With everything covered here, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’ve done your part to keep your home running smoothly.
Let’s get in there!
What increasing your HVAC efficiency means
OK, so you want to boost your system’s efficiency but you’re not sure what that means exactly. Luckily, it’s cut and dry in terms of benefits.
Increasing the efficiency of your HVAC means lowering bills, optimizing performance, and ensuring a longer lifespan. You can achieve each of these benefits in various ways and none of them are mutually exclusive, meaning it’s best to implement all of the following into your routine.
Our understanding of the HVAC installation and preventative maintenance processes is based on 60+ years of combined experience that we’re passing on to you to save you from future hassles.
HVAC systems are complex and require care and attention. You can care for your HVAC in plenty of ways to boost its efficiency and increase its lifespan.
In this article, we’ll sift through:
- What increasing your HVAC efficiency means
- Ways to increase HVAC efficiency on your own
- Ways to increase HVAC efficiency with the help of a technician
Some solutions are easier than others, but we’ll provide you with a comprehensive list of strategies to keep your HVAC running smoothly so you won’t have to worry about surprise energy bills and other speed bumps along the way. Let’s dive in.
Ways to increase HVAC efficiency on your own
As mentioned at the top of this article, there are plenty of ways to improve HVAC efficiency on your own and with the help of a professional. For the best results, it’s wise to attempt each of the following on your own between technician visits.
1. Adjust your thermostat
While this is by far the easiest step toward a healthier HVAC, it’s also one of the most important. Overworking your HVAC can lead to more wear and tear than is necessary.
To ensure you don’t unnecessarily put your HVAC through the wringer, be sure to adjust your thermostat regularly. On hot days, bump it down a few degrees, and turn it up a few on cold days.
A few degrees may not seem like much, but it will make a dent in how hard your HVAC has to work day in and day out, effectively extending its life little by little.
2. Check, clean, and replace filters
This one is a three-for-one package deal. Checking, cleaning, and changing your air filter are absolute necessities. These practices are essential in maintaining the effectiveness of your HVAC.
Be sure to check your filter once a month. For those who have pets or are indoor smokers, you’ll need to check at least twice a month to prevent build-up and clogs caused by fur and compounds such as nicotine and tar.
A clogged filter can increase energy costs and make your HVAC work harder than is necessary.
Cleaning your air filter will also boost efficiency by keeping the filter clear of clogs. You can do this at home with the help of your owner’s manual and a little spare time.
Finally, you should replace your air filter once every three months or so. Again, this will depend on your environmental factors such as pets, smoking, and dust.
3. Close blinds and curtains on hot days
Here’s another simple one that is beneficial over time. Keeping blinds and curtains closed on warm days while the air conditioning is on prevents the system from working more than it has to.
Remember, air conditioning does not cool the air, it removes heat from the air and recycles it into your home. This means you’ll want to limit the amount of heat entering your home. Doing so will reduce the strain on your air conditioner.
4. Keep doors and windows closed
It may sound obvious, but this is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to increase the efficiency of your HVAC. Simply closing windows and doors prevents needless wasted energy and strain on your system.
Adding this to your best practices will save on energy bills and promote a longer life for your HVAC system. Of course, you have to enter and exit your home, but avoiding doors being left ajar or windows being open in other rooms will greatly help your cause.
Think of it like leaving the refrigerator door open; we wouldn’t want all of that heat to spoil the milk.
5. Keep vents clear
Keeping vents clear in your home prevents blockages and allows the air to flow freely. When there’s an obstruction, your HVAC system has to work harder and thus impacting its performance.
Blockages can include pet fur, dust, and other unwanted debris that gather up to lessen your HVAC’s efficiency. Checking and cleaning vents regularly is an easy way to consistently prevent these issues.
6. Check for leaks
Ensuring that your ventilation system is free from leaks will also improve your HVAC efficiency. Leaks, as you might guess, let out the cold or hot air your HVAC is working to produce, which is an easy way to tank your system’s efficiency.
Large leaks will be easy to spot on your own but smaller leaks will likely require the trained eye of a professional with the right tools. While it can sometimes be a hassle to get a technician out to your home, it is the best way to check for unseen leaks.
7. Clean condenser unit
Most of what we’ve discussed so far has been issues and solutions within the home, but now we’re headed outside for a moment. Your condenser unit may be out of sight and therefore out of mind, which is why it’s important to check up on it every so often.
Cleaning your condenser unit and the surrounding area prevents debris, dirt, and dust from building up. Build-up can cake up the unit, which reduces its ability to cool your home effectively.
8. Be aware of other appliances that generate heat being close to the thermostat
Depending on where your thermostat is located, you may have little say over this matter. However, keeping your thermostat away from appliances that produce heat is an effective way to ensure your HVAC works properly.
Having appliances that generate heat next to your thermostat can lead to false temperatures being detected by your thermostat. You might not have the greatest control over this, but anything you can do to ensure your thermostat has room to breathe will help maintain HVAC efficiency.
9. Adopt a zoning system
One of the more involved alternatives to boosting HVAC efficiency is to install a zoning system. This type of HVAC system helps address temperatures in individual rooms.
For instance, you can install two thermostats in your home that operate independently of one another to manage two-story homes.
Zoning systems can also be comprised of two separate HVAC systems, which is the most expensive solution on the list.
It’s also possible to install manual or automatic dampers in your existing system to achieve zoning.
10. Regular maintenance
Lastly, booking a technician to come out to your home and perform a tune-up will ensure your HVAC is working as efficiently as possible. We’re not just telling you to run out and call a technician this second to book a maintenance service, but practicing regular maintenance is vital to extend the life of your HVAC and keep it running in top form.
These types of service calls include:
- Cleaning coils
- Straightening fins
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Tightening electrical connections
- Testing the thermostat
- Checking temperature differential
- Checking fan motor
- Swapping the air filter
- Lubricating moving parts
- Inspecting safety controls
- Measure amperage and wattage
We recommend you have your HVAC tuned up once a year. If you live in areas that experience the seasons, you’ll want to get your HVAC tuned up before summer and winter. Having a technician out for a tune-up or two will ensure that your HVAC is ready to go year-round.
That’s a wrap on HVAC efficiency
We’ve given you a lot to do, but all of these practices will help extend the life expectancy of your HVAC and improve its efficiency. Now that we’ve given you an arsenal of HVAC best practices, your HVAC efficiency will be on the rise.
Implementing these best practices and considering alterations to your existing system can help boost the efficiency of your HVAC. While some are easy to fold into your routine, others aren’t so simple and can become involved or require a technician.
After 60+ years of HVAC experience, we are happy to help you get the most out of your HVAC system, whether online or in person.
If you have more HVAC questions, head over to Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating, and Air’s HVAC services page to learn more. Speaking of learning, head to our Learning Center if you’re interested in being educated on other topics like drainage or tankless water heaters.