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During this time of year, you may often hear people exclaim, “New year, new me!” While a new year doesn’t mean you’ve inherently changed who you are, you can change your habits and start making plans in order to achieve your goals. If you have a goal to save more money, improve your home’s air quality, or prioritize your home’s maintenance, you can adopt some of the following habits as it relates to your home’s HVAC system.

Change Your Filters At Least Every Three Months

It is important to change your filters as this can improve air quality and the efficiency of your HVAC system. Your filter removes particles from the air (like hair, dust, dander, and other pollutants) and stops them from spreading through your home. If you are a smoker or pet owner, you may need to change your filters more frequently, but on average, your filters need to be changed quarterly.

Develop a Green Thumb

Getting houseplants can increase your home’s oxygen levels, help you breathe easier, and improve your sleep quality. Through the photosynthesis process, plants release oxygen in the presence of natural light. During the respiration process, plants take in more oxygen and release it as carbon dioxide. However, some plants can intake carbon dioxide at night as well; these plants include but are not limited to the:

  • Snake plant
  • Aloe vera
  • Peace lily
  • Spider plant
  • Certain orchids

To improve your indoor air quality, you may also consider:

  • Getting UV lamps with ultra-violet lights to kill germs and air pollutants
  • Buying an air purifier to remove air pollutants
  • Buying an air humidifier to increase the moisture in the air
  • Inspecting and cleaning your air ducts

Regulate Your Home’s Temperature

Running your system less frequently can mean using less power (which can save you money) and helping your system last longer (which also saves you money). When you are not going to be home, consider adjusting the temperature before you leave, specifically let it get a little cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. You may also consider adjusting the temperature when you sleep to avoid overrunning the system.

To keep your home at a comfortable temperature in the summer, you may also consider:

  • Opening the window if you plan to use the oven for a prolonged period
  • Closing your curtains during the day
  • Ensuring your ceiling fans turn counterclockwise

To better monitor your home’s temperature, you can also invest in a programmable or smart thermostat. Generally, these thermostats allow you to:

  • Change the temperature when you’re away from home
  • Track energy usage
  • Set automatic temperature adjustments for certain times of day

It is also important that you change the batteries in your thermostat (if needed) and take measures to ensure it is working properly. If your thermostat is incorrectly reading your home’s temperature, your system will not run smoothly, and your utility bill will likely be higher. 

Declutter & Clean Around Your Indoor & Outdoor Unit

Both your indoor and outdoor units can become dirty and cluttered. The outside unit may have fallen debris like leaves or twigs on it, and there may be plants growing that are encroaching on the area your unit is in. Yard maintenance and cleaning around your unit can help maintain proper airflow; if you have plants outside, try to ensure they are 2 or more inches away from the unit.

Decluttering or reorganizing the area around your unit can improve air quality and safety. Around your indoor HVAC unit, you may store items that you don’t often use. These items can be a fire or trip hazard, which can impact the ease of performing maintenance or repairs. The area may also be dusty as the items provide more surface areas where dust can collect, and this dust can make its way into the system.

Schedule Regular Maintenance Checks

To ensure your system runs efficiently, you should have the systems checked by professionals. Professional maintenance appointments are typically only needed annually. During a preventative maintenance check, an HVAC technician will typically:

  • Inspect your thermostat
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • Check the system controls, refrigerant charge, and/or fuel line connections
  • Lubricate the moving parts
  • Clean and adjust the blower components, evaporator, and condenser coils
  • Inform you of any need for repairs or possible future concerns

Regular system maintenance can have long-term benefits including but not limited to:

  • Expanding the system’s lifespan. Your heater and air conditioner need regular maintenance, which is why lots of HVAC warranties require professional unit maintenance checks. HVAC systems generally last 15-25 years and keeping up with the maintenance can help ensure your system lasts longer.
  • Reducing your utility bill. Preventative maintenance appointments involve checking your system’s moving parts, safety controls, and more. The purpose of these checks is to ensure your HVAC is working at maximum efficiency, and the more efficient your system runs, the less energy it uses.
  • Helping you foresee and manage costs. Replacing an HVAC system or paying for a large repair can be pricey. With regular maintenance appointments, you will likely be able to deal with fewer repairs; your maintenance specialist can also warn you about needed repairs or replacements so that you have more time to budget and plan.

In addition to the annual check, you can visually inspect your HVAC system yourself to:

  • Check for signs of mold
  • Check your thermostat’s battery
  • Ensure the registers and returns are open and cleared
  • Ensure the flue system is secure
  • Make sure the condensate system is draining properly

If you notice something is wrong, you reach out to our professionals for help.

Get Help from Our Professionals

At Donmar Company Heating & Cooling, we have been serving our customers for over 30 years. Known for our professionalism and dedication to excellence, we are equipped to help you with:

If you need help with any HVAC services, our team would be happy to help you. For more information on our services or tips for better performance, contact us online or at (703) 457-8676.