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Break These Bad Heating & Cooling Habits This Year

This New Year, Resolve To Avoid These 3 Common Heating and Cooling Mistakes!

As one year ends and another begins, it's tradition to list new year's resolutions. For many people, this may include exercising more, increasing their income, or doing away with any bad habits that have been holding them back. And for homeowners, there are a few nasty habits that may be holding back their HVAC systems - not to mention costing them a surprising amount of money! This article will look at the three most common mistakes homeowners make regarding their heating and cooling systems - and how to avoid them!

Waiting Too Long To Replace the Air Filter

filterThe first bad habit to avoid is arguably the most common - not replacing the air filters on time. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's one of the leading causes of HVAC issues. A dirty air filter will hinder the system's ability to circulate air, putting undue strain on the blower motor, reducing the unit's efficiency, lowering indoor air quality, and making it difficult for the home to reach the correct temperature. This will shorten the unit's life, drive up energy bills, and make the home altogether less comfortable.

Fortunately, this is a fairly easy habit to break. A good place to start is by marking the calendar with a reminder to replace air filters every 3 months - although in households with multiple pets or occupants who have respiratory sensitivities (asthma, allergies, etc.), it may be more appropriate to change the filters every 1-2 months. Some modern thermostats even have automatic filter change reminders to make remembering to replace the filter easier!

Closing or Blocking Air Registers

ventsAnother common mistake homeowners make is closing air vents throughout the home. This is usually done to avoid heating or cooling empty rooms or redirect more air to other rooms in the house. While this sounds good in theory, it can cause serious problems with the home's HVAC system.

When one or more vents are closed off, more air will indeed head to the open vents - but that extra volume of air will increase the pressure inside the home's ductwork as the blower unit struggles to force it through fewer open registers. This overpressurization can stress the ducts themselves, increasing the likelihood of a leak. The pressure imbalance will also interfere with the return airflow, which can strain the blower motor and cause overheating. In heating systems, insufficient return pressure can even cause the heat exchanger to crack, which is a dangerous and costly problem.

Homeowners can partially close dampers in one or two rooms if they feel too hot or too cold (or if the rooms aren't being used) but should avoid closing them more than 75%. It's also a good idea to ensure that furniture or other objects don't obstruct the registers to maintain proper airflow and balanced pressure.

Putting Off Routine Maintenance

The third bad habit to change this year is neglecting to have the system serviced by a professional. Routine maintenance is the best way to keep the home's HVAC system functioning properly, like regular oil changes and tune-ups for a vehicle. A lack of proper maintenance is the number one cause of HVAC problems and premature breakdowns. 

In a typical service visit, professionals perform various tasks designed to mitigate wear and tear, catch and fix minor issues, and optimize the unit's performance and efficiency. Without regular maintenance, any HVAC system will deteriorate faster than it should, operate below peak efficiency, and require frequent repairs. 

In general, it's recommended that homeowners get AC maintenance once every spring and heater maintenance once every fall. This will not only ensure that each unit is in good shape for the extremes of summer and winter but also extend the lifespan of the system, help save money on utilities by improving efficiency, and keep the home nice and comfy all year round - this year and for many years to come!

About AirLux Heating & Cooling

The award-winning AirLux Heating & Cooling has been the go-to resource for everything HVAC in Niles. Their licensed, insured, background-checked, and drug-tested technicians always show up on time, provide clear communication, and leave every home better than they found it. AirLux offers 24/7 emergency service (365 days a year!), a 3-year labor warranty, and a cost-effective maintenance plan - so there's no one better to call for HVAC maintenance in Niles, MI!