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How to Improve HVAC Efficiency and Longevity

How to Improve HVAC Efficiency and Longevity

Looking to get more efficient heating and cooling? Luckily, taking steps to improve HVAC efficiency also helps improve HVAC longevity.

You can help improve both by:

  • Maintaining good airflow

  • Keeping the blower motor on the "AUTO" setting

  • Getting regular tune-ups

  • Installing a smart thermostat

  • Helping your system out (with proper insulation, window treatments, ceiling fans, etc.)

Need a tune-up to improve HVAC efficiency? Call Reliable Heating & Air at (770) 594-9969 or schedule an appointment.

Our HVAC techs will inspect every aspect of your system to give you a more reliable AC tune-up or furnace tune-up than any other Atlanta HVAC company. You'll also get the same five-star customer service our customers have been getting for the past 40 years.

Good airflow

Your HVAC system requires good airflow to run efficiently. When it doesn't have good airflow, it works overtime to pull in enough air to heat or cool your home. This not only decreases its efficiency, but also puts extra wear and tear that decreases the lifespan of your HVAC system.

To help improve airflow in your system, make sure to:

  • Change air filters regularly. Air filters keep your system clean by preventing dust and debris from entering your system, so they can get clogged quickly. Regular one-inch air filters need replacing monthly, while HEPA or other high-efficiency air filters only need replacing once or twice a year.

  • Open supply vents. You may have heard that closing supply vents in rooms you don't use helps heat or cool rooms that you do use. This isn't true and actually does more harm than good to your HVAC system because it reduces the square footage that needs to be heated/cooled. This essentially makes your system too big for your house, which causes increased energy bills, inconsistent cooling/heating, and reduced HVAC longevity. It also puts extra pressure on your ductwork, which can cause ducts to crack and tear.

  • Don't block return vents. Anything blocking your return vents can prevent air from getting into your system—forcing your system to run more frequently than it should. If any shelving, furniture or decor is in front of a return vent, pull it out a few inches to give your system enough breathing room.

Keep blower on "AUTO"

Your thermostat has 2 blower motor settings:

  1. ON: This keeps your blower on all the time, running constantly.

  2. AUTO: This only turns on your blower when the system needs to heat or cool your home.

Keeping the fan set to AUTO will help improve HVAC longevity and efficiency by:

  • Reducing electrical usage. When your blower motor is ON, you're paying for the electricity it requires to run constantly. Keep the fan on AUTO to make sure the fan only runs when it needs to.

  • Keeping hot/cold air outside. Ducts that sit in your attic or near an outside wall will be closer to the temperature it is outside. When your blower motor is ON, this means warm summer air and cool winter air is being pushed through your vents. This forces your system to work harder, making it less efficient than it would be if the fan was on AUTO.

Regular tune-ups

Preventative maintenance through annual tune-ups is one of the best things you can do to improve HVAC efficiency and longevity.

Regular tune-ups help:

  • Calibrate your system so it runs more effectively. Over time, your system can get dirty, become clogged and run low on fluids—which can slow down your system. A tune-up cleans up components and replaces necessary fluids, helping your system run smoother and more efficiently.

  • Catch minor issues before they turn into costly repairs. During a regular tune-up, the HVAC tech will check every component of your system to make sure it's running as well as it should. If anything isn't working right, they can repair or replace the part as soon as possible.

Smart thermostat

A smart thermostat is a WiFi-enabled device that lets you improve HVAC longevity and efficiency by:

  • Programming various schedules

  • Adjusting the temperature anywhere from your smartphone

  • Learning your HVAC habits to automatically adjust the thermostat based on your preferences

ENERGY STAR estimates an average savings of 8% of your annual heating and cooling bills, depending on the type of smart thermostat, your family size and preferences, your location, and your HVAC system.

If you're looking to improve your overall energy usage, installing other smart home technology can reduce your electrical usage and cut down on utility bills.

Help your system out

The more you can do to help your HVAC system run less, the longer it will last.

To help your system out, you can do things like:

  • Use ceiling fans. Use ceiling fans in both the summer and winter to help reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system. By using ceiling fans to stay cool in the summer, you won't have to run your AC as much. Ceiling fans also have a switch on their base that reverses the rotation direction in the winter. When on at a low speed, this recirculates the heated air that has risen to the ceiling—helping you feel warmer and reducing your furnace and heat pump usage.

  • Put up energy-efficient window treatments. Energy-efficient window coverings can help improve HVAC efficiency in the summer by blocking direct sunlight, preventing it from heating up rooms you want cooled, and in the winter by insulating the window to keep the heated air inside your house.

  • Improve your home's insulation. The less heat your home loses or gains, the less your system will have to run. If your attic or crawlspace isn't well insulated, adding good insulation will help keep the heat out of your home in the summer and inside your home in the winter—allowing your HVAC system to run less.

  • Rely on the weather to heat and cool your home. In cool spring weather, open the curtains to let the sunlight through windows and doors. This will help warm rooms and use less heating. And when summer starts turning into fall, open your windows at night (if it's not too humid) to let the brisk air cool your home and give your AC a break.

Need help improving HVAC efficiency? Call Reliable Heating & Air.

Call us today at (770) 594-9969 or schedule an appointment for a free in-home estimate.

We offer the most reliable furnace, heat pump and AC tune-ups in the Atlanta area. Our HVAC techs will give your system our multi-point inspection to make sure it's ready to handle the coming season efficiently and will last as long as possible.