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What is HVAC and How Do You Maintain Your Home’s System

Tips and Tools
Mar 4, 2022
4 min read
  • Outdoor HVAC systems

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This post was originally published by GarbageDay; you can find the original post here

There are plenty of ways to keep your home maintenance budget on target, and regularly checking in on your HVAC system is one of them. It’s a system that you need to comfortably live in Canada.

Keeping your HVAC system operating at maximum efficiency can help keep your energy costs down. Not to mention it can help save you from prematurely having to replace expensive parts or the whole system – which can cost thousands of dollars.

Before we can get to how to maintain your HVAC system, we need to actually go over what it is.

What is HVAC?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, which is the overall system in your home that aims to keep your house at a comfortable temperature, and regulate the humidity and air quality.

Most Canadian homes use a forced-air HVAC system to heat and cool. The system takes this air from a central unit and pushes it throughout the house using your air ducts.

A good HVAC system operates without you realizing it’s even there – but keeping it like that takes a little bit of preventative maintenance.

How to maintain your HVAC system

You don’t want to notice your HVAC system because that usually means it’s doing its job – but you don’t want to forget about it either.

There are different types of HVAC systems out there, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. While some are more efficient than others, all systems need to be maintained to operate at their maximum efficiency.

So, if you want to stay on top of your home’s HVAC efficiency, here’s what you need pay attention to:

1. Invest in a high efficiency HVAC system

No one is suggesting you go out and replace your HVAC system today, it’s a pretty big-ticket item. But when it’s time to upgrade your system, go for maximum efficiency.

Like almost everything else, you often get what you pay for with your HVAC system. High efficiency systems can help you save money over time, but the price tag at first tends to be a little bigger.

You’ll want to compare your upfront costs but also keep in mind the long-term investment. Better system tends to mean lower bills. You can further that system’s efficiency by also upgrading your thermostat, and properly sealing and insulating your home.

2. Replace your air filters regularly

HVAC systems use air filters that need to be changed out frequently to maintain its maximum efficiency. While it depends on your particular system, you should replace these three or four times per year.

Luckily, replacement air filters tend to be affordable (as in $10 to $25 per filter). They also don’t need a professional to come in and change them, they’re easy enough to install yourself.

Need a reminder? GarbageDay not only reminds you about your garbage and recycling, it also sends you a notification on your phone or email to remind you when it’s time to change your filters. This will keep you ahead of the game and will mean less damage to your system giving it a longer life.

3. Schedule professional maintenance

While you can change the filters yourself, professional maintenance can still help your system last longer. A professional technician can do a more thorough check on your unit, and help ensure that issues are caught sooner rather than later.

What do HVAC technicians do?

While the list of things they check in on is long, here are few things they do:

  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Check fuel line connections
  • Check the thermostat calibration and settings
  • Look at system controls

4. Be prepared to upgrade

Unless your home is brand new or you spend a lot of time moving around, at some point you’ll probably have to replace an HVAC system. Most systems are built to last between 15 to 25 years, though it does depend on the specific system and other contributing factors.

Regardless of how long it’s meant to last, each system will have to be replaced at some point – so it makes sense to add that number to your future budget and do your research in advance. You don’t want to be stuck scrambling when it’s too late.

Looking for more HVAC tips? Find more information on HVAC renovations, maintenance and contractors here.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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