A Healthy HVAC in Vancouver WA Means a Healthy Home
Your home’s HVAC system does so much more than regulate your home temperature. It also helps maintain a comfortable environment and overall good health. Likewise, if you neglect your HVAC system, it could impact your health negatively.
Entek has been servicing HVAC systems in the Vancouver, Washington, area for more than 75 years. Here are some of our top tips for maintaining a healthy HVAC system.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Just like outdoor air pollution, our homes can also be susceptible to indoor air pollution. For instance, we track dirt, pollen, and other pollutants into our homes on an almost daily basis. When you fail to regularly change the air filters in your HVAC system, these pollutants circulate throughout your home. This may exacerbate certain health conditions, such as asthma.
How often you have to change your air filters really depends on your particular home environment and personal habits. For instance, if you smoke indoors, your air filters will become clogged more easily. Likewise, if you have pets, your air filters will likely become clogged with pet dander.
The frequency at which you change your air filters can also depend on the type of air filters you have. For instance, if you are using inexpensive fiberglass filters, you should switch them out at least once a month. On the other hand, if you’re using the higher-quality pleated filters, you typically only have to change them out once every six months.
Other factors that may impact how often you need to replace the air filters in your HVAC system include the air quality of your particular locality, the time of year, and the size of your home. If you’re uncertain about how often to change your HVAC’s air filters, simply take a look at them every so often to determine how clogged they are.
To perform a visual inspection, remove the air filter and inspect it in a well-lit area of your home. If the light doesn’t pass through the filter, then the filter more than likely needs to be changed.
Changing the filters in your HVAC system as needed will greatly improve the air quality of your Vancouver, WA, home, and according to the Department of Energy, can even lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent.
Clean the Unit’s Coils
Just as air filters can easily become clogged with dirt and debris, your HVAC’s condenser and evaporator coils can as well. Make sure you clean them frequently to keep them in optimal operating condition.
When the evaporator coil collects too much dirt, it inhibits airflow and the coil’s ability to absorb heat. To prevent dirt buildup on the evaporator coil, check it on an annual basis and clean it accordingly.
Likewise, outdoor condenser coils need to be checked and cleaned periodically. Be sure to clear the area around the condenser unit and trim back any foliage by at least two feet. If you notice dirt accumulating on the coil fins, be sure to give them a good clean. Also, take care to cover your outdoor unit during the winter season to protect it from extreme winter weather conditions.
Condenser and evaporator coils are often the most expensive components of an HVAC system to replace. You could wind up spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to replace them. It’s best to be proactive in keeping them clean and clear of debris.
Invest in a Home Air Purifier
Entek HVAC specialists are experts at harnessing the latest technology to help create a healthier home. The Carrier INFINITY air purifier features patented technology that destroys 99 percent of viruses and other germs trapped in your filter.
The INFINITY air purifier works to destroy bacteria that cause strep throat, human influenza, and the common cold by treating the air flowing through your HVAC system’s air handler using a three-step charge, capture, and kill process. To learn more about the system and how it can improve the health of your Vancouver, WA, home, look here.
Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Leaving your HVAC unit running around the clock can cause it to go into overdrive, putting strain on the system and making it operate less efficiently. Programmable thermostats enable you to adjust your home temperature settings so that you can save money while maintaining optimal comfort levels.
For instance, if you know you’re going to be away from home for several hours, such as during a work shift, you can adjust your settings so that your HVAC system is able to get a bit of a rest. If you usually arrive back home by a certain time, you can program the thermostat to return to your ideal temperature setting just before you arrive.
Doing so will not only keep your HVAC system operating efficiently but will also save you money. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that simply turning your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees from its typical setting for 8 hours a day will save you up to 10 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs.
Simply put, it isn’t a good idea to leave your HVAC system running 24/7. Investing in a programmable thermostat will help you avoid doing that.
Make the Most of Preventative Maintenance
Ultimately, the best way to keep your HVAC system in prime operating condition is through preventative maintenance. Annual maintenance appointments are crucial for avoiding the expense of costly repairs and extending the life span of your unit.
You should have your unit inspected at least once a year, but if possible, schedule a maintenance appointment with your local HVAC technician twice a year—once in late spring and another toward the end of fall. This will assist you in identifying any issues before the height of the summer and winter months.
To further improve the health of your Vancouver, WA, home, consider scheduling a home performance energy test. This test identifies other areas of improvement that can save you up to 30 percent on annual home energy costs.
Our top priority at Entek is improving your family’s overall comfort and health. Allow us to do that by scheduling annual maintenance and allowing us to assess your home energy performance.