Learn what you can about your central HVAC system so you can make sure you are getting the most out of it for the least cost. Also, find out about those other little tips and tricks that can prevent other issues with regards to your system and its flow. The more of an understanding you have about your system, the more comfortable your family will be all year round, for less cost.
Understand the flow
Somewhere in your home, generally in a hallway near the main family area, you will see a large filter covering. When you unscrew two bolts on this covering, it will come down to reveal a filter. This is where air from the inside of your home gets sucked into the system and taken to the outside unit where the cooling or heating takes place. You want the air to have an unobstructed path and this means cleaning the filter when it gets dusty.
Looking further ahead, you want to make sure the air can come right out into the room the way it is supposed to. Dust all registers regularly when you are doing the rest of your housecleaning. Also, be careful where you place things, including furniture, if you have registers on the floors. Putting a chair in front of a register is going to make for one cold chair back, but it won't do much for cooling down the room.
Understand the heating and cooling
Once the air is brought into the outside unit, which is referred to as the 'compressor', the air will be either heated or cooled, depending on what you have the inside thermostat set to. Once the temperature of the air is correct, this is when it goes back into the house. The compressor continues doing its job until the inside of the house proves to be at the desired temperature. Then, the unit will shut off automatically. Once the inside temperature is too high or low again, it will kick on again automatically and the process starts over.
The unit outside should have a clean area around it and it should be offered protection from direct sunlight in the summer. It should also be kept free of snow. Check the outside unit and protect the area as needed. If you hear anything odd coming from it, have a technician come out to make sure there are no loose or broken parts or belts in need of replacing.
Understanding the ducts
There are things that can go wrong with the ducts, even though they seem like they should be completely low-maintenance. They can separate or get cracks in them. This will cause a leak that makes your system work harder, makes your home harder to get to the desired temperature, and makes your bills grow rapidly. If you hear any sounds coming from the registers such as whistles or hums, get a technician out to check and repair the ducts. Also, small creatures can get in them and die. This can cause bad smells. If you can't find the source of a bad smell, something in the duct may be the cause.
Contact a local heating repair service to learn more.