HVAC Hacks: Tips for Novices and New Homeowners

Headed for Vacation? Don't Forget These HVAC Care Tips

Your HVAC system might not need a babysitter while you're away on your dream vacation, but it does need a bit of prep work to keep it in great shape in your absence. Whether you're spending a few days, a few weeks or even a couple of months on vacation, you should have your HVAC system properly prepared for the time you and your loved ones will spend away from home. Here are some tips that can help you ready your HVAC system before you leave. 

Open up Those Supply Registers

It's not unusual for homeowners to keep supply registers in unused rooms closed in an attempt to save energy. However, this tactic can backfire while you're away from home. Closing off multiple supply registers can increase static air pressures within your HVAC system's ductwork, causing conditioned air to leak out of the ducts.

Instead, you'll want to leave all of the supply registers open while you're away from home. Not only does this remove restrictions that could negatively impact your HVAC system's performance, but it also helps keep temperatures throughout your entire home balanced.

Adjust Your Thermostat Accordingly

With no one at home, your HVAC system won't need to utilize as much of its cooling performance. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to keep your HVAC system running even when you're not home. Leaving your HVAC system on can help your home maintain balanced humidity levels and reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth.

In the meantime, you can adjust your thermostat a few degrees above your normal preferred set point just before you walk out the door. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can program your new settings to take effect just after you leave home. This way, your HVAC system won't waste unnecessary energy as it operates in your absence.

Make the Switch to a Clean HVAC Air Filter

A dirty HVAC air filter can make your HVAC system's job much harder than it needs to be. Similar to a closed supply register, a clogged up air filter can prevent air from circulating through your HVAC system as intended. Overall HVAC performance can suffer significantly, plus your HVAC system will wind up using more energy than necessary and wear out its various components faster than expected.

Changing your air filter is a relatively quick and simple task that can be done just before you leave home. As a reminder, it's a good idea to leave a sticky note at eye level on your refrigerator door, front door or any other place where there's plenty of traffic. You can even stick a note on your luggage reminding you to change your air filter before you go.

Have Your HVAC Contractor Perform a Thorough Inspection

Before you head out the door, it's a good idea to have your HVAC contractor carefully inspect and tune-up your HVAC system. Having someone experienced and knowledgeable take a look at your HVAC system can help curtail any potential problems that could happen while you're away. These issues often include damaged wiring, excessive and unusual wear and tear, refrigerant leaks, rust and defective components. Once these problems are identified, your HVAC contractor will make the appropriate repairs and bring your HVAC system back up to par.

Consider Downloading a Mobile App

If you have a Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat, then you can take advantage of its network capabilities with the help of a simple mobile app. There are plenty of mobile apps available that can help you control your thermostat from virtually any location with Internet access. With these apps, you can remotely monitor indoor temperatures and adjust your HVAC system's fan speed and temperature controls accordingly. Some apps will let you receive customized alerts for weather changes, indoor temperature changes and even HVAC performance issues.

For more tips on what you should do with your HVAC system before you leave home on vacation, talk to professionals at companies like Advanced Heating & Cooling.