Oct 19 2015

checking houseThere are many factors that affect comfort levels in your Sugar Land home. To enhance safety and comfort, and to even keep your HVAC system performing efficiently, there are many basic maintenance tasks you can implement that are simple but extremely necessary and effective.

Change Your Air Filter

When it comes to keeping your home’s indoor air quality in check, the most basic maintenance tasks can play a very vital role. Your system’s filter needs to be clean in order to effectively remove contaminants from your indoor air. It is very important, therefore, that you clean or wash your filter regularly. A clogged filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder, increasing your energy consumption. A dirty filter will also result in pollutants being reintroduced to your indoor air.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the care of your filter, or check with your HVAC technician. You will need to clean or replace your filter more frequently during periods when you rely more on your system. If there are pets, persons who smoke, or persons with respiratory problems in your home, this can also increase the frequency with which you need to clean or change your filter.

Failure to address indoor air pollution can lead to a host of problems including respiratory issues, aggravated allergies, asthma attacks, and even lung disease. Keeping air filters clean, and using additional indoor air quality equipment such as ventilators will make a significant difference in comfort and indoor air quality.

Check Your Batteries

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is quite common during the colder months when people start to rely on furnaces and generators. It is important to ensure both systems are in good working order before putting them to use. CO is a colorless and odorless gas, and is hazardous to your health and can even be deadly. The only way to detect carbon monoxide in your home is with a carbon monoxide alarm. Monitoring for carbon monoxide leaks is a very important part of managing your indoor air quality. Your CO detector must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and take note of the manufacturer’s recommended replacement age as well. You should regularly test your CO alarm to ensure that it is working correctly. It is also very important that you change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms. A good way to remember these tasks is to get into the habit of changing the batteries twice per year — at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time.

Additionally, if your thermostat is battery-operated, check to ensure that the batteries are working properly. Low batteries can reduce the efficiency of your thermostat, and cause your air conditioner to cycle on/off at the wrong times. Some modern thermostats will give “low battery” warnings, or you may be able to tell because the information on the screen appears faded.

Clean Your Home Regularly

We often procrastinate when it comes to taking care of household chores, but keeping your home clean should be prioritized. Good housekeeping is also beneficial to your health in many ways. Effective cleaning is another way in which you can improve the quality of your indoor air. For starters, keep dust and dirt to a minimum, especially if you suffer from respiratory problems such as allergies or asthma. To reduce dust, regularly dust all surfaces with a damp or microfiber cloth. Vacuuming is also very important, especially if you have pets.

For cleaning and disinfecting, don’t reach for just any cleaner. Many store-bought cleaners actually emit harmful substances that are dangerous if used regularly or if not used in well-ventilated areas. To reduce the risk of exposure to these chemicals, shop for products that are environmentally-friendly or those that have lower risk of harmful side effects. Pay attention also, to the way in which these products are stored. Carefully follow manufacturers’ instructions for use of products containing harmful substances.

Check Plumbing for Drips and Leaks

A leaky faucet might be the least of your concerns, but even an infrequent drip can add up over time. A leaky faucet is not only distracting, especially when you are trying to sleep, but it can result in gallons of water being wasted, which affects you financially.

Another consequence of a leaky faucet is the creation of an environment that is ideal for the development of mold. Mold spores grow when they land on wet surfaces. Mold or mold spores will quickly degrade the quality of your indoor air and even cause structural damage. You control mold growth when you control moisture. Fix leaks right away to prevent them from getting worse or from causing other problems.

Get an Energy Audit

An energy audit is an effective way to identify sources of energy waste throughout your home. You can conduct your own do-it-yourself energy audit by looking for sources of energy waste including checking for air leaks around windows or doors. Such leaks can be repaired using caulk or weatherstripping. These items are inexpensive and easy to apply. Pay attention to the way in which energy is used around your home. The goal is to minimize energy consumption, so check if your appliances are energy-efficient, and remember that electronics should be unplugged when they are not in use. This prevents constant draining of energy via standby power.

The most effective solution is a professional energy audit. A professional will be able to detect sources of energy waste that you might not be able to identify. Your professional home energy auditor will also use specialized equipment and procedures such as infrared cameras and blower door tests to more effectively and thoroughly evaluate your home. The auditor’s examination takes a room-by-room approach, and will include:

  • A review of your utility bills from the last twelve months.
  • An inspection of your HVAC system.
  • An assessment of appliances used in the home.
  • Checking your insulation to ensure you have enough and the right type. Your auditor will check areas such as the attic, basement, ducts, walls, crawlspace and foundation. Insulation is very important as it reduces the transfer of heat from conditioned areas to unconditioned areas.

The professional home energy audit will give you the most complete picture. You will learn even more detailed information about how much energy your home consumes and how you can save the most energy. At the end of the assessment you will be provided with recommendations for improvements you can make around your home.

Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance

As the seasons change and the long, hot summer starts to fade away, it’s important to make sure your Sugar Land home is ready for cooler weather. Detailed, professional maintenance is the best way to ensure your system is properly inspected and serviced. When you schedule preventative maintenance with Conditioned Air Mechanical Services, you improve your HVAC system.s performance and service life.

When our technicians perform standard maintenance, they replace the air filters and check for wear and tear. They also check the HVAC system’s condensate drain, thoroughly clean the system, and inspect for loose parts or problematic connections. Overall, your technician will review the system’s performance and ensure it is in good working condition, and that the thermostat is functioning properly also.

In the long run, an overworked and poorly maintained HVAC system will perform poorly, and will be more prone to breakdowns. A system in this condition will use more energy and increase your energy bill. Make sure your system is as energy-efficient as possible by scheduling regular professional checkups.

Paying attention to simple maintenance tasks can save you a lot of money. Contact Conditioned Air Mechanical HVAC Services at 281-201-0356 for more information and for more detailed service. We have the systems and the expertise to keep your home more energy-efficient and to help you to increase savings.

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