Your New Year’s HVAC Checklist

The new year means it’s the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, and start things off on the right foot. For many, this means finding new ways to save money, and we’re here to tell you that your HVAC system is a great place to start. By taking steps to take care of your system, you can prolong its life, decrease energy costs, and potentially save yourself from expensive repairs.

Here is an easy checklist of what you can do to make sure your HVAC system works its best all year long.

Install a programmable thermostat

If you haven’t already, we recommend that you install a programmable thermostat in your home. A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that you’re only using the energy you need, which can save you money.

A programmable thermostat adjusts your system’s temperature automatically, based on the temperature and time you set. That way, your home will be at a comfortable temperature when you come home for the day, without it having to run while you’re gone.

Replace batteries

The batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced annually, to protect your family in the case of an emergency. This is especially important in the case of carbon monoxide detectors, as the odorless, colorless gas can originate from leaks in your heating system. The sooner you can detect leaks in your heating system, the safer you are from the gas and an expensive repair in the long run.

In addition to replacing batteries, you should ensure that your detectors are in good working order by testing them monthly. All detectors should have a test button that, when pressed, activates a test siren. If the test siren is quiet, or doesn’t sound at all, you should replace the batteries again. If the problem continues, it may be time to install a new detector.

Replace or clean filters

To keep air circulating in your home, and to eliminate potential allergens, you should clean or replace your filters at least every 90 days. If you have pets, smoke indoors, or are sensitive to dust and pollen, you should replace your filters more often—at least every 30 days. A clean filter increases airflow, meaning your system will keep your home cool with less effort and keep your energy costs low.

To make it easy, you can buy air filters directly from Chas Roberts.

Get an energy assessment

Most energy companies offer energy assessments to assess how efficient, or inefficient, your home is. For example, APS, an electric company that services the Phoenix area, will send a specially trained contractor to provide a customized assessment of your home. The results of this assessment can tell you exactly what you need to change about your home in order to make it more energy efficient—such as addressing drafty windows, replacing filters, and more. By taking steps to make your home more energy efficient, you can get the peace of mind knowing you are doing all you can to keep your energy costs as low as possible.

Use ceiling fans to save energy

You may know to use your ceiling fan in the summer to circulate air and keep your AC system from working too hard—but did you know ceiling fans can help keep your home warm in the winter? Most ceiling fans have a switch that can change the direction of the blades. If you set the blades to turn clockwise, the ceiling fan will bring warm air downward and distribute it throughout the room. In the summer, turn the blades counterclockwise again so that they’ll distribute cool air instead.

Listen to your system

Sometimes, the best indication that something is wrong with your system is if it makes an unusual noise. Noises can be caused by register blockages, loose bolts, debris, or ductwork leaks. Listening to your system is a great way to catch a problem with your system early, before it leads to costly repairs.

Some of the more common unusual HVAC system noises are:

  • Repeated clicking
  • Rattling, thumping, or clanking
  • Squealing, whistling, or screaming

Repeated clicking

It’s normal to hear a clicking noise when your system turns on or off. However, repeated clicking sounds are abnormal. Clicking noises can also be a sign of defective controls or thermostats. Because repeated clicking can indicate an electrical problem, you should avoid trying to fix the problem yourself and call a professional.

Rattling, thumping, or clanking

Loud rattling, thumping, or clanking noises usually indicate a problem with the blower assembly or the motor. Occasionally, motor mounts can become loose, causing the blower to get out of alignment. If you notice these noises, you should schedule an inspection for your system.

Squealing, whistling, or screaming

These noises can indicate that there’s a high amount of pressure building up in your system, causing the compressor to make noise. Since a pressure build up can be dangerous, you should have your system inspected as soon as possible if you notice these noises.

Schedule a seasonal tune-up

It’s important to have your HVAC system inspected twice a year, in order to catch any small problems before they become big ones—and to make sure your system is ready for heavy use in the summer and winter. We recommend that you get ahead of the game and schedule your tune-up for not only the upcoming summer, but the winter as well.  That way, you’ll have your first choice of an appointment date and time.

At Chas Roberts, we offer a comprehensive 26-point maintenance inspection that checks HVAC systems from top to bottom. With our help, your system will be ready to keep your home comfortable all year long.

Know your professionals

As a homeowner, you should be familiar with the HVAC professionals in your area. That way, when you need service, you’ll already know what your options are. Finding a qualified HVAC contractor can seem daunting, but there are several resources available.

Ask around

Your friends, neighbors, and coworkers can be a great source of information when you’re looking for an HVAC company. Make sure and ask them what their experiences were with timeliness, service quality, and fairness of pricing. You can also ask your local energy company—for example, APS can provide you with a list of contractors they work with.

Go online

The internet is a valuable resource for finding HVAC companies in your area. One database you can use comes from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). Most leading residential contractors belong to this organization—including Chas Roberts, Arizona’s top authority on heating and cooling.

Websites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor can be helpful in finding HVAC companies with reputable reviews. Google searches can also be used, as Google’s algorithm will display companies that service areas near you when you search terms such as “AC repair” or “HVAC maintenance”.

Get started today

At Chas Roberts, we’re happy to be the go-to for all of Arizona’s HVAC needs. After all, with over 75 years of experience, we have the industry knowledge to complete all jobs, from routine maintenance to emergency repairs. To keep your HVAC system running efficiently all year long, contact us today.