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Homeowner tips for HVAC equipment: Maintaining, Comfort, Savings

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

We at Experts of HVAC are excited to discuss the many different solutions to help stay on top of your heating and air conditioning equipment. If you found this article, We're sure you would also be interested in ways to : Help increase system longevity & Developing better indoor air quality.

Staying consistent on filter changes: Maintains good air quality, limits costly breakdowns, ensures home safety

This may sound repetitive and yes we all know we should be changing the filter in scheduled intervals. Does this actually happen? Well it sounds easy enough, but in most cases that's easier said then done. You have no idea how many peoples houses (thousands) we've been to that say they just changed the filter. I really do believe a lot of them when they say it because I feel they really believe that. Time seems to slip away from us in some instances. You should be writing the date on the filter, or making a note of the filter change in your readily available paperwork. Changing the filter regularly is DEFINITELY a health benefit that we receive by doing this. We found a really good write up online that is more in depth content and a good read on your filter. If interested you can find that article here. The other MAJOR reason we need to do this is in regards to maintaining the system. Catastrophic damage can be done leading to higher bills and inefficient equipment. Components that could be affected by poor filter changes include:

  • Blower motor wheel -This is the first place that dust, debris and particles will cling to after passing the filter. Decreasing the efficiency of the motor is now what take place. The dirt accumulates on the vanes of the motor and It is no longer able to scoop the air and push it like it used to. This results in the motor overworking and increasing amp draw. Higher amp draw means more electricity and more money that is spent by the homeowner. Decreased air flow also develops a higher chance that the high limit switch may trip on the furnace during the winter. During AC season this could cause low air flow across the evaporator coil, leading to low pressure and the system freezing over. With all of these negatives comes the biggest one which is replacement of the blower wheel. Usually the motor and wheel will be changed together and will come at a hefty price.

  • Evaporator coil - After the dirt passes through the filter and makes its way past the blower motor wheel, it enters the evaporator coil. This is the last place the dirt/debris enter and get stuck in. Once it's made its way into the coil there's only two options you have. The first one being :

Option # 1

Gaining access to the coil and cleaning it with a no rinse foam that extracts the dirt. This should be done by a professional as you can kink the refrigerant lines and cause major damage to the AC system.

Option # 2

If the evaporator coil is in bad shape you may have to replace the coil. This would be in instances where: AC pressures are low causing the system to freeze over, High limit switch tripping on furnace, Age - Over time an older system starts to accumulate more particles, dirt & debris collecting anything the filter and blower wheel didn't collect.

  • Heat Exchanger - The core component to your furnace affected by excess heat. In short this is the part of your furnace that gets heated by the furnace ignition and gets hot. We then push air from the blower motor across it and receive air through our supply vents to each individual room. The heat exchanger itself is always expanding and contracting when it heats up and cools down. When the blower wheel has accumulated dirt on it, the wheel is now pushing less air which is required for proper cooling down of the heat exchanger. On a cold day the system turns back on before it's properly cooled and heats up again. This process continues on forward until it is corrected. Over time severe damage and dangerous conditions can appear. Some include:

A cracked heat exchanger. This is a common problem associated with poor air flow, age, oversizing of equipment. They all have one thing in common which are problems associated with overheating. As furnaces get older they start to run a little warmer. Oversizing of the equipment equates to more heat settling on the heat exchanger and probably undersized ductwork. Poor airflow will catch up one day and at that point the damage has usually been done. These issues can lead to a cracked heat exchanger which is ultimately costly, but also a big health concern. Cracked heat exchangers can lead to carbon monoxide emitting from them. This happens by allowing the carbon monoxide into the air stream and throughout the home. This is dangerous for small children, animals and elderly in low Parts per million (PPM) of carbon monoxide. At a higher PPM healthy and well adults can also be effected. This is a condition that must be resolved immediately. Gas to the unit should be shut off as well as electricity. Changing out the furnace at this point is the most likely option. Replacing the heat exchanger is a short term option and will eventually crack again due to same conditions. Purchasing a digital display CO meter is the safest and best option for you and your families well being. We have added a link to a digital CO meter for your convenience.

By taking the time to make your periodic filter changes you are accomplishing a lot more than what you may of previously thought. These filter changes will directly effect the integrity of the entire unit and the more costly breakdowns that we can avoid. More airflow equates to better longevity of the entire unit and all of its components. Your health and breathing will be directly impacted and you can start to live with less congestion and sinus flare ups. Keeping up on filter changes helps develop health benefits, safety benefits and cost savings when it comes to your heating and cooling equipment. Stay tuned for more future tips at Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & TikTok for upcoming new content!

-Experts of HVAC

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