10 Common HVAC Questions

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Mark Jardine
June 18, 2024
Air Duct Cleaning
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While cleaning your heating and cooling system's coils and filters can help to keep your home comfortable when you need it most, many of the most common HVAC problems will become much more severe if they go unattended. It's essential to have your system checked annually to prevent outages during extreme weather.
The HVAC system is a vital part of your home, and with its many functions comes the many questions homeowners need to know to care for this crucial element in any dwelling properly.
And that's precisely what the experts at Home Alliance are here to do. Here, we will answer the ten most common HVAC questions, and every homeowner can benefit from learning the answers to these questions.

What is an HVAC System?

A mysterious term, HVAC, is one that most people are familiar with. But what exactly does it mean? And how does it apply to your home? HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It regulates the heat, humidity, and airflow inside a building and commercial and residential buildings' heating and cooling. They're the systems that keep you warm and cozy in the winter and cool and breezy in the summer. They also keep you healthy and maintain humidity at optimal levels by filtering and cleaning your air. The HVAC system comprises several parts: the return and supply registers, ductwork, thermostat, heat exchanger, condensing unit, and evaporator coils.

How Much is a New HVAC System?

The average cost of replacing your HVAC system is between $4,850 and $9,400. If you want to keep your cool at night or avoid overheating during the day, it pays to replace your HVAC system as soon as it stops working. Be aware that this average cost depends on the brand you buy, your home's size, and the installation cost charged by the professional you call.
The following breaks down HVAC installation costs per square foot for new construction homes.
  • 1,000 Square Feet: $4,000 - $5,000
  • 1,200: $5,000 - $6,000
  • 1,500: $6,000 - $7,000
  • 2,000: $7,000 - $8,000
  • 2,500: $8,000 - $9,000
  • 3,000: $9,000 - $10,000
With a price tag as high as that of an HVAC unit replacement, many homeowners wonder how to make their houses more energy-efficient. There are many ways to save money on your new home's appliances, and one great way is to search for manufacturer rebates. These price incentives can often be combined with any other deals you can locate or any discounts your installer might offer.

How Often to Change HVAC Filters?

If you want your air to be clean, you'll have to change your filter every 90 days. On average, your heating and cooling unit's filter will last anywhere from one month to three months. It's important to remember the date you installed your air filters. If you wait too long to change them, it could affect your indoor air quality.
A faulty air filter can get lodged in your fan or make a big gap, causing air to float around the filter without being filtered. If your air filter is not working correctly, you may suffer from breathing problems and have adverse health effects. Note that you should change your filters often if you suffer from allergies or asthma, as these can increase allergy attacks. You should update your air filter every six weeks to maintain the highest level of indoor air quality because respiratory conditions make you considerably more vulnerable to airborne particles.

How is HVAC Duct Cleaning Done?

A clean air duct system is the key to a healthy home. Air duct cleaning means sweeping all your duct systems using professional equipment, including the supply, intake, and return vents.
The process starts with the technician checking all the access points to the ductwork, assessing its condition, and then deciding which cleaning technique would be best for your home. Afterward, the technician will arrange the vacuum collection unit. It's essential to create negative air pressure in the air ducts so that dust and dirt will not spread around the house. After this, the technician will start agitating the ductwork walls, removing all sorts of pollutants—dirt, pollen, bacteria, and other icky stuff stuck on its walls. When your air ducts are clean, it's time for an inspection. The next step is ensuring that nothing is missed and the vents are thoroughly cleaned. Now you know how air duct cleaning works.

How Long Do HVAC Systems Last?

Your HVAC system is one of the essential parts of your home that keeps you warm and comfortable all year long. That's why it's necessary to extend the life of your entire HVAC system with regular maintenance and timely repairs.
So, how long do HVAC systems last? The answer is: it depends. The average HVAC life expectancy is 10 to 25 years, a heating system should last about 15 years, and an A/C unit should last 10 to 20 years.
Many factors can affect the average life of an HVAC system.
  • Regular HVAC maintenance. Routine maintenance can help you avoid common problems before they become big enough to shorten your HVAC's life cycle.
  • Off-gassing. Off-gassing, or the release of airborne particles, will affect your unit's life span, as it works overtime trying to filter out these particles.
  • Indoor or outdoor A/C unit. Chemicals can accelerate copper coil corrosion inside indoor air conditioning units.
  • Location. Of course, one factor that affects the average lifespan of a heating unit is how often you use it. In some parts of the country, homeowners use their air conditioning for only a few months per year.

Do I need to worry about the outdoor HVAC unit components?

When fall arrives, we start thinking about winterizing our homes. Likewise, extreme heat can decrease an air conditioner's efficiency during summer. Many people plan to tackle this with AC covers or shades to protect their home windows from the sun's rays.
Extreme weather conditions and temperatures can speed up the process of wearing out your HVAC outdoor unit. This can lead to your air conditioner not working as effectively and higher electricity bills. It's best to cover your outdoor unit to avoid any snow piling on top of it and getting showered with rain.

How can setting my thermostat help save money?

Depending on your house and your environment, you may want to adjust your thermostat for energy savings. However, you can generally set your thermostat to 68° while awake and lower it when you're asleep or away from home during the winter. When you are at home in the summer, set the thermostat at 78 degrees, then raise it when you are away.
You can install smart thermostats to get better control of your HVAC system. Smart thermostats adjust your home's temperature settings automatically, freeing you from the hassle of making manual changes. For less money, you can save 10% on heating and cooling by turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its standard setting. People save more from setbacks in milder climates than in more severe climates.

Why Does My HVAC Keep Freezing Up?

An HVAC system frequently freezes in the sweltering summertime. The irony often confuses homeowners. Because of this, this is one of the most frequent questions our technicians get asked throughout the summer.
Fortunately, there are two apparent causes for this problem:
  • The coils are clogged: Clean the dust and debris from your coils to improve airflow. If the airflow is obstructed by debris, moisture will condense on the coils, coating the device with ice in minutes.
  • The refrigerant is leaking: When refrigerant lines become worn out, leaks may occur. Your device will freeze due to the low internal pressure that arises from this.

How Can I Make My HVAC Last Longer?

It's possible to lengthen the life of your HVAC unit, and regular maintenance by a trusted HVAC company keeps it running smoothly. Here are some other excellent habits to adopt when caring for your home's HVAC:
  • Clearing the unit of debris.
  • Keep your unit working optimally by setting it to the right temperature, depending on the season.
  • Checking the filter and replacing it when needed.
  • Keep your HVAC clean by keeping the area around it clean.

Why is it important to hire licensed HVAC technicians?

When it comes to fixing HVAC issues, some homeowners feel tempted to try their hands at home improvement projects. You can handle a few tasks independently, like changing air filters and minor installations. However, significant installations, repairs, and tune-ups require professional skills. If you mess up a job, it can result in extensive damage. If you embark on some DIY HVAC repairs, you could run afoul of the law. In some parts of the country, only licensed technicians can handle refrigerants. Hiring a licensed HVAC technician can save you money and time, while the DIY projects you do yourself will only waste your precious time.

Who should I call for HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance?

We at Home Alliance are pleased and willing to address all of your troubling HVAC inquiries. Therefore, feel free to get in touch with our experienced HVAC professionals. And if you discover that your HVAC system isn't functioning properly, get in touch with Home Alliance for all your repair and maintenance needs.
We have happily serviced significant cities around the nation for many years. We provide dependable service, high-caliber work, and service guarantees.

For all of your HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance requirements, contact the professionals at Home Alliance. Choose Home Alliance instead of anything less for your HVAC system, as well as appliance repairs. Book a service appointment today!