Staying comfortable during the extreme summer and winter temperatures in Milwaukie, OR, is possible when you have a reliable HVAC system. Although many heating and cooling units should give you more than a decade of comfort, there are times they may break down from heavy use. The best way to extend the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioner is to minimize the strain put on them. Use this list of tips to lower the strain on your HVAC system and get greater comfort with lower chances of breakdowns and failures.

1. Use a Programmable Thermostat

You don’t need your home to stay at a constant temperature all the time. For greater energy efficiency and less of a workload on your HVAC system, program your thermostat to match your lifestyle. Drop the temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer during the day when no one is home. In the colder months, you can lower the setting while you sleep as well. A programmable thermostat allows you to control the temperature inside your house with easy preset settings and reduces your energy consumption. Smart thermostats take this to another level by allowing you to change the thermostat from anywhere even when you are away from home. Smart models may even learn your habits and adjust for you to lower your energy consumption.

2. Change Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system should be changed at least once every three months. The time frame may be more frequent, depending on the type of filter that you’re using. HVAC filters trap dust and allergens, keeping your indoor air clean and healthy while blocking particulates from entering your furnace. When the filters are full of debris, your heating and cooling system must work harder to force conditioned air out into the ducts and may not be able to keep dirt and dust out of your unit.

3. Schedule Annual Maintenance

Experts suggest performing preventative maintenance on your heating and cooling systems once per year. During this maintenance, your HVAC technician will inspect the mechanical components for wear and tear. They will assess the electrical and gas connections, ensuring your equipment is operating safely. The technician may also lubricate moving parts, clean the outside of the units, empty drain lines, and assess the overall performance of each unit. Routine maintenance helps extend the lifespan of your unit, ensure safe operation, boost energy efficiency, and identify potential problems that may lead to breakdowns.

4. Professional Duct Cleaning

The hot and cold air from your HVAC system travels through ductwork to reach the vents in each room. Over time, these ducts may become filled with dust and debris. When the ducts are dirty, you may have poor airflow through the house. Professional duct cleaning uses a high-pressure vacuum and forced air to blast this buildup out of the ducts, leaving you with a clear path for hot and cold air. Experts recommend scheduling professional duct cleaning every three to five years.

5. Zoned Heating and Cooling

Zoned heating and cooling give you greater control over your home’s comfort. With a zoned system, you’ll use a separate thermostat for different areas of the house, allowing you to keep rooms at various temperatures based on how you use them. For example, you may want to keep the bedroom at a lower temperature than the living area. You may also opt for less conditioned air in rarely used rooms to lower heating and cooling costs.

6. Utilize Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans aren’t just for aesthetics. You may enjoy a cool breeze from the fans during the milder months, but you can also utilize them to help boost the effects of your HVAC system. In the winter, your ceiling fans should spin in a clockwise direction. This pushes the warm air that has risen to the top of the room back down and recirculates it for better warmth. During the summer, set the ceiling fans to spin in a counterclockwise motion, which gives you a cool breeze as it pushes the cold air back down below. Installing ceiling fans in bedrooms and living areas is an excelCarbonet way to lower the workload on your heating and cooling system when set in the proper direction.

7. Upgrade Your Insulation

If you struggle to keep your home at an ideal temperature, you may need better insulation. This is especially true of older homes that have little to no outer insulation. Insulation acts as a barrier between your living space and the outside world. It blocks out extreme temperatures while keeping your heated and cooled air inside, which keeps you comfortable.

8. Use Window Coverings

It may not seem like much, but your curtains and blinds can help with the temperature of your indoor space. In the winter months, open the window coverings during the day to let the sunlight in and add a couple of extra degrees of warmth. Close them at night to help block the cold from coming through the windows. In the summer, use your curtains or blinds to block the heat from the sun, keeping them closed while the sun shines through. You might be surprised at how much of a difference your window coverings can make to help lessen the load on your heating and cooling equipment.

9. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Units

If you have an older furnace or air conditioner, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new model. Newer units provide better energy efficiency and lower operating costs. They are also more efficient for heating and cooling your house with less effort. This allows you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature without your HVAC system constantly running or struggling to keep up. When choosing a new model, discuss your needs with an expert installation technician to find the best unit to fit your house. If you select a unit that is too small, it could result in inefficient heating and cooling and may require the machine to run non-stop to keep up. An HVAC unit that is too large for your space may short-cycle or turn on and off too frequently. This results in more energy use and may cause the machine to fail more quickly.

Minimizing the strain on your heating and cooling units helps extend the lifespan of the system, allowing you to enjoy comfortable temperatures inside your home without costly repairs and replacements as often. If it’s time for maintenance, repairs, or replacement of your units, the experts at Carbone Plumbing are ready to help. Our professional HVAC technicians are highly skilled and qualified to perform all your HVAC services with the highest quality and safety. In addition, Carbone Plumbing offers the most experienced plumbing and electrical services in the Milwaukie area, making us your one-stop shop for home services.

Get help maximizing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system from the most reliable and trusted HVAC experts in Milwaukie by calling Carbone Plumbing today.

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