What did we do before heating and cooling systems? If you want a literal answer, then you can look to the obvious solutions like fireplaces and animal pelts for warmth, and the ingenious ways in which cool water was circulated into homes in the golden age of Rome. But even with this knowledge of the old ways, it seems like people of the past must have been no strangers to suffering due to extreme temperatures.
Modern heating and cooling systems are so efficient and convenient, it seems unthinkable to ever go back to the old ways. This is why proper maintenance of these systems is crucial, especially for those living in places susceptible to very hot or very cold temperatures.
Proper Maintenance for Heating and Cooling Systems
Every heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (or, HVAC) system is different in some way, but they all need to meet certain requirements and be checked routinely. For starters, the filters on a home HVAC system should be swapped out every couple of months, according to Energystar.gov. A general, full system inspection should be performed by a professional twice a year. The first time should be just before summer takes full swing, since this is when the AC unit will be used the most. The second inspection should take place before winter comes, to make sure the home will be heated properly and safely.
It’s important to know that HVAC systems don’t last forever. Furnaces, for instance, will last about fifteen to eighteen years if properly maintained. If something important in a furnace system fails or breaks, such as the control module, and the furnace is reaching old age, it’s best to replace the furnace entirely. It will be cheaper in the end, plus the old furnace will need to be replaced at some point anyway.
High Efficiency, High Satisfaction, Lower Impact
While initial cost of installation is a concern for many, the most important thing to look for in any HVAC system is efficiency. After all, you’ll be paying monthly for energy use, so you might as well get the most and the best out of your system. For instance, replacing your old AC unit with a high-efficiency one (as well as doing other things to keep heat out of your home) can save you 20-50% on energy use this summer.
But saving money isn’t the only reason to switch to a high-efficiency unit. The more efficient your furnace or boiler, for instance, the fewer the carbon dioxide emissions that come from your home. By today’s laws, the lowest allowable efficiency level for gas furnaces is 78% (somewhat high already), but some of the latest models can achieve nearly 97% efficiency! It doesn’t get much better than that.
Today, two-thirds of U.S. homes are equipped with air conditioners, and the number is rising. It can be easy to take this technology for granted, but it might help to think about what people had to do in the past just to feel comfortable (or even survive) in extreme conditions! It’s important to appreciate your HVAC system, and therefore it’s important to maintain it and keep it as efficient as possible. Your wallet will thank you, your body will thank you, and the environment will thank you, too.