Tips and Tricks for Your HVAC System

HVAC System Denver

The heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) system in your Denver home can use up to two-thirds of your home’s entire energy output on a yearly basis. Because of this, it is essential that you make smart choices when it comes to making improvements that will decrease your home’s energy output and increase its overall efficiency. Making the right decisions to help your HVAC system can mean the difference between having a massive monthly energy bill and having a bill that is manageable. Proper decision making will not only decrease your monthly payments but also increase the overall quality of living inside of your home.

This article will feature tips and tricks to keep up with your home’s HVAC system, how to identify problems with your system, as well as guidelines about what to do when you encounter issues with your system.

Maintenance is Crucial

Many people go through life saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Well, in the case of your home’s HVAC unit, this is not the case. The “small stuff” can make all the difference for your air conditioning and heating performance throughout the year. Things as small as changing and cleaning your air filter on a monthly basis can improve the lifespan of the equipment and improve its overall performance significantly. Another area to check is your ducts and insulation, ensure they are up to par. A lot of your home’s energy will be lost through leaking ducts and poorly insulated spaces even if your HVAC system is running perfectly.

4 Seasons in Colorado

HVAC systems are really two systems in one: an air conditioner, as well as a heating system. Expect to encounter different tasks for maintenance based on the time of year it is in Colorado. When gearing up for the summer months, you will want a service professional to check your AC coolant level so you don’t have to sweat your way through the summer. As the cold Colorado winter approaches, you will need to have your heating system evaluated to ensure your home is ready to encounter colder temperatures.

Common Problems in Colorado HVAC Systems

Common types of heating systems include

  • Forced air
  • Boilers
  • Radiant flooring and heating
  • Heat pumps

Heating system breakdowns are often caused by

  • Duct leaks or breaks
  • Underperforming windows
  • Water leaks
  • Older furnaces
  • Thermostat calibration issues
  • Lack of proper maintenance
  • Electrical outages or tripped circuit breakers

Air conditioning systems include

  • Central air conditioning systems
  • Ductless mini-splits air conditioners
  • Window air conditioning units
  • Whole house fans

Air conditioning system breakdowns are often caused by

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Underperforming windows
  • Evaporator coil (indoor component) damage
  • Compressor (outdoor component) damage
  • Older cooling equipment
  • Issues with thermostat calibration
  • Lack of proper maintenance
  • Electrical outages or tripped circuit breakers

Cutting Costs

One of the forgotten aspects of HVAC systems is that they can always use help when it comes to keeping temperatures consistent in your home (even the newest ones). Keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient goes farther than just regulating your thermostat temperature. Savings on your energy bill comes from other areas of your home as well. For example, considering a whole house fan to run in the summer will help you save on your energy bills.

Other things you can do to help out your HVAC system are:

  • Reverse the direction of your AC fan with each season: during warmer months, the fan should rotate counter-clockwise. You can change the direction fairly easily by simply flipping the switch at the base of the fan.
  • Vacuum more to improve your air intake: if you have pets this is essential as hair and other substances can clog the system decreasing its overall functionality. You can also purchase a denser air filter for your home if you happen to have one or more pets.
  • Homeowners often forget to replace or clean their air filters so it is recommended you set a monthly reminder to do so.
  • Temperature variation throughout your home (room-to-room) is caused by airflow or air circulation problems.

One of the following solutions will be most effective based on the system and circumstances your home is in:

  • Get an energy audit: At REenergizeCO, we conduct home energy audits to give you a better idea of how your home is losing precious energy and what can be done to reduce that wasted energy.
  • Switch to a two-stage furnace: standard, single-stage furnaces usually run on “high” or they are completely turned off. This causes a constant “on” or “off” cycle and produces cold and hot spots throughout your home. Not to mention, these systems are much louder than the modern systems that are made today.
  • Upgrade to a variable speed blower: this will enable the blower to run constantly on a low setting (for energy saving purposes). A variable speed blower better circulates conditioned air throughout your home (warm or cool).
  • Add a zoning system: a zoned heating and cooling system sections your home into different climate zones and can be set to separate temperatures depending on those climate zones all from a central thermostat. This will allow you to keep certain areas of your home set at specific temperatures and allow you to avoid wasting money cooling and heating areas of your home that are not frequently used.
  • Seal your ducts: Faulty duct systems are responsible for leaking 20% of the air that passes through holes, poorly sealed or connected joints, and fallen ducts. If you experience stuffy rooms that never feel comfortable, are hard to heat and cool, or have high utility bills you likely have poorly performing ducts.
  • Air registers: you will be able to balance airflow throughout your home by adding supply or return air registers to rooms as needed.

High Energy Bills

High energy bills can be solved by a wide variety of improvements including…

  • System Replacement: Consider a system replacement if your current system is a decade old or more. The systems of today are better engineered for comfort, efficiency and can start paying for themselves almost immediately.
  • Insulation Evaluation/Energy Audit: Many homes lose precious energy due to improper or deteriorating insulation. Sealing ducts, insulating your attic, garage or walls can help lower your monthly energy bills. Make an appointment for an energy audit with a Denver insulation company today to see if insulation is a factor contributing to your failing HVAC system.

Home Energy Audit – Denver

If you suspect that your HVAC system is not running correctly, or if your home’s temperature seems irregular, don’t hesitate to call REenergizeCO. We are a full-service energy auditing firm. We perform a comprehensive home energy audits, bring a certified building performance analyst to your home for diagnostic testing, and screen your home for the following:

  1. Under-performing or leaking windows and doors
  2. Air flow allocation to each room throughout the house
  3. Wall and attic insulation performance and depth
  4. Air sealing detection to ensure that the interior walls of the house are not a corridor for outside air to infiltrate the house

Once the house has been correctly diagnosed, REenergizeCO can perform the basic improvements to reduce the amount of energy lost and increase the amount of comfort in your Denver home.