During your regular HVAC maintenance appointments, make sure you spend time asking your HVAC contractor any questions you have about your system, like how it operates, what you can do to help it run more efficiently and how you can lower your energy bill. Here are five questions to ask your HVAC contractor during your next maintenance appointment.
- How do I change my air filter, and how often should I change it?
Your HVAC contractor will be able to show you where the filter is located, how to remove it, what you should be looking for when checking how clean or dirty it is and how to properly replace it. They can also give you recommendations on the best types of air filters to use.
Depending on the type of air filter you use and how much your system runs, it is best to clean or replace it every 30-90 days. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, causes your furnace (and entire HVAC system) to work harder and has a harder time removing pollutants from your home’s indoor air. Write the date on the cardboard edge of the filter when you change it and schedule a reminder on your phone’s calendar to check and change the filter, if needed, every 30-90 days.
- Can you show me how to use my thermostat?
Always check the owner’s manual for your thermostat, but your HVAC contractor should be able to give you some tips on how the thermostat works and recommendations for the best settings. Also programmable thermostats are a great way to save money on your energy bill. If you have one, your HVAC contractor can show you how to program it to automatically adjust the temperature while you are out of the house (e.g., at work), so you don’t have to remember to change the temperature before leaving. If your programmable thermostat is “smart,” your HVAC contractor can also show you how to adjust the thermostat remotely through your smartphone.
- How often do I need to have my HVAC system serviced by an HVAC contractor?
We recommend having your HVAC system checked by an HVAC contractor twice a year: in the spring before using the air conditioner for the first time and in the fall before using the furnace for the first time. During a maintenance appointment, our HVAC contractor cleans and inspects the unit and ensures your HVAC system is running smoothly. Even if everything is working well, this kind of preventive maintenance is important for the life of your HVAC system, addressing any issues before they turn into expensive repairs or replacements.
- How do you determine the right HVAC system size I need?
Why does size matter when it comes to your HVAC system? Because a properly-sized system will work much more efficiently to heat and cool your home, not running too little like an oversized system or too much like an undersized one. It will also help your energy bill and make your home less susceptible to moisture issues.
An HVAC professional can identify the best HVAC system size for your home by calculating the required size by doing a Manual J load calculation, a detailed analysis of your home’s central air conditioning and heating needs. This calculation is based on factors such as your home’s square footage, ceiling height, the type of insulation you have, the type of windows you have, the climate in which you live, if you have a basement or slab, what color your roof is, etc.
- What are your qualifications as an HVAC contractor?
Finding a qualified HVAC contractor is important for keeping your HVAC system running smoothly for many years. Our HVAC contractors are all NATE-certified. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence and is the leading program for certification of technicians in the HVAC industry. The HVAC contractor who carries this certification has met a high standard of excellence, passing professional exams and demonstrating proficiency in many important areas. Core requirements include safety, heat transfer, tools of the trade and electrical concepts and procedures, while additional specialty areas include installation, service, components and applied knowledge. Hiring an HVAC contractor with a NATE certification means you have a qualified technician working on your system.
Of course, there are many more questions you can ask your HVAC contractor during a routine visit. Perhaps you have questions about alleviating asthma or allergies, a strange sound or smell coming from your unit, your family’s comfort, having your vents cleaned, getting a new HVAC system or what your existing warranty covers. Whatever your questions are, take time before your maintenance appointment to write down a list of the questions you want to ask your HVAC contractor. That way, you can be sure you won’t forget anything and will make the best use of the time they’re in your home.
To schedule your next HVAC maintenance appointment, contact Stiles Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing.