Like any other part of your home, your cooling and heating systems come with a steep learning curve. Even long-time homeowners probably don't completely understand how their HVAC systems work. Here are answers to some of the most common HVAC questions that heating and cooling technicians receive from their customers.
HVAC Questions: What You Need to Know
Why is my furnace short-cycling?
"Short cycling" is when an HVAC system is constantly starting and stopping itself instead of running smoothly for an extended period of time. Just like turning the ignition in your car, again and again, this startup process ends up using more energy and leads to more wear-and-tear on the system.
In most cases, short cycling in furnaces is caused by the poor air intake. However, in others, the root cause can be improper installation. If a furnace is too large for the home, it's in. It will constantly cycle instead of running normally.
You'll need to get an expert out to take a closer look. Get on your phone and search for a locally trusted professional. If you live in Western New York, for instance, you might search for furnace service in Buffalo, New York to find an HVAC services provider.
Does the air filter actually matter?
It absolutely does. Remember the poor furnace air intake issue mentioned earlier? In most cases, that's caused by a clogged HVAC air filter that is unable to pull sufficient air up through the ducts to the HVAC system. Before it gets to that dramatic point, a dirty and dust-clogged air filter can cause issues for your furnace or air conditioner's efficiency.
You should change your air filter every 1-3 months, and more often if you have children and pets in your home. If you have a washable air filter, make sure you thoroughly clean it and then let it dry completely before reinserting it into the air intake.
What does it mean to have "leaky ducts"?
In a typical forced-air HVAC set up, your home features a network of air ducts that carry cooled and heated air from the blower to the various rooms of your home. This air is then "forced" out (hence the name) of registers, cooling, and heating individual rooms.
However, this ductwork is far from impervious. Small cracks and pinholes can add up to significant energy waste as the cooled and heated air you already paid for escapes into your attic and out of your home.
To counter this, many HVAC companies now offer air duct sealing services. A technician will get up into your attic and use specialized tape, glue, and other materials to seal these air leaks.
Get answers to your heating and cooling questions
Think your home might have an HVAC-related problem, but you're not sure? The best thing you can do is talk to an HVAC professional in your area. They'll be able to answer your questions and help you out.
For a more in-depth look at the questions discussed above, take a look at this new infographic.