(BPT) How well do you know your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, or HVAC, system? Like any product, you want to keep it in working order, and being HVAC savvy will help you keep this vital equipment working more efficiently regardless of the temperatures outside.
Here are some important aspects of your HVAC system you should know:
The Average Lifespan of HVAC
Generally, with proper maintenance most residential HVAC systems have a typical lifespan between 10 to 20 years. For instance, an increase in dust on surfaces in your home could be a signal to replace the furnace filter, which should be done monthly for optimal performance. Loud noises from the HVAC or inconsistent room temperature can also indicate the need for maintenance or an upgrade.
Although an HVAC may continue to provide comfort during this timeframe, the average homeowner may still seek to replace an HVAC system during this period for a variety of reasons, such as rising energy bills which could also be a signal that the HVAC is not operating as efficiently as newer models.
State-of-the-Art HVAC Technology
While most people are familiar with central HVAC systems, some homeowners might not know about “mini-split” systems. A “mini-split” system, typically ductless, both heats and cools. There is an indoor and outdoor unit; the outdoor unit does most of the work while the indoor unit distributes the heating or cooling.
Mini-Split HVAC units with inverter technology, like those from LG Electronics, provide zoned heating or cooling where you need it, all while providing you with an opportunity to reduce your reliance on fossil fuel. This ductless system allows you to select comfort settings for each zone or room in your home and then control the temperature, volume, and direction of airflow, all according to your preference. ENERGY STAR® certified models are available and, in addition to being more eco-friendly than a traditional HVAC system, can help cut your cooling costs by up to 30 percent.
Know the SEER Rating
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of your air conditioner is a measurement of the product’s cooling output in comparison to the total electric energy input. The SEER rating, which can range from 13 to over 30, represents the heat pump cooling and air conditioning efficiency.
You’ll want to know the rating to help you understand the efficiency of your unit when it works at its maximum potential. In general, the higher the rating, the better. For example, your air conditioner should have a SEER rating of at least 14.5 to qualify as an ENERGY STAR product.
Benefits of ENERGY STAR
The gold standard for energy efficiency is ENERGY STAR, a U.S. government-backed program that helps consumers and businesses easily identify products designed and built to meet above-average efficiency standards. Home products, including HVAC systems, which achieve a certain degree of energy efficiency while also meeting usability and convenience requirements, earn the rating. In fact, heating and cooling costs could be cut by up to 20 percent versus traditional HVAC products by using ENERGY STAR certified models.
Keeping your heating, ventilation, and HVAC equipment well-maintained can have a significant effect on your utility bills and will help you catch small issues before they snowball into financial burdens. Replace the air filter regularly, have a maintenance expert evaluate your system twice a year in the spring and fall, and report any concerns to your HVAC provider between planned visits. Ready to make the switch? Consider an LG HVAC unit by contacting a contractor to learn more about upgrading your system or installing a new unit.