Most Commonly Asked HVAC Questions – Answered!

By: Jason Fletcher  |  June 26, 2024

frequently asked hvac questions

We’ve been doing HVAC for a while now in and around Indianapolis and we get a lot of questions from customers related to their homes and systems. In an effort to bring all that expertise together, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions our techs get asked every year as the seasons change. So, read on to get answers to some of your burning hot (get it?) questions about HVAC!

1. What Size HVAC System Do I Need for My Home?

One of the most important factors in your HVAC system’s performance is the size of the system relative to your home. An undersized unit will struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature, while an oversized system can cycle on and off too frequently, reducing efficiency and lifespan. Think about older homes where it’s always warmer upstairs than downstairs for example.

Answer: The size of the HVAC system needed is determined by the square footage of your home, the climate, the number of windows, insulation quality, and other factors. It’s best to have a professional perform a load calculation to determine the appropriate size for your specific needs. We can help with this as, often times, home builders simply pick a standard unit for all homes regardless of these variables, which results in uneven cooling or heating.

2. How Often Should I Change My Air Filters?

Air filters are crucial for maintaining air quality and system efficiency. However, many homeowners are unsure about how frequently they should be changed. Most home owners vastly underestimate just how much additional strain a dirty air filter can put on your entire system. For such an inexpensive and easy to replace component of your system, this can cause huge (and expensive) issues with your heating or cooling system as it pushes air through a clogged or dirty filter.

Answer: Air filters should generally be changed every 1-3 months. This can vary depending on the type of filter used, the presence of pets, indoor air quality, and the level of usage of the HVAC system. Regularly checking and replacing filters ensures optimal performance and air quality. One tip is to set a recurring reminder for yourself on your computer or phone so that you don’t have to manually track when you last changed it or when you need to change it next.

3. What Are the Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat?

With advancements in technology, programmable thermostats have become a popular upgrade for many homeowners. But what are the real benefits? Is it worth the hassle and expense to replace your current thermostat?

Answer: Programmable thermostats can significantly increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by allowing you to set temperatures according to your schedule. This can lead to energy savings, improved comfort, and reduced wear and tear on your system by avoiding unnecessary heating and cooling.

Most of these also have apps so that you can easily (and remotely) adjust your settings even if you’re away from home.

4. Why Is My HVAC System Making Strange Noises?

Unusual noises from your HVAC system can be concerning and indicate a potential problem that needs addressing. It’s super important not to ignore these or delay in getting an expert to check them out. Similar to a strange noise from your vehicle’s engine bay, if you ignore signs of problems, it can cause additional damage and expense when you finally do get an expert to check it out.

Answer: Strange noises can be due to a variety of issues, such as loose components, debris in the system, a failing motor, or ductwork problems. If you hear rattling, buzzing, grinding, or squealing, it’s important to have a professional inspect the system to prevent further damage and ensure safe operation. We’re always happy to come out to diagnose a problem and give you an estimate if any repairs are needed.

5. How Can I Improve the Efficiency of My HVAC System?

Energy efficiency is a top concern for homeowners looking to reduce their utility bills and environmental impact. With most people having HVAC units that may be original to their homes (due to the fact that they often last for 10+ years), it’s a common question to wonder if technology has advanced and whether there are additional efficiencies or savings to be had with an upgrade.

Answer: Improving HVAC efficiency without having to spend thousands can be achieved through regular maintenance, such as cleaning coils, changing filters, and checking refrigerant levels. Additionally, sealing ducts, upgrading insulation, and using a programmable thermostat can enhance efficiency. Investing in a high-efficiency system can also provide long-term savings, especially if your system is struggling or an improper size for your home.

6. What Are the Signs That My HVAC System Needs Replacement?

Knowing when to repair versus replace your HVAC system can be challenging. However, here at Homesense, we pride ourselves on not incentivizing our employees to “sell” you anything. So, whenever possible, we’ll make recommendations related to fixing issues, rather than replacing your entire system.

Answer: Common signs that indicate it might be time to replace your system include frequent breakdowns, rising energy bills, inconsistent temperatures, and the system’s age (typically over 10-15 years old). If repairs are becoming more frequent and costly, replacing the system with a newer, more efficient model may be more cost-effective in the long run. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, send us some info and we can get a free estimate together for what it might cost to replace your system.

7. How Often Should I Schedule Maintenance for My HVAC System?

Regular maintenance is key to the longevity and efficiency of your HVAC system. That’s why we offer an inexpensive annual maintenance agreement to help you keep everything in tip top shape and running as efficiently as possible.

Answer: It’s recommended to have your HVAC system professionally inspected and serviced at least once a year. Ideally, you should schedule maintenance in the spring for cooling systems and in the fall for heating systems (that’s how our maintenance plan is structured). Regular maintenance can catch small issues before they become major problems and keep your system running smoothly, plus it can help you avoid potentially expensive (and sudden) issues.

Understanding your HVAC system and addressing common concerns can lead to a more comfortable home, lower energy bills, and a longer-lasting system. We hope that this info has been helpful, but of course, if you have any questions or simply don’t want to do the work to maintain or check your own system, we’re here if you need us!

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