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What to Do About HVAC in Your New Home

Once escrow closes and you get the keys to your new home, it’s time to evaluate the status of existing energy systems. This is especially true for the HVAC system, which is responsible for about 50 percent of American households’ utility bills due to heating and cooling requirements.

The condition of your home’s HVAC system is integral to overall household energy efficiency, interior comfort and indoor air quality which has a large large bearing on the health of your family.

HVAC Checklist For Your New Home

Work through the following checklist to ensure you’re getting the most from your home’s HVAC and other energy systems.  This also helps to familiarize you with the system and the things that are essential for you know and do to maintain the system adequately.

  1. Schedule a professional home energy audit. This one simple step packs a powerful punch. In addition to inspecting your HVAC system, the home energy specialist provides a comprehensive list of the high- and low-performing energy systems in your home, as well as step-by-step instructions on how you can improve them. Homeowners save an average of 5 percent to 30 percent on their utility bills after implementing these recommendations.  It is also common for the specialist to find ways to improve safety, comfort and improve the integrity of your home.
  2. Change the filters. Depending on the previous homeowner’s attention to routine maintenance and the length of time the home was on the market, your home’s air filters might be filthy. This results in higher energy bills, compromised indoor air quality and excess wear-and-tear on the HVAC system. Filter replacement is a simple DIY task, and should be done every few months, or as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Inspect the ducts. If you live in an older home, broken, leaky or poorly designed ducts can seriously compromise HVAC efficiency. In some cases, you may find that redesigning the ducts will pay for itself in terms of future energy savings.
  4. Install programmable thermostats. If your new home has old thermostats, replace them with programmable versions—and consider upgrading to a zoning system. This helps to ensure occupied areas of your home are heated/cooled on schedule.
  5. Air Sealing- find the places where the house envelope is leaking and seal them.  The locations are not always obvious and require specialized equipment to identify all of them.
  6. Upgrade insulation. Insulation quality is integral to interior comfort and the longevity of your HVAC system. Upgrading insulation in the attic and exterior wall spaces yields instant efficiency—significantly reducing the HVAC’s running time.
  7. HVAC System Tune-up.  After all the issues on the audit are addressed, then schedule a comprehensive tune-up on the complete comfort system – both heating and cooling.   It is a good idea to do this when you can tag along with the technician so he can coach on your new system and familiarize you with its ins and outs.

Schedule a routine inspection with P.K.Wadsworth, the Cleveland area’s go-to resource for HVAC maintenance and repairs.

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