Basic HVAC Maintenance Tips that Make Preventing Costly Repairs Easy

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system of your home, or HVAC, is one of the most important pieces of equipment in any residence. Even here in Vancouver where some of Canada’s mildest winters often occur, you’re glad that furnace is there when February comes along.

But in order to make sure your HVAC system is keeping you cool in the summer and providing warmth in the winter, you should pay it some attention. Most of the time, your HVAC system will work without complaint, and usually, you only pay it mind when something very wrong and very expensive occurs. But by exercising some basic maintenance mindfulness, you can avoid any expensive problems, and here’s how.

Replace Filters Every Three Months

ac-filter_480This is just basic housekeeping 101, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to do this on a regular basis. Your filter is a consumable, and it will eventually get too dirty to protect you from contaminants in the home because that’s what its job is; to get dirty by capturing contaminants instead of constantly putting them back into the air you breathe in your home.

Even though the recommended replacement period is every three months, if you have other circumstances, such as being a pet owner or have smokers regularly lighting up within the residence, you may want to check your filters more frequently and replace them more often as well. Higher amounts of contaminants are released into the air by pets, cigarettes and even hobbies like woodworking.

Clear Your Vents & Condensers

High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners have air intakes and other vents for both bringing in air to the process, as well as purging steam or other waste into the air. That means that for modern HVAC systems to work, a healthy flow of air needs to be maintained.

However, the outdoors can be an unpredictable place, which is why it’s important to occasionally do an inspection of vulnerable areas. That vent for your furnace to put out excess waste air may suddenly turn into a great nest for birds, while the condenser for your air conditioners is now choked out by a pile of leaves. If you leave these obstructions alone, you’re admitting you’re okay with paying higher utility bills.

Have Your HVAC System Tuned Up Once A Year

tune-up_480Some things you can and should do by yourself, but yearly inspection and tuning up of your HVAC is not one of those things. When it comes to looking at your system as a whole and inspecting specific parts, you want an expert.

Call a professional to come in for this activity. That way, some of the more technical maintenance, such as replenishing coolant or cleaning vents can be done quickly, efficiently and cost effectively, so you don’t end up paying more later for an expensive repair.

Expert Going Green Info for Earth Day

recycle_480April 22nd is known as “Earth Day,” and it’s a time when we are encouraged to look around us, at the world we live in, and think about what we can do to keep it a healthy, safer place.

The Earth, in many ways, is just like the home that we live inside, and taking care of your home, worrying about its welfare and the people inside it, is not too different from taking that same care and applying it to our world. There are a few things you can do right at home with your own plumbing that can help our environment, and maybe even save you some money.

Filter Your Water

For maximum convenience and safety, you can install a water filter in your home. This comes in a variety of different models. Larger systems are incorporated right into your home’s plumbing. Smaller ones can be installed right “on the tap,” and both have their advantages. If you’ve got an older home with lead pipes still in the construction, an on the tap solution can prevent that lead from getting into your drinking water.

Both types, however, will provide you with cleaner, better tasting, better smelling water that is safer for you to drink. It even strips out the chlorine that’s usually added to water for a better drinking experience.

Look At Your Carbon Footprint

carbon-footprint_480Carbon dioxide is known as a “greenhouse gas,” which means that the more of it there is in the atmosphere, the more heat is retained by the Earth, and that’s how we get global warming. While we exhale CO2 naturally after breathing, there are many other ways this gas is created, including a lot of our manufacturing processes.

Your “carbon footprint” is a measurement of how much CO2 are personally responsible for creating, through your own actions, and through buying and using products that expend CO2. You can reduce your footprint through using “greener” products, and through buying products with a low carbon footprint when being manufactured.

Get a Tankless Water Heater for Your Home

If you’re looking to add value to your home, this is one way to do it, though it may seem expensive at first. Tankless water heaters warm the water directly in your pipes, rather than requiring a storage tank. This makes them much more efficient, and you can save up to $100 every year in utility bills alone thanks to this technology.

Use Eco-Friendly Plumbing Fixtures

save-water_480The plumbing in your house can use water more efficiently, or it can, through the manufacturing process, not be resource intensive or environmentally harmful. Sometimes it’s both.
Try getting new plumbing fixtures, water efficient shower heads or low-flow toilets. Or else try a new fixture like a Vetrazzo countertop that uses recycled glass and is LEED certified. It can make a big difference.

We Can Make You Greener

Lambert Plumbing & Heating is ready to help you if want to go green. If you live in Vancouver, BC, and want some expert environmental plumbing help, call us at 604-734-0890. We can make your plumbing more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

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