As a homeowner, you rely on your home's HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system to safely keep your family comfortable and your pipes from freezing. While you may have given some thought to the furnace and air conditioner units, you probably haven't given any thought to the other important parts of the system—the ductwork, vents, and registers. It's okay, listed below are the four most important things you need to know about them.
1. Vent and Register Covers Need to be Kept Clean
All of the HVAC system's metal vent and register covers are used to pass air either into or out of the system. To ensure the air isn't constrained or dirty, you need to keep them clean and free of dust or dirt. When it builds upon the covers, then the system has to work harder, and this leads to higher power bills and the need for more frequent system repairs. It also lowers the air quality in your home and clogs the furnace filter.
2. You Should Not Close or Block Registers
While some people advise you to close registers in unused rooms to save on heating costs, this is really bad for your HVAC system. Closing registers forces air to build up in the duct system. If you hear a loud thunk when the system turns off, this is a tell-tale sign a register is blocked.
3. HVAC System Ductwork Needs Periodic Cleaning
Though you can't see the dirt inside of it, your HVAC system's ductwork needs to be professionally cleaned every few years. This is especially important in homes with pets or that are located in excessively dusty areas.
To clean the ducts, HVAC contractors use a strong vacuum with a very long hose that is fed through the entire system. The vacuum removes:
- Pet hair
- Pet dander
- Fungal spores
- Viruses and bacteria
4. Ductwork Can Come Loose and This Needs to be Fixed
If one area of your home doesn't heat or cool as well as the others, then it is possible the ductwork has come apart. Ducts sometimes come loose from foundational settling or are knocked loose by renovation work or critters traveling in crawl spaces.
You know that magical silver tape you use to fix everything? While many people incorrectly call it "duck tape" it's actual name is "duct tape" and it's designed purpose is to connect and seal the ductwork for HVAC systems.
Finally, securing the ducts back together is a job for a professional heating repair company, such as Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air, and it is an important repair because it greatly improves the system's energy efficiency, lowers your power bills, and keeps your home temperature balanced.