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There is something wonderful about the New Year. For many, it is the bright prospect of the brand new year ahead of them. For others it is a chance to put away the past. Or it is the fact that you get to stay up late and eat snacks while you wait for midnight. After the confetti has fallen and the last of the buffet is cleared, people turn their attention inward and think of what new year’s resolutions they might want to aim for. Instead of mulling over diet plans that don’t pan out, or punishing exercise routines that get skipped after two weeks and a pulled hamstring, why do you try a few promises that can keep you happy and comfortable year-round with relatively little effort? This year you should put yourself and your home’s comfort first with the following HVAC resolutions.
New Year, New Air Filters
An easy resolution to keep is promising to replace your home’s air filters on a regular schedule. Air filters are an HVAC system’s first line of defense against unwanted foriegn material entering the ducts and can help improve your home’s air quality by removing animal dander, dust, and other particulates from the air. Take a moment to set a reminder on your calendar for every 3-4 months, or make it even easier by subscribing to a delivery air filter service!
SEE ALSO: Why Do I Need to Change My Home Air Filter?
HVAC systems should operate with little input from you beyond what temperature you want to set on the thermostat, but they need regular maintenance to assure a long operating life. This year, one of your HVAC resolutions should be to contact your local, licensed HVAC service provider and arrange for bi-annual maintenance appointments. These check-ups typically occur during the Spring and Fall seasons, allowing technicians to inspect and clean heat pumps and air conditioners. Preventative maintenance is an important part of keeping an HVAC system in good working order. It can also help avoid costly repairs.
SEE ALSO: How Important is Regular Maintenance
The new year is a great time to go through your home and make sure all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functional and have fresh batteries (if needed). Grab the step-stool and replace the batteries on January 1st to assure that your family will be safer from the risk of fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. If your detectors are wired into your home’s security system, consult your owner’s manual to test them and make sure they are functioning. No one wants to ring in the year listening to the horribly loud alert of a smoke detector test. Yet it is far better than not hearing them when they are needed.
SEE ALSO: How CO2 Monitors Help Us Understand Air Quality
Prepare for Pollen
While the winter season brings relief from allergy aggravating pollen, it’s also the perfect time to start preparing for Spring’s return. There’s no better way to take care of yourself when flowers begin to bloom than making preparations during the new year. Including this in your HVAC resolutions means that you will invest some time into a few things around the house.
Inspect windows and door for gaps or leaks that might allow outdoor air inside. invest in an in-duct air purifier that can work with your existing HVAC system to pull pollen out of the air. You can also take steps to reduce the chances of pollen getting into your house with new entryway mats. Plug in air purifiers. You can even use a carpet cleaning machine to help keep the air in your home cleaner and easier to breathe.
SEE ALSO: Getting the Pollen Out of Your Home’s Air
Resolve to Remove VOCs
Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs, are things that can become gases or vapors in your home. These VOCs can be the source of issues like irritation to your nose and throat, difficulty breathing, or other health issues. You can make it one of your HVAC resolutions to clear your house of VOC sources and keep the air free of unwanted additives. Sources of indoor VOCs can include gasoline canisters, air fresheners, nail polish remover, some cleaners and disinfectants, and paint. Tobacco cigarettes are also a major source of VOCs, especially if you smoke indoors. Couple these two resolutions together as a more powerful motivation to drop one bad habit and improve your home’s air at the same time. You can follow through by researching low-VOC items to purchase in the future.
SEE ALSO: How to Avoid VOCs in Your Home
Call for Consultation
When you’re packing up the holiday decorations and thinking about the future year ahead of you, also take time to think about when you’ll need a new or upgraded HVAC system. Heat pumps and air conditioners have varying expected “life spans” but in time, they will all need replacement. This is a great opportunity to think of how you can improve your home’s air comfort by either upgrading to a properly sized HVAC system, replacing old ductwork, or updating with a more modern system that can provide more energy efficient ways to keep your house at the ideal temperature and humidity.
Older air conditioners and heat pumps can begin to struggle with day-to-day performance and may have issues like Freon leaks that are both costly and pollutive. Thinking about replacing parts of your HVAC system before any issues occur can help you be prepared for when it is a necessity. Then you can be sure to know what your home needs and what your family wants in a new system.
SEE ALSO: 7 Signs Your Home Needs a New HVAC System
If You Can Only Pick One
If you only have time for one single resolution, make it this: resolve to clean your dryer’s exhaust hose. Did thinking about your dryer’s exhaust hose just make you grimace as you try and remember the last time you cleaned it? This is a tedious but very important task for household health. Removing the excess lint in a dryer’s exhaust hose helps prevent the very real danger of household fires. This is a job that might require hired help but it is a necessary task. Make this your top priority if you know you’re overdue for a cleaning!
SEE ALSO: Dryer Vent Cleaning
Auld Lang Syne
Resolutions come and go, but these suggestions should help you plan out your year. We recommend scheduling a consultation with your local, licensed HVAC service provider to help make sure the year ahead will be one of continual air comfort for you and your family. There may be no way to predict the future, but hopefully these HVAC resolutions will make sure that the air quality and comfort of your home is assured all year ‘round.