February 20, 2024
Technician fixing furnace

Audits are thorough, detailed inspections of systems, accounts, and equipment. By performing a winter audit on the HVAC system in your Las Vegas, NV home, you can make sure that everything is working safely and efficiently. Winter audits help homeowners lower their carbon footprints and energy bills, improve their indoor air quality (IAQ), and increase their comfort. The good news is that this complex, multi-pronged process can be completed with the help of our seasoned HVAC technicians.

Start by Scheduling Preventative Maintenance

All residential heating systems require professional preventative maintenance service at least once each year. This remains true whether you’re using a furnace or a heat pump. If you use a heat pump to both heat and cool your home, this unit should receive tune-up service once in late spring or early summer and again before winter arrives.

During annual preventative maintenance, our technicians perform rigorous, multi-point inspections, test the performance of HVAC systems, and verify the integrity of ducting and exhaust systems. We replace missing, worn, and damaged parts; lubricate moving components; assess blower fan speeds; and more. These visits are an opportunity to prevent mid-season heater failure by catching small problems and resolving them early on. Routine maintenance minimizes HVAC system stress and increases the overall efficiency of heating equipment.

Check Your Thermostat’s Location

Throughout the year, homeowners may make changes to their living spaces such as installing new heat-generating appliances or upgrading their window treatments. If the move from vertical blinds to lightweight window shears has left your thermostat bathed in sunlight, it may need a new location. If you added a new gaming computer to the room that houses your thermostat, the heat from this unit could result in inaccurate temperature readings.

We inspect and calibrate thermostats during preventative maintenance service. If needed, we also move these devices to optimize their locations and ensure accuracy.

Check HVAC Air Ducts for Collapsed Sections and Other Damage

In the fall, many outdoor animals are actively seeking warm, enclosed shelter. HVAC air ducts and other HVAC system features are quite appealing to this end. Not only do they offer pests privacy and safety, but many locations also provide easy access to indoor food and water stores. Before winter arrives, you should have your HVAC air ducts inspected for pest infestations.

During the annual tune-up service, we also look for rips, perforations, loose connections, and crushed or collapsed ducts. These are often found in high-traffic areas like attached garages where small sections of ducting are exposed and things could be moving around the ducts, such as a garage door.

Inspect the Vent Systems

If you have a fuel-combusting heater in your home, we’ll check its exhaust vents too. These vents are usually on the side of homes just near the ground or on rooftops near fireplace flues and other protrusions. We check for vent blockages, nests and other pest problems, and compromised pipes.

Given that fuel-combusting appliances produce dangerous exhaust gases like carbon monoxide (CO), we can also test and maintain your CO alarms. All CO alarms should have their batteries and backup batteries replaced every six months. This includes CO alarms that are hardwired directly into residential electrical systems.

Test All Furnace Safety Controls and Failsafe Measures

We test all heater safety controls and failsafe measures. These include furnace thermocouples and flame sensors, circuit breakers, and gas shut-off valves. Routine maintenance minimizes the risk of furnace fires, overheating, and CO and natural gas leaks. However, should things ever go awry, having functional failsafe measures in place will keep everyone safe.

Clean Your HVAC Equipment and Optimize Its Performance

Preventative maintenance also includes thorough cleaning of all internal and external heater components. By removing build-ups of dust, lint, hair, and other debris, we optimize airflow and efficiency, improve IAQ, and reduce the likelihood of many common problems. Although you can gently dust your furnace’s housing, change its filter, and wipe down your HVAC air registers and vents alone, opening and tampering with any of your furnace’s moving parts could instantly void your furnace manufacturer’s warranty.

Maintain Your HVAC Air Ducts

Although HVAC air duct inspections are included in most annual preventative maintenance services, your ducting may be ready for additional care. HVAC ductwork typically lasts just 15 years. If you haven’t had yours replaced in over two decades, now may be the time to do so.

Duct Sealing and Insulation

Air ducts can lose up to 40% of the heating and cooling energy that HVAC systems produce. Having your air ducts sealed and insulated is a great way to minimize these losses. This is especially true if the overarching goal of your audit is lowering your home energy bill or reducing your carbon footprint.

Duct Cleaning

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), professional air duct cleaning provides an important range of indoor air quality benefits and should be performed on an as-needed basis. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests that homeowners can get the best IAQ and efficiency benefits by scheduling professional duct cleaning every two to three years. As part of your winter HVAC audit, consider the last time that you had your ducts cleaned and determine whether or not they need this treatment now.

Check Your HVAC Air Filter and Establish the Right Filter Change Schedule

During your winter HVAC tune-up service, ask our technician to help you establish the right filter change schedule. HVAC equipment manufacturers recommend changing these components every 30 to 90 days. You might need to change your filter more often if you have multiple, ongoing IAQ concerns.

However, if you’ve upgraded your standard to one with a higher maximum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating and greater surface area, you may be able to get by with changing your filter less often. Our technician can give you a needs-specific recommendation for optimum airflow and filter performance.

Stock Up on Filters Before Winter Arrives

When auditing your equipment, make a quick estimate of your wintertime filter needs. If you change your filter monthly, you’ll need between three and five filters to make it through the entire winter season. If you wait until the last minute, you could find nothing but empty shelves in local stores. Buying what you need right now will ensure that you never run out of these essential components.

Read Through Your Equipment Manufacturer Warranties

These documents will detail your requirements for equipment maintenance. They’ll also tell you which parts and functions are covered in the event of defective products or substandard assembly that result in the need for repairs or replacement. If your HVAC system is covered by your home warranty or your home insurance plan, you should check these contracts or policies as well.

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

If you haven’t upgraded to a smart thermostat already, installing this appliance will allow you to track your HVAC system use and energy use year-round. With the data that these devices can collect, homeowners can perform monthly and yearly audits of their spending, energy consumption, and more. Smart thermostats also offer timely reminders for air filter replacements and routine HVAC maintenance.

We’re proud to serve Las Vegas, NV and the surrounding cities. We provide top-notch plumbing, cooling, and heating services. You can also turn to us for indoor air quality assessments, HVAC air duct sealing, and preventative maintenance plans. For more info or to schedule an appointment, contact BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair now.

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