When it comes to HVAC terms, you’ve probably heard some used interchangeably, so it may seem that they’re synonymous. Two such terms are “HVAC” and “A/C,” and learning their exact meanings can help you better understand the particular equipment in your home comfort system, and how you can keep everything operating reliably and efficiently with regular preventive care.
What HVAC Means
The term “HVAC” is an acronym for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and it’s usually used to describe the entire comfort system in a home. Depending on your home and needs, your heating and air conditioning equipment might include a gas-fired furnace, electrically-powered split-system air conditioner or heat pump, a mini-split, or a geothermal heat pump. The ventilation portion of the system typically refers to the air circulation components including the blower unit, air filter, and ducting, but it might also cover a whole-house ventilator, or add-on air purification or filtration unit.
A/C most often means “air conditioning,” but it can also refer to any of the different types of household cooling equipment, including central split system heat pumps and air conditioners, ductless mini units, geothermal systems, and window units.
Preventive Maintenance for Your Equipment
As parents, we want our kids to have fun, but we also want them to learn how to be energy-wise future Peachtree City homeowners. Teaching kids about HVAC and energy efficiency now will give them practical knowledge they can put to good use when they own a home. Here are some suggestions on how to make learning about efficiency and HVAC more enjoyable:
Make HVAC Maintenance Memorable
When you have an HVAC maintenance visit planned, ask your technician if the kids can observe from a safe distance, and explain what’s being done and how maintenance keeps the equipment running efficiently so it uses less energy. Then, have your kids help you complete in-between maintenance tasks like checking and changing the air filter, hosing down the outdoor condenser coil, and dusting/vacuuming all the registers.
Give Rewards for Good Energy Habits
Make a game of learning good energy habits by giving your kids a reward for completing tasks that boost HVAC energy efficiency — like making sure the door is shut when they go outdoors, or always turning on the exhaust fan when they shower.
Make Improving Efficiency a Family Activity
If you have four-legged companions in your home, you may not realize that a pet can put added strain on your HVAC system. Pet dander, hair and the dust and dirt that’s brought indoors on furry paws can increase how much care your equipment needs, especially when it’s already working extra hard during our extended cooling season. If yours is one of the many Peachtree City homes with pets, here’s what you can do to minimize any adverse impact on your HVAC system:
Schedule Preventive Maintenance
Before the outdoor temperature starts to really heat up, make sure you have a skilled HVAC technician visit to thoroughly inspect, clean and tune up your cooling equipment, so it’s in excellent operating condition.
Bathe Your Pets Frequently
Taking pets to the groomer, or bathing and brushing them frequently, can cut down on the amount of loose hair and dander that’s floating around your home. By reducing the quantity of airborne pet debris, there’ll be less getting into your ductwork, and the air filter will stay cleaner longer.
Houseclean More Often
There are many good reasons to plant trees. They are beautiful. The right trees provide habitat for wildlife. They help clean the world of carbon emissions. And, they cool off your home and landscape.
We all know that trees help make our outdoor areas more appealing for relaxation and entertainment. But trees can also result in HVAC savings — that is, lower utility bills. Read on to find out how.
How Trees Can Lower Your Utility Bill
Trees, planted strategically to block solar radiation from your home and your HVAC condenser, can help your air conditioner run cooler and help you save money. Trees help keep sunlight from entering your home through windows. When shading the roof, they keep home temperatures down. Trees that shade the condenser allow the air conditioner to run cooler, so there’s less heating up of components, less friction and smoother operation so the parts last longer.
Moreover, trees actually cool the air through a process called transpiration. They pull water into the tree through roots, and “breathe” it into the nearby atmosphere as a vapor. This vapor has a cooling effect on the air, and can lower the surrounding temperature by as much …
Crawl space safety is a real concern, because someone may need to venture into this potentially-dangerous area underneath your home periodically to inspect or repair gas lines, water or sewer pipes, HVAC ductwork or structural components. By definition, crawl spaces are confining and hard to move around in, plus they can contain all sorts of hazards, such as:
Mold and mildew Exposed electrical wiring Pesticides, toxic chemicals or flammable gas vapors Asbestos or fiberglass insulation Stagnant or contaminated water Insects, snakes and rodents Bacterial and viral pathogens How to Minimize Crawl Space Safety Hazards
There are steps you can take to create a safer crawl space:
Reduce the amount of moisture that gets under your home by properly maintaining your gutters so they redirect rainwater away from the structure, and make sure that the soil around your home’s perimeter slopes away from the foundation. Get your crawl space professionally inspected and cleaned to remove potential hazards, then have it well insulated, get a vapor barrier installed, and add a dehumidifier if it’s recommended. Have the space assessed to ensure that you or a contractor can enter and exit with ease, and move about in all areas without getting injured or …