When it’s operating properly, your HVAC system will keep your Washington, D.C. home comfortable with minimal effort on your part. A programmable thermostat can adjust your temperatures with the time of day, and a well-maintained system will ensure home comfort year-round. Understanding the basic elements of your HVAC system is important, however, so you can diagnose problems when they do arise and keep your heating and cooling system in top condition. Here are the six essential HVAC parts homeowners need to know.

1. Furnace

The furnace is the heart of your heating system and requires its own designated spot in the home. You may find your furnace in the attic, basement, or a closet. The furnace consists of a burner cabinet and blower cabinet. Depending on the system, you could see these stacked vertically or placed next to each other in a horizontal configuration.

Knowing where to find your furnace makes it easier to conduct a preliminary inspection for problem signs. Banging, whirring, or groaning noises coming from the furnace are signs you should call a professional. The pilot light can also give you important information. A blue light indicates a safe system, while one that’s yellow may indicate a carbon monoxide problem.

2. Condensing Unit

The condensing unit is located outside the home. The unit condenses refrigerant gas to generate cold air in the summer. With fall approaching, you may not need the condensing unit as much, but it’s important to pay attention to this exterior part of your HVAC system throughout the year. Falling leaves can create a buildup of debris around the condensing unit that will diminish efficiency during any remaining warm days this year, as well as the spring and summer seasons of next year.

3. Home Air Vents

Your air vents deliver hot air to the home. Although it’s easy to take them for granted, you should take the time to locate every vent in your home. Make sure your air vents aren’t blocked by furniture, drapes, rugs, or other obstructions. You should keep all air vents open for adequate circulation. If you can see dirt or dust blowing out of the vent, this is a sign that you should clean that vent and possibly the ducts.

4. Heating and Cooling Ducts

Your home’s ducts deliver heated or cooled air to the home. The ducts themselves aren’t typically visible, but you can peer into them by removing a vent cover. Energy Star reports that the typical home loses 20 to 30 percent of its heating and cooling through leaking ducts. Having your ducts professionally sealed can minimize this energy loss.

5. Thermostat

Your thermostat is the part of your HVAC system that you’ll interact with most frequently. It’s important to understand how your thermostat works so you can set it properly for maximum efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your thermostat back just 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours at a time can save you anywhere from 5 to 15 percent on your energy bill.

Your thermostat can also give you early warning signs of a bigger problem with your HVAC unit. If your home isn’t achieving the comfort levels it’s set to, you should call a professional to help diagnose the problem. The issue could be with the thermostat itself or with the heating or cooling elements in your system.

6. HVAC Filter

Your HVAC filter is another part of the system that you should interact with regularly. You should change your filter once a month for peak efficiency. Mark this regular home maintenance task on your calendar and keep a supply of extra filters on hand. This job takes just seconds and will improve your indoor air quality and energy efficiency. If you don’t know how to find your HVAC filter, make sure your technician points this essential part out to you during your next tune-up.

If you see problem signs with any of these HVAC components, contact Griffith Energy Services at (888) 474-3391. We can diagnose trouble spots, keep you up to date with maintenance, and help get your system in prime condition for the coming fall and winter seasons. 

Image provided by Shutterstock

Dear Customers,

At this time, when the news is dominated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency around the world, we wanted to personally reach out and let you know that we are vigilantly implementing enhanced protocols to ensure your safety and the safety of our team.

We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control regarding the spread of the virus. This is an evolving situation and we will continue to develop and take necessary measures as needed. Our focus is to ensure that we meet customer needs while doing our part to keep you, our employees, and our communities safe.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • Everyone on our team has received enhanced training and protocol briefings. We will continue to evolve and adjust these protocols as needed.
  • We are implementing telecommuting options for positions where applicable.
  • Non-essential work travel is currently on hold for all employees.
  • We are conducting enhanced cleaning practices at our locations and are instructing employees to continually sanitize their work stations and vehicles.
  • We are also urging all employees to be vigilant about frequent hand washing.

Information for you:
If you have an existing service appointment, we look forward to seeing you and want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to promote a safe and secure service experience.

During this challenging time, if you are experiencing symptoms related to the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to it, in order to protect our team and all the customers we serve, we encourage you to please reschedule your service appointment, by calling us at 888-474-3391.

Your safety is our highest priority and we truly appreciate the trust that you place in our team and our company.

Best regards,
Griffith Energy Services

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