Olathe, Kansas is becoming an extremely popular place to live these days, especially for young couples and other first-time home buyers. And why not? Olathe is home to clean streets, great schools, safe neighborhoods, friendly people, and fantastic housing prices, especially compared to our neighbor states and the national average. Because Olathe is such a popular spot for new homeowners, many of the homes in Olathe aren't very old, but that doesn't mean that there isn't still maintenance and upkeep that needs to be done by new homeowners in order to keep everything working the way it should. So here are 13 things that all new homeowners should know about their Olathe heating and cooling systems before they buy:
- The dial on your thermostat is inextricably linked to your utility bill. The higher you crank your thermostat in the winter (and the lower you crank it in the summer), the higher your utility bill will be. Keep it comfortable, but also keep it reasonable, and you won't suffer shock when the heating bill comes due in January or the electric bill comes due in July.
- While we're on the subject, why not invest in a smart thermostat? These days, they're probably a lot smarter than you think. They can learn your habits and adjust temperatures accordingly, which can save you big money during the height of the heating and cooling season in Olathe.
- Most homes in the Olathe area are heated with a gas furnace. Some may have electric. If you have a heating oil furnace, you are probably on the East Coast somewhere.
- Whatever kind of furnace you have, it needs seasonal maintenance to keep working. The best time to get a furnace check-up is before it kicks on for the first time in autumn or winter, but it's never too late to have an Olathe heating and cooling technician check out your furnace to make sure everything is in good order. Don't want to worry about scheduling a tune-up every season? The VIP Preventive Service Program from Davenport Service Company can help take care of that for you, while also saving you money!
- Your air conditioner needs some space. Keep your external air conditioner unit free from brush or dead leaves, and make sure that it's not too close to bushes or other landscaping so the unit has room to "breathe."
- Speaking of breathing, if you've been having a little trouble doing just that, try checking your air filters. They should be changed once a month, especially during the parts of the year when you're running your HVAC system day in and day out. Otherwise, particulate matter can build up on the filters, reducing the efficiency of your system. When changing filters, be sure to align them so that they face the right direction. Look for the arrows along the edge of the filter, and make sure they're pointing the same direction as the airflow.
- Air filters are rated on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale, showing how well they filter out dust and particulate matter from the air. However, a higher MERV rating isn't always better. If your filter is too good at filtering the air, it can strangle the airflow from your blower and cause wear on all of your Olathe heating and cooling mechanisms, not to mention higher utility bills.
- You can change the airflow from your furnace or HVAC system by redirecting the ducts. If you are enrolled in an Olathe heating and cooling preventive maintenance service plan, such as the VIP Program from Davenport Service Company, this will probably be done for you. If not, look for the little levers on either side of the main duct in the basement to make your adjustments.
- Do you keep having shocking encounters with doorknobs or even other family members in the wintertime? It probably means the air in your house is too dry. A humidifier can help take care of that.
- However, installing a humidifier isn't enough by itself. You have to remember to turn it on when the cold weather arrives. Most humidifiers don't automatically kick on when the furnace does, so it's important to learn how to turn on your humidifier, activate the water flow, and set it for the temperature outside your home.
- Your entire HVAC system and all its various component parts have a lifespan. Most furnaces last around 16 years, while air conditioners and heat pumps usually last around 14, and water heaters tend to kick the bucket after about 10 years. Fortunately, you can help ensure that your HVAC system has a long and productive life by keeping everything properly serviced and maintained by an Olathe heating and cooling professional!
- That said, if your furnace or air conditioner is going to go out, it's usually going to happen at the time you need it the most. So if you've got an older HVAC system in your home, especially if it's getting on toward those 14- or 16-year marks, be ready for when your heating and cooling system goes out, and have a professional on call so that you can get it fixed as quickly as possible!
- Finally, don't forget that your ceiling fans are meant to turn two different directions—one in the summer and one in the winter. Most ceiling fans have an easy-to-find switch on them to change directions, but if you're not sure whether yours are turning the right way, your friendly Olathe heating and cooling pros from Davenport Service Company will be happy to check it out while they're tuning up your furnace or air conditioner!
Ultimately, a heating and cooling system doesn't have to be a puzzle for new homeowners, and it should all run like clockwork most of the time when it is properly maintained. As your Olathe heating and cooling experts, Davenport Service Company is always happy to answer questions and do all that we can to keep your HVAC system running smoothly. Call 913-441-2222 to schedule an appointment today or ask us about our VIP preventive maintenance service!