HVAC Helpful Hints

HVAC Helpful Hints

The HVAC system is literally the heart of your home.  It is your home’s engine. And like your car’s engine, or like your body’s  heart, keeping a healthy HVAC system is extremely important.


Thermostat Recycling Corporation was established by the HVAC industry as a voluntary take-back organization.  We facilitate the safe collection and disposal of mercury thermostats. But as an extension of the HVAC industry, we also promote the use of modern, efficient and clean home heating and home air conditioning systems.


TRC recommends the following basic tips for keeping and maintaining an efficient and safe HVAC system.


Know your System

Many homeowners, understandably, know little about the technical specifications of their home heating and home AC systems.  But knowing what you have is important. Here are some basic classifications.




Heat Pumps

Gas-Fired Space Heaters

Electric Space Heaters

Wood-Burning and Pellet Stoves


AC Systems

Central Air Conditioning

Ductless, Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Window Units

Portable Air Conditioning Units

Hybrid Units

Geothermal Heating & Cooling



For a new homeowner, be sure you know where your units are located.  Many AC units are outside. Heating systems are in the basement or in the home’s mechanical room.



Be sure to know how your units are connected.

What electrical service are they receiving?

Where are the dedicated electrical lines providing power?

Label your circuit breaker.

How is your heating system powered:  Electric? Gas? Oil? Other?

Locate the service lines for your heating system’s fuel.


Basic Maintenance

Most homeowners can provide basic maintenance for their home heating and air conditioning systems.  Here are some basic tips:

Ensure your external units (if you have one) are clear and free from debris, underbrush, foliate, leaves, bushes, plants, etc.  You want to ensure easy airflow into and out of the system.

Ensure that your internal units are similarly clear of any debris like storage boxes, tools, rags or other items that may accumulate.

Replace filters.  If your system has an air filter, replace it based on your manufacturer’s specifications.  Ideally, filters should be replaced annually.



Have an annual service plan for your HVAC systems.  Professional service from a reputable company is the only way to ensure that your system will continue to function properly.  We strongly encourage you to research local service providers and hire a company with good reviews. Be sure to hold your service technicians accountable to the highest level of professional service.


Upgrade your Thermostat

Identify the type of thermostat you have in your home.  Types include: Mercury thermostats, programmable thermostats and smart thermostats.  


Mercury thermostats are no longer in production as mercury poses a health hazard to humans and the environment.  However, a mercury thermostat in your home is likely safe, as long as the ampule is intact. When and if you upgrade to a new thermostat, it is essential that you properly dispose of that thermostat.  Go to www.thermostat-recycle.org/zipsearch to find a location near you.


When you do upgrade, smart thermostats represent the most modern and most efficient technology available.  Thoroughly research the thermostat options and select the one that fits your needs and budget.