To avoid future problems and unexpected costs, keep your equipment in good condition. You should have an experienced contractor perform annual pre-season checks to ensure your heating and cooling systems are running at their best. Contractors are busy during summer and winter, so it is best to have the heating systems checked in the fall and cooling systems checked in the spring. To remember, you might plan the check-ups around the time changes in the spring and fall.
THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A TYPICAL MAINTENANCE CHICK-UP:
- Check the settings on your thermostat to ensure the heating/cooling system keeps you comfortable at home and saves you money while you’re away
- Make sure to tighten all electrical connections and check the voltage and current of motors. Faulty connections can lead to unsafe operation and decrease the life expectancy of major components.
- All moving parts should be lubricated. Lack of lubrication can cause friction and increase the electricity consumption.
- Inspect the condensate drain on your air conditioning unit, furnace, and/or heat pump (when in cool mode). A clogged condensate drain can lead to water damage and affect indoor humidity.
- To ensure safe and proper operation, check the controls of your system. To ensure that the equipment starts, operates properly and turns off, check the starting cycle.
Cooling Specific Maintenance
- Condenser and evaporator air conditioning coils must be kept clean. Dirty coils can reduce the system’s ability cool your home. They also cause the system to run more frequently, which will increase energy costs and decrease the equipment’s life expectancy.
- You can adjust the refrigerant level of your central air conditioner if it is necessary. Your system will be less efficient if it has too much or too little refrigerant. This can increase energy costs, and reduce the equipment’s life expectancy.
- For greater comfort, clean and adjust the blower components. Your system’s efficiency can be reduced by as much as 15% if it has poor airflow.
Heating Specific Maintenance
- Check all connections for oil or gas, burner combustion, heat exchanger, and gas pressure. Incorrectly operating oil (or gas) connections can cause fires and lead to serious health problems. Incorrect burner operation can be caused by a cracked or dirty heat exchanger. Both can make the equipment less safe and less efficient.
Actions to Do Yourself
- Check, clean, and change your central air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump air filters at least once per month. This can be done by your contractor, and they can show you how you can do it yourself. Dirty filters can lead to equipment failure and increase energy costs.