Routine Maintenance For Heating & Cooling Units
Heating and cooling systems are typically an easy maintenance task and virtually trouble free. As a rule of thumb, it is most common to perform heating and cooling maintenance in the spring and fall to ensure adequate performance in the months you need it most. Maintaining routine equipment inspections will prevent premature failure of parts and can save you money on your home energy costs. Efficient operation of your heating and cooling system is a direct output of good, regular maintenance. No matter what type of system you have, there are several things you can do to make sure your system stays in tip top shape! For a system that heats and cools, perform a bi-annual maintenance in the spring and fall.
For cooling maintenance only, perform a maintenance check at least once a year – typically in the early spring, before the cooling season starts
For furnace maintenance only, perform a maintenance check at least once a year – typically in the early fall, before the heating season
Many dealers provide a priority service for their customers who have an annual maintenance /service agreement. Your local dealer should provide the following services:
- Check the evaporator and condenser air coils. Dirty, dusty coils can cause the system to run longer, reducing the system’s ability to properly cool your home as well as decreasing the life expectancy of the equipment and its parts.
- Clean the outdoor fan motor, blades and indoor blower assembly.
- Check the refrigerant level of your central air conditioner and adjust if necessary. Too little can make the compressor work too hard which will ultimately reduce the efficiency and longevity of the system.
- Inspect drain pans and condensate drains to ensure excess moisture is not trapped in the unit.
- Check compressor and refrigerant tubing.
- Inspect all electrical wiring, controls and connections. All components should be checked for damage or wear. Poorly maintained wire connections are a potential fire hazard and can cause unsafe operation of your system.
- Lubricate moving parts. Inspect ports on the motor and fan blades for wear and tear or damage and lubricate as needed. Newer AC models typically have these parts sealed off so this step can be skipped.
- Replace air filters.
- Run a systematic test. Turn your AC unit completely off and back on. Listen for unusual noises or odors on the start up.
- Check duct work for leaks or other problems. Duct work is not typically included in the yearly inspection however it is a good idea to have inspected with your next checkup. Air leakage in duct work is a primary cause of inefficiency in forced air systems.
- Check heat exchanger for cracks and deterioration. With age, heat exchangers can develop cracks and once there is any sort of deterioration, toxic fumes can be released into your home causing a potential health threat to you and your family.
- Remove and clean burners to extend the life of your furnace. Dirty, dusty burners can cause poor combustion, condensation and soot that shortens the life of your furnace.
- Check and adjust the fan switch. If this switch is not proper aligned it can waste energy and cause a fan cycling noise.
- Clean and adjust the pilot and pilot assembly. Dirty, weak or deteriorated pilots can be easily lead to furnace malfunction.
- Check all gas (or oil) connections and gas pressure. Improperly operating gas (or oil) connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. Either can cause the equipment to operate unsafely and inefficiently.
- Inspect Flue Pipe for corrosion or leaks.
- Secure all panels. Loose panels can increase your energy costs and can also lead to a system malfunction.
- Properly inspect and lubricate all motors and bearings of rotating equipment.
- Inspect and adjust belts for any cracks. Belts can break or crack with age, decreasing airflow which can increase operating costs and shorten the compressors life.
- Replace your air filter. Dirty air filters waste energy and causes restricted airflow to your system increasing your energy bill. Secondly, a dirty air filter will not be capturing contaminants for your home’s air as it should.
- Inspect and test controls and safeties. Defective controls can increase costs and cause other components to not operate as needed.
- Calibrate thermostat. Improperly calibrated thermostats cause the unit to run longer than needed, making your energy bill increase.