Making heating and cooling repairs is an unfortunate part of being a homeowner. Depending on the climate you live in, you most likely cannot survive without an air conditioning throughout the summer in hot areas, or a heating during the winter in cold areas, or both heating and cooling. Only a very few lucky homeowners live in an area that is so temperate it doesn’t require either a heating or cooling system.
Even the best heating and cooling systems will give you issues eventually, especially if they aren’t maintained properly. To help you avoid spending your children’s college fund because you need an emergency furnace repair in the dead of winter or emergency air conditioning repair during the dog days of summer, we’ve put together a few tips for maintaining your heating and cooling systems:
A Homeowner’s Guide to Maintaining a Heating and Cooling System
- Get in the habit of keeping your air filters clean.
All of the air that cycles through your duct work is filtered through a small air filter before you breathe it in. When the air filter gets clogged, your heating and cooling units have to do a lot more work to cycle the air through the system. Not only does this add up on your utility bill, the stress it adds to your HVAC system wears it out a lot faster.
Get in the habit of replacing the disposable filter approximately once a month, or as directed by your HVAC manufacturer (you can find the air filter requirements for your unit in your instruction manual, or by typing the make and model in a search engine). As an added bonus, this keeps the dust, mold, and pollen out of the air you breathe in your home.
- Give your compressor room to breathe. Both your air-conditioning system and your heater rely on an outdoor compressor that pushes hot or cool air in your house. If there are any obstructions blocking your compressor (such as plants, weeds shrubbery, or debris), it cuts off the airflow to the compressor and burn the motor out. Replacing your heating and cooling air compressor is very expensive; it is much better just to do a visual inspection every few months and ensure your compressor is clear.
- Have your heating and cooling system serviced in the off-season. Calling for emergency furnace repair in the middle of a blizzard is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Not to mention, there are hundreds of other homeowners in need of emergency furnace repair at the same time, and your home will be without the lifeblood that keeps you comfortable for an extended period of time until repair man can make it.
Sometimes, emergency furnace repair is unavoidable; however, bringing a service man out to look at your furnace in the summer and your air-conditioning in the winter will usually give you the best rates on any necessary repairs. In fact, many HVAC repair services offer special discounts to use their services while their techs are twiddling their thumbs in the off season. It will also help ensure that your home is toasty and warm when the first hard freeze hits for the winter.
- Get some HVAC pointers. While you have a service guy looking at your HVAC system, pick their brains on your particular unit and how to best maintain it. You are paying them for their expertise, it doesn’t cost you anything extra to glean helpful information that can help your system run more efficiently.
- Keep your thermostat steady. Maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home is a lot nicer for your wallet then turning it up and down according to your needs. When the heater has to do a lot of work to bring the temperature of your house up by a large amount, the backup heating element turns on and goes into overdrive. This basically makes your electricity meter spin in a blur. It is far more energy-efficient to just keep the temperature of your home in a comfortable range, rather than turning it off and on when based on if you need it or not.
Do you have any other great tips for maintaining a heating and cooling system? Please share them in the comment section below!by