Air Conditioning and Heat Maintenance
Your home’s heating and cooling systems should give you many years of service with proper maintenance. Preventive maintenance will lower your energy costs, prevent costly repairs and prolong the life of your systems. Don't wait for summer's full heat to check your system, if you need service, you will have to wait a lot longer. Regular maintenance will ensure that your system is ready to heat and cool your home when needed. Most heating and cooling systems should be serviced once a year by a professional heating or cooling contractor. The professional contractor has the tools, instruments and training necessary to maintain your system for dependable, trouble-free operation. The contractor should inspect your systems, including the thermostat, the blower motor and fans, and the ducting, as well as the AC condenser and evaporator units, including refrigerant levels, any furnace gas connections and/or heat exchangers and complete any necessary maintenance tasks, including checking all electrical components and controls, oiling motors and calibrating thermostats and adjust the entire system for optimal performance.
Having said all that, there are some things that you can do your self:
- Make sure the unit is level. The compressor piston/cylinder Is usually lubricated from the bottom up. A tilted oil reservoir can cause uneven lubrication requiring more power and resulting in faster wear.
- Sufficient Clearance: Both the inside (evaporator) and outside (condenser) units should have at least 30 inches of access clearance. Not only does this allow proper servicing of the unit, but more importantly it allows the air drawn in to be cooled and circulated and it allows proper dissipation of the heat from the evaporator. Remove obstructions such as debris and shrubbery from the outside unit and boxes, suitcases, etc from the attic unit.
- Filters: Change or clean the system filters once a month. This is especially important during the summer when dust and allergens circulate. Dirty filters restrict air flow, increase power demands, reduce efficiency and can even cause the evaporator to ice up.
- Registers: Reduce dust in your home by vacuuming the system registers and the cold air return as part of your regular cleaning.
- Hose Connections: Check all for leaks and make sure the condensate tube is draining freely.
- Ducts: Examine exposed supply ducts for gaps or leaks allowing conditioned air to escape. Look for gaps and run your hand along exposed supply ducts with the blower running to feel for escaping air. Seal any leaks with duct tape.
- Listen: Listen to your condenser, evaporator and furnace when they are running. If you hear unusual noises, follow the appliance manual’s directions or consult with your professional heating/cooling contractor.
- Obstructions: Remove any objects or debris that may have fallen through the registers. Remove any drapes, furniture or other objects blocking registers, interrupting airflow and lowering your system’s efficiency.
- If you do all these things you shouls increase the life expectancy of your heating and cooling systems.
ABR, CRS, E-Pro, RSPS, SFR, SRES Jim is a “Jersey boy” originally from north Jersey in the Totowa, Little Falls area. He made the move to Stafford about 30 years ago, after finding the perfect....