Your Heating and Cooling system is the probably the most expensive appliance of your home. For this reason and others, it is critical that you maintain it properly to keep it running at peak performance. Failing to do so reduces its efficiency and the life of the unit. Improperly maintained units have to work harder to keep up with what you demand of it, and that means higher energy costs.
While some maintenance issues just cannot be done by the do-it-yourselfer, there are some things that you can do that will not require calling a professional. Below you will find some tips that will help maintain your Air Conditioning and heating system.
- Change the filter regularly. Most manufacturers recommend that you change, or clean Air Conditioning filters at least once every 3 months, and once a month for others. When the filter is not changes or cleaned routinely, dirt and dust accumulates and causes the system to have to work harder, and that can lead to a break down. It also increases the amount you have to pay on energy bills. Filters can be purchased at most hardware stores or ordered from the manufacturer.
- Check the air ducts of your Heating and Cooling system at least once a year to make sure that the joints have not become dislocated. Sealing the air ducts will prevent hot and cold air from escaping into thin air. This is another energy saving measure that will pay big dividends over the years. Make sure to check all the ducts including those in the attic and basement.
- Get a programmable thermostat to ensure that you will save money on your energy bills. By installing this type of thermostat you can set your Air Conditioning and heating system and just forget about it. By setting the controls to come on while you are home and go off when you are gone, or at night when you are sleeping, it is possible to save major dollars.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to clean dirt and dust accumulations on the blower, motor and flue. This should be done just before going into summer and winter.
These tips will help you keep your Heating and Cooling unit running more effectively throughout the year. It will also help you recognize when something may be going wrong. Just the act of giving attention to this often forgotten appliance will help you to stay tuned to its operation and recognize when something might be going wrong. This can help you catch a problem before it gets out of hand, and call in a professional for the expertise they provide.
Even though it may be easy to perform simple maintenance tasks, trying to repair your Air Conditioning system yourself can be dangerous. Unless you are an electrician who knows how to examine electrical systems, you might just come in contact with something that can cause injury or death. Not to mention that it can be quite expensive if you don’t know what you are doing. An untrained individual can cause damage to the system which could mean complete replacement of the entire unit.
An annual maintenance check by a professional is a better idea than attempting to deal with issues yourself and they are trained in methods of testing for carbon monoxide leaks, gas leaks, and other problems that can arise. No one wants to put their family in danger because they want to do the work themselves.
The preferred way to go about maintaining your Air Conditioning and heating system is to have a professional inspection completed annually by a trained technician, and then do routine maintenance on your own during the rest of the year. This will not only give you peace of mind, it will also assure that your unit is running at its efficient best.