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Heating and Air Conditioning Maintenance Through the Seasons

Updated on October 30, 2015

Most modern and comfortable homes in countries with four seasons have heating and air conditioning systems. These genius systems make homes more habitable even when the climate is too hot or too cold for extended periods of time. Heating systems are usually installed when the house is being built. Air conditioning systems can be installed in any home, whether it is old or new.

Since these systems have opposite effects on the temperature of the house, they are used during separate seasons and they make use of very different principles to carry out their temperature control functions. This is why maintaining them can be challenging as well. Being able to have fully functional heating and air conditioning systems can help make the whole year more comfortable. Regular maintenance by the homeowner will also help to avoid expensive costs for the restoration of these systems.

When heaters and air conditioners are regularly maintained, the need for replacing these systems can be postponed and they can last for several years. Although you use them only at certain times of the year, regular inspection and maintenance can help you have longer lasting equipment. Consider these tips if you want to keep your heating and air conditioning systems in good condition longer.

Heating System Maintenance Tips

Heating systems aren’t very complicated and usually just need routine cleaning to function properly. Think of the heating source, the thermostat, and the distribution system when you are doing your regular checking to make sure each part is working as it should. To keep your heater properly working for a longer time, follow these maintenance tips:

  • If the unit stops working and it runs on gas or oil, make sure that the gas supply is turned on or it has an adequate amount of oil.

  • Seal your heated air ducts. This makes your heating system more efficient and the work that the machine does becomes less taxing. Insulate your air ducts to conserve energy.

  • Keep your furnace clean and tune it up regularly. Check wires, fuses, tubes, and visible connections for any damages. Replace parts as needed.

  • Clean the blower assembly of the furnace. Make sure that whenever you clean the furnace, the entire heating system is turned off. Clean the belts and pulleys and make sure that the blower is free of dirt.

  • Consider lubricating the furnace motor. If your motor has oil ports, you should lubricate the motor annually. Just two to three drops on the oil ports should do. Use non-detergent motor oil for the ports and be careful not to over-lubricate.

  • Check the condition of the belts. If you see that they are worn or frayed, you should replace them with the same type and size. Carefully remove the belt and take it to the hardware to get the match you need.

  • Clean the vents and make sure they are dust-free as much as possible. This promotes energy efficiency and better heat distribution in your home.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Central air conditioning units may seem like a lot of work to maintain, but if you know how to do some basic care tips, you won’t require the services of a professional to keep your air conditioner properly working. Remember that a central air conditioner has two main components. These are the condenser and the evaporator. The condenser is usually located outside of the house while the evaporator is somewhere inside. Here are some tips on maintaining a central air conditioning system:

  • Make sure that the condenser is regularly cleaned for any accumulated debris such as leaves, dirt, grass, and dust.

  • Cut grass or plants which may be obstructing airflow to the condenser’s fan.

  • Clean the condenser fan fins using a soft brush to remove any accumulated dirt. You may need to remove the protective grille to get to the fan. Clean the grille as well. Make sure to treat the fins very lightly as they are sensitive and may be easily bent.

  • During the winter or rainy season, cover the condenser with a special condenser cover which is fitted for the shape of your condenser. This protects it from the elements and also reduces ice damage. Secure it with a sturdy cord to keep it in place.

  • Clean the underside of your evaporator using a stiff brush. Be careful not to bend any pipes while you do this. Clean the tray underneath the evaporator unit also. When the weather is extremely humid, check the pan everyday to drain it. This helps prevent mold and fungi growth.

For the box-type air conditioners which are easier to install, make sure you clean the filter every month to make sure the cooling process is not affected by dirt stuck in it. You should also clean your air conditioning units during winter as dirt may still accumulate in the cold.

When to Seek Professional Services

There are times when your DIY troubleshooting and maintenance cannot solve the problems. When faced with such instances, it may be wise to go for professional help. By going for professional help, you won’t be endangering yourself with potentially risky repairs and you will also know for sure that your equipment will be properly taken care of. Here are some telltale signs to watch out for if your units need professional fixes:

  • If your equipment needs repair of parts – Some parts may not be easily available in the hardware and when this happens, professional services may be needed.

  • If the temperature fluctuates – If you notice changes in the temperature while using the heater or air conditioner, you need to call an expert as soon as possible.

  • If the equipment refuses to start with no apparent reason – If you have checked the equipment for all possible problems but to no avail, you need to call someone who knows the real problem and let him fix it.

Professional services may cost you some money, but during the worst case scenario, you must seek professional help to prevent further damage to your heating and cooling systems.

Benefits of Regular Heater and Air Conditioning Systems Maintenance

Below are the benefits of regularly maintaining your heating and air conditioning systems. Consider these as your motivating factors to properly maintain your units:

  • Sustained energy efficiency – You will not have to pay more over the years by keeping your heating and air conditioning systems in great condition.

  • Extended equipment lifespan – You don’t have to replace your systems for a long time and you can save money.

  • Lessened risks of damage to your house – Malfunctioning systems pose the risk of fires in particular, and by maintaining your heaters and air conditioners, you can sleep peacefully at night knowing that you are in a safe and comfortable place where no malfunctioning AC and heating systems can possibly harm you and your family.

You will not only get monetary benefits from keeping these systems properly maintained—you also get peace of mind for the overall safety of your home. Remember these two simple general reminders if you want to keep your equipment in good condition: make sure you have stable power supply, and have regular cleaning schedules to check if everything is working fine. Then, you can follow the more specific suggested tips and you can enjoy your comfortable home without any worries.

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