Can you believe 2017 is right around the corner? Like most, you may be planning for the coming year. New diets, new adventures, paying off debt and budgeting for house repairs. Okay, so we’d like to believe the last goal is in your plans as it should be. Being proactive by maintaining your equipment can help avoid future problems and unexpected costs. How? Have a professional perform a pre-season checkup on your cooling and heating systems so they are always at peak performance. AC units should be checked in the spring to be ready for the summer heat while heating systems are best checked in the fall before the bitter cold hits.
To make sure you’re ready for next year, we’ve included a checklist compiled by Energy Star.
- Check thermostat settingsto ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connectionsand measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts.Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
- Check and inspect the condensate drainin your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Check controls of the systemto ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils.Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant leveland adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Clean and adjust blower componentsto provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
- Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger.Improperly operating gas (or oil) connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.
Actions To Do Yourself
- Inspect, clean, or change air filtersonce a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump. Your contractor can show you how to do this. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.