The Importance of HVAC Maintenance.
written on 5/27/04
Accounting for 60% or more of the average utility bill, air conditioning and heating is the largest energy user in most residential homes. Out of sight, conditioning equipment is often forgotten or ignored until something is wrong. By this point it is too late and will likely result in a costly repair. Proper maintenance is essential to extending the life and efficiency of your homes most expensive appliance.
The most basic and simple routine maintenance item, is replacing those filters. These are located at the return grills or on the return side of the air handler. These filters are available at most hardware stores and only cost a few dollars, so stock up! Replace them according to the equipment manufactures schedule, or about one a month during heating and cooling seasons. A clean filter not only improves indoor air quality, it allows the equipment to operate at a higher efficiency, lowering air conditioning and heating cost.
The next routine maintenance item is the yearly checkup. Unless you are trained as a HVAC technician, you will need to have this performed by a professional. Also called "Preventative Maintenance" this checkup will cost $30-$75. This checkup will include such things as:
- Check Pilot or ignition devices
- Check gas leaks
- Check burners or electric elements
- Check heat exchanger
- Limit switches and safety devices.
- Check flue and combustion gas ventilation.
- Filters and airflow
- Ducts and registers
- Proper operation and Refrigerant Charge
- Check for coils for dirt and debrie
- Filters and Airflow
- Safety Devices
- Thermostat opteration
- Lubricating fans and mechanical devices
- Ducts and registers
The efficiency of heating and cooling equipment decreases as it ages. A 15 year old AC unit which was originally 6 SEER unit, may run at half of that now. Sometimes if your equipment is old enough, replacing it with newer high efficiency equipment can make economical since.
Replacing filters, routine maintenance, and updating/replacing older equipment, can potentially saves hundreds, even thousands of dollars in energy bills, and costly service repairs. Call your local HVAC contractor for more information and pricing.
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