Most people know that it is important to have their heating and cooling systems checked on an annual basis. This routine maintenance check can help prevent all sorts of potentially big (and expensive) problems by spotting them when they are small and easily fixed. However, not everyone is sure what he or she should have inspected in this annual check-up. To help you feel more comfortable when talking with your HVAC technician, here is a list of recommended checks:
For Both Heating and Cooling Systems
- Electrical connections: Your HVAC technician should check and make sure that all your connections are tight, as well as measure the current and voltage on your motors. Secure electrical connections are important in making sure that your unit is operating safely.
- Lubrication: All moving parts on your system should be lubricated to reduce the amount of friction in your motors. Reduced friction will also help reduce the amount of electricity that your system needs to use.
- Drains: The condensate drain should be checked for any plugs, which will affect your indoor humidity levels and cause water damage.
- Controls: Your HVAC technician should check the entire cycle of your equipment, including how it starts, how it runs, and how it turns off.
- Thermostat settings: If you have a programmable thermostat, it is important to make sure it’s set properly. There should be at least two separate settings, one that ensures that your home is correctly heated or cooled while you are most often home and one that has a more energy-efficient temperature for when you are not.
For Cooling Systems
- Evaporator and Condenser Air Conditioning Coils: Your coils should be cleaned so they can perform at a higher level. Dirty coils can severely hamper your system’s cooling ability, making your home warmer and your energy bill higher.
- Blower Components: A faulty blower system can decrease your system’s efficiency by up to 15%. Make sure that all parts of your blower system are functioning correctly in order to promote proper airflow.
- Refrigerant: It is important to have neither to much nor too little refrigerant. Both can cause havoc on your equipment and reduce your systems efficiency.
For Heating Systems:
- Gas or Oil Connections and Gas Pressure: Having your fuel lines connected improperly can be a fire hazard. Have your technician check to be sure everything is secure.
- Burner Combustion and Heat Exchanger: Dirt, cracks, and other problems will cause your burner to function improperly. This can cause problems for both your safety levels and your overall system efficiency.
By having all these areas checked on an annual basis, you can make sure your system continues to work properly all season long.