May 8, 2012

According to the Energy Star website, one of the best ways you can preserve your heating equipment – and conserve energy – is by performing annual maintenance. While there are a few things you can do yourself, you probably want to trust the bulk of your maintenance to a qualified, professional company like Fred F. Collis & Sons.

Maintain your equipment can help prevent issues from springing up on “the coldest day of the year” and can help keep unwanted costs at bay. By having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups, you can help ensure that your heating system will be running optimally on those days to come when you’ll most need it. HVAC businesses get busy once winter comes, so it's best to check your heating system in the fall. (Hint – it might help you remember to call your contractor by using the time change as a guidepost for scheduling your fall maintenance.)

Per Energy Star, during the scheduled maintenance your technician should:

[list][li]Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.[/li][li]Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.[/li][li]Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use.[/li][li]Check and inspect the condensate drain in 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.[/li][li]Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation.[/li][li]Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.[/li][li]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.[/li]
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How can you do your part to ensure that your system is performing properly? Besides scheduling annual maintenance with your HVAC provider, you can inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your furnace. Your contractor can show you how to do this during their annual maintenance visit. Why is this so important? A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.

To learn more about how we can help you with annual maintenance of your heating system, cooling system, or both, call Fred F. Collis & Sons at 768-2323.

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