Preventive Maintenance: What You Can Do -- And What To Leave To The Professionals

by Greg Leisgang on July 27, 2011

Posted in: Service

With air conditioning and heating representing about 40 percent of energy use in the average Cincinnati home, it’s important to keep your HVAC equipment operating efficiently. Nothing gets the job done like preventive maintenance. While there are some maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, sometimes it’s a good idea to call in a pro.

You can:

  • Keep your air filters clean. A clean filter prevents dust from accumulating in the system. It also facilitates airflow, so the equipment can run at the capacity it was designed for, and it enhances indoor air quality. It’s a good idea to check filters every month. When changing a filter, make sure the system is turned off.
  • Keep debris, such as leaves and grass clippings, away from the outdoor unit (condenser).
  • Keep furniture, carpets and drapes away from registers and vents.
  • Close doors, registers and vents in spaces that don’t need to be conditioned. This saves energy and reduces your equipment's workload. Installing a zoning system can take care of this automatically, and could reduce your heating and cooling costs around 20 percent.

Call a professional for these next preventive maintenance steps. They require specialized training and technology:

  • Measure refrigerant levels and test for leaks. Safe work techniques are necessary to deal with refrigerant chemicals, as well as the possibility of high pressure levels.
  • Evaluate duct efficiency, checking for and sealing air leaks. According to Energy Star, leaky ductwork can account for 20 percent of energy loss.
  • Test the electrical components, ensuring voltage and currents are flowing properly and all components are clean and tight. This enhances safety as well as efficiency.
  • Test the efficiency of your evaporator coil and the performance of your thermostat.
  • Check the electric control sequence, ensuring the heating and cooling systems don't run simultaneously.
  • Lubricate all mobile components, such as motors, to reduce friction. Less friction means less wear and tear and easier operation.

Preventive maintenance performed by professionals can keep your system efficient, and even extend its life span as much as 30 percent. Contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling to have your system serviced by the Greater Cincinnati area experts.

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