Seasonal Maintenance of Heating and Cooling Systems

The indoor comfort and convenience of heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are modern age inventions. Prior to the mid-20th century, systems to treat indoor air were inefficient and expensive. Today’s sophisticated equipment with high-efficiency scroll-type compressors, HVAC air filter housing and filtration media and humidity control capabilities are miracles of modern engineering.

Along with the improved capacities and efficiencies come the responsibilities of regular maintenance to support optimal performance. Annual check-ups by a qualified technician are recommended as well and owners can monitor a few items to avoid problems. Establishing a routine seasonal schedule for making these checks is recommended. Most systems include an owner and operator guide with instructions or provide online access to documentation for carrying out all these routine tasks.

Spring and Summer Routine Maintenance

Warmer temperatures signal that it is time to prepare for HVAC cooling system demand. It is always good practice to visually inspect the accessible equipment this time of year. Anything that looks out of place or worn should be investigated further. The necessity of changing out air filters cannot be over-emphasized. The build-up of dust degrades system efficiency quickly and has a direct impact on energy bills and system wear. Periodically having a professional inspect and clean evaporator and condenser systems addresses this problem. Ensuring drain lines for drip pans and condensate are clear of debris and draining as intended can avoid costly water damage.

Fall and Winter Routine Maintenance

Systems that provide heating with a liquid or gas fuel present the most important maintenance requirements this time of year. Fuel pressure and flow are critical to proper heating operation. Having a technician check and calibrate fuel supply pressure regulators and control valves can reduce energy expenses. Checks of fuel ignition systems and thermostat controls are another recommended step as the weather begins to cool down in the fall.

The convenience of HVAC systems includes the responsibilities of maintaining equipment for proper operation. Referring to documentation for specific systems will inform which tasks a homeowner can handle and which require a technician’s equipment and skills. Keeping it comfortable indoors year-round and avoiding large, unexpected expenses are the benefits of routine system maintenance.