A well-functioning HVAC system is essential to home comfort. But how do you know that your system is functioning properly?
The only way to truly find out is to schedule maintenance checks. For that, you’ll need the services of professional technicians.
The Original Flame, Inc. and our HVAC maintenance arm JRH Enterprises are prepared to step in and keep your HVAC system in good working order. But we’ll also have you know that there are some things you can do by yourself to to extend the life of your system. Regular HVAC maintenance is crucial, and things function at their very best with a good combination of DIY maintenance and professional repairs.
The Importance of Regular HVAC Maintenance
Like every other piece of technical equipment, any part of your HVAC system will wear down down after enough accumulated use. Eventually, the system may break and cease functioning entirely. This alone is a colossally important reason to schedule regular HVAC service and maintenance from a certified technician, but there are many others as well.
Here are just a few:
- Cost Savings: There are a few ways in which regular HVAC maintenance can save you money. First, by preventing the system from falling into utter disrepair, you’ll save the money it will take to cover a brand new HVAC installation. Since HVAC installers can charge quite a lot of money, paying for regular maintenance is more than worthwhile. Even if time will always eventually catch up to your system, periodic maintenance checks can push that day of reckoning back as far as possible. Also, a technician can tweak your system and make sure that it remains running at peak efficiency. This will allow you to save money on your energy bills each month. Even small monthly savings can add up.
- Safety: Suppose that you go on vacation and leave your home during the winter months, only to find that water had frozen inside of your pipes while you were away. Now your pipes are vulnerable to cracking and bursting, and a heating system malfunction is to blame. Alternatively, if your heat exchanger should break down, you and your family might be at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Regular HVAC maintenance is essential to avoiding these and other mishaps.
- Better Air Quality: Unsettling as it might be to think about, there are often higher concentrations of airborne pollutants inside the home than outside of it. Regular ventilation system and AC maintenance in particular is a good way to make sure that unwanted contaminants aren’t making their way into your home. If you have anyone living with you who has respiratory problems, this is especially important.
- Warranty Use: HVAC systems, in whole or in part, come with manufacturer’s warranties that can cover the cost of repair. To take advantage of them, you must typically submit proof of regular maintenance. If you refuse to do this and your system breaks down, you will be left holding the bag.
- Environmental Impact: The benefits of regular HVAC maintenance don’t always accrue to just you alone. A system that’s running at peak efficiency will consume less fuel because it will make the most of whatever fuel it does consume. Less fuel consumption means less damage to the environment. The furnaces, air conditioners and fireplaces carried JRH Enterprises Energy Star qualified to provide maximum energy efficiency.
What Can You Do To Keep Your HVAC System Working Properly?
Just because regular maintenance is extremely important doesn’t necessarily mean that you should rush out to call a technician right away. A qualified technician’s services can be extremely valuable, but there are certain things you can do on your own to help keep your system in tip-top shape, even if you’re not a pro.
First, it’s important to regularly check the filters on your HVAC unit. We recommend doing it about once a month. A good rule of thumb is that if you see lots of build-up on the filter or if its colour has changed from what it once was, you should probably change the filter.
Dirty or clogged filters mean that your unit will be operating at significantly lower efficiency, so this simple step is a vital one.
Also on the issue of build-up, many people have outdoor HVAC units. Because they are outside, they tend to attract quite a bit of debris, and that debris can clog them up and decrease their air flow, which keeps them from working at full capacity. We recommend cleaning debris from your unit about once a week.
Be sure to wear gloves while doing this, as your hands may either get dirty or caught on a sharp or jagged edge. If you like, you can also hose down your unit to get unwanted debris out.
On the subject of furnace maintenance, it’s important to give your furnace’s humidifier a rest during the summer months. When summer rolls around, turn off the humidifier’s water supply. When the weather cools down, replace the humidifier pad (sometimes called the water panel) and turn the humidifier back on. This way, your humidifier won’t be in use and won’t be deteriorating when you don’t need it. Professionals usually recommend setting the relative humidity at between 35 and 45%.
To put less strain on your AC unit, we recommend either opening up your windows during the summer to air things out or sometimes using fans to keep things cool at home. The more you do this instead of resorting to your thermostat, the less wear and tear there will be on your system.
The best and simplest thing that you can do to maintain or increase the efficiency of your home’s ventilation system is to carefully wipe down the system’s registers and prevent them from getting clogged with dust, pollen or other kinds of debris. Generally speaking, the more often and the more carefully you do this, the better.
Another useful general tip is to keep a close ear on your HVAC system. If you hear it making a strange noise, investigate. One of the DIY fixes mentioned above may be enough to clear up the problem, but if not, always know when to call for professional help.
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A DIY fix is always great, but for those times when it just can’t go far enough, JRH Enterprises Heating & Cooling stands at the ready to provide you with complete, full-spectrum HVAC service and maintenance. We are licensed TSSA contractors and we operate in Peterborough, the Kawarthas, Buckhorn, Lakefield, Millbrook, and the surrounding areas of northeastern Ontario.
Learn more about us and our expertise here, and schedule a maintenance check with us today.