Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Appliance Maintenance: Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

By: Douglas Trattner

Keep your HVAC systems running efficiently and reliably with this simple maintenance routine.

“We recommend annual visits from an HVAC contractor each fall and spring,” says Richard Ciresi, owner of the Louisville Aire Serv franchise. In fall, the technician will clean and inspect the furnace blower, burners, and heat exchanger. In spring, he or she will clean indoor and outdoor condenser coils, verify refrigerant charge, and inspect wiring.

Here’s a list of maintenance tips to keep your heating and cooling system running efficiently and reliably:
  • Every 90 days, install a new one-inch pleated furnace filter. Families with shedding pets should replace the filter every month. Expect to pay $10 to $25 per filter.

  •  Always maintain at least two feet of clearance around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.
  • Weekly in summer, brush or blow off fallen debris from top and sides of outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps. Do not allow the lawn mower to discharge grass clippings onto the unit.
  • Monthly, inspect insulation on refrigerant lines leading into house. Replace if missing or damaged.
  • Annually, ensure that outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps are on firm and level ground or pads.
  • Annually in spring, pour a cup of bleach down the air conditioner condensate drain to prevent buildup of mold and algae, which can cause a clog.
  • In summer, shut off the water supply to the furnace humidifier. In fall, replace the humidifier wick filter, set the humidistat to between 35% and 40% relative humidity, and turn on the water supply.
  • Never close more than 20% of a home’s registers to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the HVAC system.
  • Each spring, wash and dry filters and vacuum condenser coils on all window air conditioning units placed into service.
  • Annually, replace the battery in your home’s carbon monoxide detector.

Douglas Trattner has covered household appliances and home improvement for, DIYNetworks, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. During the 10-year stewardship of his 1925 Colonial, he’s upgraded almost every household appliance. After lengthy deliberation, he recently replaced an aging top-load washing machine with an energy-efficient front-load unit.

Brought to you by the National Association of REALTORS®
Published: August 3, 2010

1 comment:

  1. This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post!
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