Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning System

Your forced air furnace and air conditioning systems (split systems) need regular maintenance if they are to
operate efficiently, with longevity. Many of the units we inspect haven’t ever had any maintenance or have had very little. This results in poor air quality, a system that may prematurely fail and inefficiency which costs you money.
There are some easy ways you can make a positive impact in the upkeep of your split system.

1) Change your air filters regularly. The filters should be changed every three months. Remove your filter
and measure the size of the filter before making the trip to the hardware store. Be sure to mark your
calendar in advance to remember when it needs to be changed.The filter is important to not only the air quality in the home, but to the air flow in the rooms farthest from the furnace. A dirty air filter can cause a loss of air flow to these distant rooms. It can also cause the blower to work harder, which costs you money on your energy bill.

2) Clean the fins of your air conditioner (compressor) coil on a yearly basis. This is also a way you can save
yourself money on your energy bill and extend the life of the unit.
a. Most importantly turn off the power to the unit.
b. Make sure that you cut back any plant material to a distance of about three feet from the unit.
c. You might want to remove the guard from in front of the fins as it will make it easier to perform
the following tasks. Remove any obvious debris from the fins and around the unit. Continue by
using a soft brush to help remove dirt and dust from fins. Use a gentle spray setting on the hose
sprayer to rinse the smaller particles of dust, dirt or pollen.
d. If there are bent fins, repair them carefully with either a flat screwdriver or a table knife. Gently
move the screwdriver or table knife along the fins to straighten them out again.

3) Replace the deteriorated or missing insulation on the suction line also located at the air conditioning
compressor. The suction line is the larger copper pipe and missing or damaged insulation will cause you
air conditioning compressor to work less efficiently, costing you money. Purchase some pipe wrap
insulation at the hardware store and wrap it onto the pipe with an outdoor rated tape.

Performing these easy and inexpensive maintenance steps will save you money, increase the air quality of your home and increase the longevity of the split system. Keep in mind some sage advice from Ben Franklin. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”