How often should I have my home heating and cooling system checked?
This question is rather interesting, and I like to compare your home heating and cooling system to the maintenance of your vehicle.
Is HVAC Maintenance Required?
Your home’s comfort system operates approximately 3,300 hours in a year. To put this run time in perspective, your vehicle, driven for the same 3,300 hours at 65 miles per hour would travel 214,500 miles. No one would consider such a journey without arranging for oil changes, lubrication and routine tune-ups along the way to assure the efficiency, safety, and reliability of the vehicle. And how many of you actually keep a car long enough to get 214,000 miles on your odometer?
Your heating and cooling system travels this journey every year. Time and time again we are called to homes where owners have never changed a filter or had any maintenance done and they are wondering why they are having problems with their heating and cooling system that can be costly to fix or replaced.
Our heating and cooling systems need to be maintained just like your vehicle. If preventive maintenance is not performed regularly or is done haphazardly, the equipment will eventually require extensive and costly repairs.
Dangers Of Neglecting Your HVAC System
This summer, we had many, many calls for air conditioning that was not cooling properly. Many people think of changing their filters for the furnace to run properly; however, your filters are just as important in running your air conditioner. Air conditioning equipment is designed to operate with a specific quantity of air passing over its indoor coil surface. When filters are not replaced, they clog and become coated with dirt. Similarly, the indoor air coils get coated with dirt. This dirt reduces the amount of air through the unit below the design limit, leading to equipment failure. For your furnace, low airflow can cause the heat exchanger to overheat.
Heat exchangers are designed to operate at temperatures between 120 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. At higher temperatures, the heat exchanger oxidizes, its life span is reduced, or it cracks and breaks. In any case, it makes far more sense to replace air filters during a regular preventive maintenance program, at a minimum, twice a year. Air flow is just one factor; proper refrigerant, lubrication and making sure all the parts are operating properly are very important.
How old is your home’s heating and cooling system? Multiply the age times 214,000 miles, and then take a look at how often you are having your vehicle serviced. I am willing to bet your heating and cooling system has been neglected. Be ahead of the game, and call today to get your equipment properly maintained, before our cold weather gets here.
Remember, whether you are in Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, Columbia Falls or anywhere else in the Flathead Valley. . .As always, your Comfort is our Central concern, call 406-756-6656, for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.