The Importance of Annual Heating System Maintenance

How often should I have my home’s heating and cooling system checked?

This question is rather interesting, and I like to compare your home’s heating and cooling system to the maintenance of your vehicle. Your home’s comfort system operates approximately 3300 hours in a year. To put this “run time” in perspective, your vehicle driven for the same 3300 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 people’s home where they have never changed a filter or had any cooling maintenance or heating maintenance done and they are wondering why they are having problems with their heating and cooling system, which can be costly to fix or replaced.

Our heating and cooling systems need to be maintained just like your vehicle. If preventative maintenance is not preformed regularly or done haphazardly, the equipment will eventually require extensive and costly repairs.

We have had another hot summer, and you can guess our number one service call during this time of year is for air conditioning that is not cooling properly. Many people would associate changing filters for your furnace to run properly, however, your filters are just as important to 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 coils can get coated with dirt. This dirt reduces the amount of air through the unit below the design limit, leading to equipment failure. Another common challenge is friendly field mice deciding this is a great place to start a new home. A filter is easy enough to change, but the following two need to be done by trained maintenance technician.

For your furnace, low airflow can cause the heat exchanger to overheat. Heat exchangers are designed to operate at temperatures between 120 degrees F to 200 degrees. At higher temperatures, the heat exchanger oxidizes, its life span is reduced, or it cracks and breaks. In either case, it makes far more sense to replace air filters during regular preventative 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 also is very important.

How old is your home’s heating and cooling system? Not sure how old your furnace is? Check our blog on “how to determine the age of your furnace“. Multiply the age times 214,000 miles, and then take a look at how often you are having your vehicle taken care. Hmmmmmmmm, 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 cleaned, before our cold weather gets here.

At Central we prefer to do two system checks each year and have created a special program called our Comfort Care Program, this program is designed to take care of your heating and cooling system each year as well as create a relationship with us, which provides you peace of mind. If something happens to your system, or you have plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs our Comfort Care Customer is one of our top priorities for our call center.

As always, your Comfort is our Central concern, call 406-756-6656, for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain cleaning needs.

My Favorite Hamburger…I have been grilling this burger for over 30 years for my family
1 lb lean hamburger…I am a big fan of Montana grass fed
3 green onions chopped
3 tbls of Worchester sauce ½ tsp ground pepper
Mix all together with your hands…makes 4 patties
Top with favorite cheese and grill Sometimes simple is better…Enjoy

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