I am pleased to introduce my first guest blogger - Kevin Thompson of Thompson Heating in Louisville, Kentucky. He has contributed an article on what homeowners can do to prolong the life of their equipment, and what they should leave to trained professionals.
Home comfort technology has come a long way in a very short time. For some it seems like just yesterday our homes were cooled with a box fan in the front window or heated during the winter months with a heap of coal and a trusty stove. While some may still prefer those primitive methods, most of us have evolved into using more complex, electrical contraptions to heat and cool our homes. These modern machines have resulted in safer, long-term, and more efficient options for modern day homeowners, especially when they are treated with their recommended annual maintenance. For most heating and cooling units, changing the air filter every 3 months is critical to its long-term maintenance. Over time dirt, dust, dander, and pollen build up and your filter keeps it from circulating in your home. If the filter is not replaced regularly, it could become clogged and your blower begins to work overtime. When your blower becomes overextended, it results in higher monthly energy costs and it could overheat your unit. Most air filters are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local supermarket or hardware store year round. Staying on top of their air filters is one way homeowners can save money on their comfort system and prolong its use.
While making sure the air flow in your unit is not obstructed is very important, there are a number of other tasks that should be inspected by a trained HVAC professional. Among the things a service professional should check on a furnace include the burner assembly, gas pressure, carbon monoxide testing, and the indoor blower wheel. For an air conditioner unit, they may inspect the refrigerant charge, capacitors, lubricate moving parts, and clean the condenser coil. Not only is it important to have your comfort systems checked annually, but it is equally as important to have them serviced during the peak of their respective seasons. For example, a furnace should be checked towards the end of the summer months at the beginning of fall. Air conditioning units should be serviced at the beginning of spring. That way your units will operate at their highest level of efficiency during the most important times of the year. All of the abovementioned maintenance should be inspected by a trained professional. Most states require HVAC professionals to complete a specified number of hours per year to remain certified. The training they receive prepares them for the injury risks and technical know-how that is entailed in each service call. Some homeowners erroneously attempt to service their heating and cooling units on their own, deferring to online forums and do-it-yourself (DIY) manuals as opposed to making a simple call to their local HVAC professional. DIY projects are great for many jobs around the home, but HVAC repairs should be left to the professionals. There are too many things that could go wrong to justify servicing a unit on their own.
Today’s HVAC products are far more complex than the wood or coal-burning stoves and box fans of the past. Making repairs on these primitive commodities could more easily be taken care of by a homeowner or a local handyman with a little welding and some electrical work. These days one would be hard-pressed to find two similar heating or cooling units in two homes on the same street. The wide diversity of products speaks to the crucial importance of having a certified professional perform annual inspections and needed repairs on furnaces and air conditioning units. Proper do-it-yourself maintenance is appropriate for air filter replacements which may help to save on monthly utility payments and could serve to extend the life of a unit. All other repairs and service calls should be taken care of by a certified HVAC professional annually in the beginning of the spring and fall months, depending on the respective unit. Proper annual maintenance by a certified professional will not only ensure the longevity of HVAC units, but may also protect against unnecessary injuries that may occur during DIY projects. As the complexity of home comfort systems evolves, so must the mindset of HVAC consumers as it pertains to proper and safe maintenance for furnaces and air conditioning units.
If you would like to find out more about Kevin or his company, check out their web site at http://www.thompsonheating.net