HVAC Maintenance…Do I Need That?
Maintenance (noun): the process of maintaining or preserving someone or something, or the state of being maintained.
Synonyms: preservation, continuation, keeping up, prolongation.
Let’s examine the definition of maintenance. In order to maintain or preserve something, a process happens. For furnaces, air conditioners, and other HVAC systems, that process needs to occur on a regular basis in order for the device to work properly. The synonyms above are other ways to describe the result of taking regular care of your heating and/or cooling system. The one word in the definition above that you most want to avoid is the opposite of a well-cared for, smoothly operating unit: BREAKDOWN! Even scarier than a breakdown is the possible damage that a malfunctioning unit could cause if there is an undiagnosed problem.
Read this story about what could happen without proper maintenance: About four years ago, the Williams family bought their first home. The three bedroom ranch was perfect for the young couple and their newborn son, Austin. The real estate agent asked that the 25 year-old home be fully inspected before they moved in. What a surprise when the home inspector found duct tape and chewed gum (yes, chewed bubblegum!) over a crack in the gas furnace heat exchanger. A cracked or corroded heat exchanger could leak Carbon Dioxide (CO) into the home. Luckily, the furnace was replaced by Ranger Heating & Cooling and no CO damaged the home.
And this unexpected expense could have been avoided: James Irwin and his family were on vacation when a pipe burst and flooded their basement. When they returned home, the damage was extensive. Their two year old furnace was damaged beyond repair. Thankfully, it was covered under their homeowner’s insurance. When the insurance adjuster was inspecting the furnace, he noticed that the air filter wasn’t wet and seemed to have avoided the water damage. When he looked closer, he noticed the filter was really dirty and dog hair was flying around the clogged filter. When he saw a dead bee, he asked the homeowner when the filter had last been replaced. Unfortunately, when James asked what an air filter was, the insurance adjuster denied the claim and the Irwin family had to pay for the new furnace.
Insurance is designed to cover situations that are unexpected and unplanned events. Regular maintenance on your heating and cooling systems costs less than most insurance premiums and promises to extend the life of your unit while protecting your home and loved ones.
Do you know where your furnace filter is and how often it should be changed? Smaller filters (1 to 2 inches) should be checked monthly and replaced several times a year.
In addition to the filter, consider the following:
- A visual inspection of the entire system.
- Checking the condensate drain line for clogs or leaks.
- Checking the electrical connections and voltage.
- Checking the thermostat settings to ensure proper cycling of your system.
- Cleaning and removing debris that may restrict air flow.
- Inspecting the exhaust pipes for correct function.
- Lubricating all moving parts to maintain proper operation.
Before you must replace your furnace or HVAC system, call Ranger Heating, Cooling and Electric for a maintenance check. We’ll clean all the connections, controls, sensors, drains, ignitor, pipes, burners, valves, motors, thermostat(s), and smoke/carbon-monoxide detectors, and instruct you on anything you could do between our service visits. Call us today at 253-753-2978.