How Often Should You Maintain Your Furnace and Air Conditioner
Your furnace and air conditioner aren’t the most expensive part of owning a house, but they represent some of the more common routine maintenance homeowners face. What’s more, they can dig a hole in your pocket pretty quickly if left neglected for too long.
Regular maintenance is an important part of ensuring that your furnace and air conditioner continue operating at peak efficiency for as long as possible. But how often must maintenance be done on these systems? Here are a few guidelines for keeping your home’s heating and cooling systems running smoothly, as well as some tips for what you can do yourself.
Visually Inspect Outdoor Unit: Once a Week
One of the most basic parts of taking care of your air conditioning you can actually do yourself. The outdoor unit of your air conditioner, called the compressor, needs good air flow in order to work properly. This means making sure the unit is clear of debris and that the landscaping isn’t encroaching on it. It’s best to check the compressor regularly. Your best bet is to make it part of your weekly yard work routine.
Change the Filter: Once Every 1-3 Months
Your furnace and air conditioner have a filter that is designed to clean the air circulating throughout your house, blocking dust, hair, and other debris. Over time, this filter will get dirty and need to be changed, or it’ll start blocking the air’s flow through the filter. Fortunately, this is usually an easy task that you can perform yourself.
How often does the filter need to be changed? If you look online, you’ll find answers ranging from once a season to once a month, but realistically it all depends on how dirty the air in your home is. People who have shedding pets or live in more dusty regions will have to replace their filters more often. For most people, however, replacing your filter once every couple months should be sufficient.
Schedule Professional Maintenance: Twice a Year
Aside from the simple things you can do yourself, things like keeping the compressor clear of debris and changing the filter regularly, it’s a good idea to have a professional set eyes on the system once a year, usually at the beginning of the season. In the fall, for example, you’ll want to have maintenance done on your furnace, making sure your heating system is ready to keep you warm all winter. Likewise, if you have air conditioning, you should have the system inspected in the spring to ensure the system is capable of cooling your home all summer.
When you schedule professional maintenance on your furnace or air conditioner, our technician will check a number of things, often catching and correcting minor problems before they become big problems. For instance, maintenance includes:
Checking belts and motors for proper operation
Inspecting ductwork for leaks
Ensuring there are no coolant leaks in the system
Cleaning and straightening condenser fins
Clearing the evaporator drain
Verifying thermostat accuracy
The Benefits of Regular Maintenance
Keeping your air conditioning compressor clear, replacing filters regularly, and performing annual maintenance do more than just keep your system running in tip-top shape. A well-tuned system doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job, so you’ll pay less on your utilities. Identifying problems when they are small may also save you money by enabling you to repair instead of replace. In addition, you’ll maximize the life of your furnace and air conditioner by doing a good job of maintaining them. But perhaps most importantly, you’ll keep you and your family safe by catching dangerous leaks and other problems early.
Ready to schedule maintenance on your furnace and air conditioner? Contact Maeser today and we’ll send out one of our qualified, experienced, and compassionate technicians.