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Cleveland HVAC Blog

What is Involved in Heating and Cooling Maintenance?

Posted by Paul Wadsworth on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 @ 09:45 AM

Performing regular maintenance on your HVAC system is very important. Indoors, during either seasonal checkup, the service technician will inspect the blower assembly, the evaporator coil, drain pan, condensate drain lines, the ignition system and its safety controls, the heat exchanger or heating elements, and the control box and its parts. If needed, your professional will clean any component that has gotten dirty.

Furnace Inspection

home hvac inspectionIn addition, they will check for gas leaks by the furnace if you have a gas furnace, and inspect the vent pipe to make sure all products of combustion are sent outside as they are supposed to. The importance of regularly inspecting your gas powered heating system cannot be understated, as a dirty or malfunctioning unit could be a safety hazard.

Air Conditioning Inspection

When examining the air conditioning unit located outside, the service technician will check the level of refrigerant, remove any debris in the cabinet, inspect the coil and clean it if needed, and inspect for damage or wear to the fan’s motor and blades, the control box and its electrical parts, and the compressor and its tubing. If you consistently need to add refrigerant on an annual basis, there is likely a leak in your system. Homeowners are mistaken if they think “topping off” refrigerant annually is a customary practice. It is not and you should identify and repair the leak in your system immediately. An improperly charged system (with a leak) can yield a 15-20% loss in efficiency along with reduced life expectancy and comfort complaints, too.

These routine maintenance procedures are important because dirty air conditioning coils make it difficult for the equipment to properly cool your home. To compensate, your air conditioning unit may run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. Cleaning your equipment ensures that it will work efficiently, as airflow problems can reduce efficiency by up to 30 percent.

Ductwork Inspection

While indoors, the service technician can also inspect your home’s observable ductwork for leaks, as gaps waste money and energy. While this task is often not part of a standard tune-up protocol, if you are unhappy with the performance of your system this exercise can help diagnose inadequacies in your comfort system’s performance. There is a diagnostic procedure to check the pressure in the ductwork. This new test is much like when your medical doctor checks your blood pressure in his office. It can point out a number of problems that negatively affect the operation and efficiency delivered by your home comfort system. The thermostat’s settings will also be checked to make sure your heating and air conditioning system provides the comfort you want.

The equipment will be turned on and monitored to ensure it is operating properly. The service technician will be on the lookout for unusual noises or odors. The temperature in your house will be measured, and fan settings will be adjusted accordingly. Filters will also be checked in case you forgot to clean or replace them. Once your heating and cooling system has been thoroughly inspected, you will receive a detailed maintenance report that includes a list of the items examined along with any recommended repairs or potential problems. The technician may also make recommendations for improvements or enhancements to your system.

Regular maintenance will ensure that your equipment will work when it needs to. And if any problems pop up, contact us at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. There’s nothing worse than scrambling for the name of a repairman when the heat goes out on the coldest day of the year or the air conditioning on the hottest day in summer.

Photo credit: Janellie

Paul WadsworthPaul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.

Topics: hvac maintenance, air conditioning, furnace filter, hvac technician

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