- Schedule your annual service maintenance before the cooling and heating season begins
- For cooling set the thermostat as high as comfort will permit.
- For heating & furnace set the thermostat as low as comfort permits.
- Lower the thermostat a degree or two when expecting a large group of guests.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. In colder climates, consider additional insulation.
- Prevent infiltration of outside humid air by plugging the places where air can sneak into the home with caulking, weather-stripping or plastic.
- Cut heat transfer through your windows with double-glazing and low-e glass.
- Don’t try to service your cooling & heating system on your own.
- During moderate weather, don’t use the air conditioner unnecessarily.
- In the cooling season, don’t run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary.
- Don’t wait for the first cold night to turn on your furnace for the first time. Test your heater for a few minutes while it’s still warm outside.
- Don’t try to turn on the heat while the thermostat is still set in Air Conditioning mode.
- Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat.
When should you do furnace maintenance?
- For a system that heats and cools: perform maintenance in the spring and fall
- For cooling system maintenance only: perform maintenance at least once a year, before the cooling season
- For furnace maintenance only: perform maintenance at least once a year, before the heating season.
HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist
- Inspect unit for proper refrigerant level and adjust if necessary
- Clean dirt, leaves and debris from inside cabinet
- Inspect base pan for restricted drain openings—remove obstructions as necessary
- Inspect coil and cabinet—clean as needed
- Inspect fan motor and fan blades for wear and damage—on older models lubricate as needed
- Inspect control box, associated controls/accessories, wiring and connections. Controls may include contactors, relays, circuit boards, capacitors, sump heat and other accessories. All control box and electrical parts should be checked for wear or damage
- Inspect compressor and associated tubing for damage
- Inspect and clean blower assembly (includes blower housing, blower wheel and motor)
- On older models, lubricate motor and inspect and replace fan belt if needed
- Check combustion blower housing for lint and debris and clean as necessary
- Inspect evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain lines. Clean as needed
- Inspect for gas leaks in gas furnaces
- Inspect burner assembly—clean and adjust as needed
- Inspect ignition system and safety controls—clean and adjust as needed
- Inspect heat exchanger or heating elements
- Inspect flue system—check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. Replace if necessary.
- Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections
- Clean or replace air filters
- Inspect conditioned airflow system (ductwork)—check for leaks
Cooling System Maintenance
- Set the thermostat as high as comfort will permit
- Make sure attics are adequately ventilated to relieve heat buildup. If necessary, improve airflow by adding or enlarging vents
- When building a new house or renovating an old one, choose light-colored roof shingles to reflect more of the sun’s heat
- During moderate weather, don’t use the air conditioner unnecessarily
- Draw blinds or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day
- Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight
- In the cooling season, don’t run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary
- Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from that equipment may cause the air conditioning system to overcool your house
Heating & Furnace Maintenance
- Locate the thermostat on an inside wall away from windows and doors.
- Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
- People generate heat. So lower the thermostat a degree or two when expecting a large group of guests.
- Make sure your home is properly insulated. This is the single most important step in conserving energy. Thermal insulation should be specified in terms of thermal resistance (R-values). R-30 (10″) is recommended for ceilings, and R-11 (3-1/2”) for exterior walls and floors over unheated areas. In colder climates, consider additional insulation.
- Infiltration of humid outside air is your heating and air conditioning system’s worst enemy—it could account for 15% to 30% of air conditioning energy requirements. Find the places where air can sneak into the home and plug them with caulking, weather-stripping or plastic. Also, weather-strip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows.
- Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40% to 50% with double-glazing (two panes of glass separated by a sealed air space) and low-e glass.
- Use wood- or metal-frame storm windows even if single-glazed windows are high quality. The extra layer of glass and the layer of still air will cut heat transfer considerably.
- Install storm doors at all entrances to your house.
- Keep all windows and doors closed.
- Remember that by increasing the glass area, you increase the amount of heat added in summer and lost in winter.
- Make sure fireplaces have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use. Invest in a humidifier to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable at a lower temperature setting.