Fall Tune-Up: Give Your Heating and Cooling Equipment Some Love For Greater Efficiency

September 13, 2017

September is a month of transition. It’s time to go back to school or to get back to work after your summer vacation. The leaves begin to turn to their fall colors. And summer humidity gives way to an autumnal crispness.


It’s a transition in your home as well, from cooling to heating season. There’s no better time to perform a little routine maintenance on both your heating and cooling equipment than when the weather is nice enough that you don’t need to rely on either. Proactive maintenance can resul class="body-generic"t in fewer costly repairs in the future, improve indoor air quality, and reduce your energy costs.


For the most thorough maintenance, you’ll want to obtain the services of an HVAC professional. He or she will be able to get into the tough-to-reach spots in your equipment to perform tasks like cleaning the evaporator coil of your central A/C or lubricating the furnace blower. 


An HVAC professional can also examine the ductwork in your home. It is estimated that up to 30% of heated or cooled air is lost through leaky ducts. In houses with forced air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. Sealing and insul class="body-generic"ating your ducts can keep your heating and cooling equipment from working overtime.  


There are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself, however. First, an easy task anyone can do: replace the air filter. Do it now, and then replace it every month during the height of the heating season.


Second, something a little more involved but worth the effort: remove dirt, dust, and debris from your equipment to improve airflow. 


To clean out the outdoor compressor unit of your central air conditioner:

  • Shut off the power to the unit.
  • Vacuum away any leaves, dead grass, dust, or dirt from the compressor fins. 
  • Remove the top grill and fan, and clean out debris from inside the compressor.
  • With the fan out, hose off the compressor fins from the inside out. 


To clean your furnace:

  • Shut off the power and the gas to the unit.
  • If the furnace was on previously, wait until it cools.
  • Open the furnace door and vacuum out any dirt and debris from the base.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe away dust from the blower fan blades.

Consult an HVAC professional for an expert opinion on when to replace your equipment. Click here for the latest heating and cooling rebates from Mass Save.

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