Equipment should be maintained twice a year, ideally in the Spring and Fall. This would be similar to having a tune-up or oil change on your vehicle. Just a good inspection, making sure fluids are where they should be, parts are operating correctly, filters are clean, etc.
The filter in your furnace, which is also used for your A/C system, should be replaced once a month with a low restriction filter. Understanding the filter is simple, it removes any dirt from the air keeping it out of your home. It is not necessary and often ineffective to have the most expensive filter with the highest rating on the market. Allergen style filters cost more money and can drastically reduce the airflow of your system. To achieve allergen, pet dander or other particulate removal without reducing your systems performance and efficiency we recommend looking into UV purification systems. It is more important to insure that the proper sized filter is replaced often. After all you change your car’s oil at its recommended intervals. This is the cheapest and most effective way to maintain your systems comfort, cleanliness and efficiency.
The outdoor unit is called an A/C condenser. Proper maintenance, or lack of, can affect how hard your system works and the overall efficiency. Your condenser should always be kept free of debris – this would include keeping them clear from leaves and pesky weeds, cottonwood and fido’s hair. It is important to keep the area around the condenser clear for proper air flow through the unit. The condenser actually uses a fan to pull air into the coils in order to remove the heat from your home. As temperatures go up in the heat of summer, condensers often overheat and break down due to clogged coils. This also causes other components of the system to be overworked and overheated, ultimately reducing the life of the system. As temperatures drop, remember to turn off your A/C when it starts to get below 60, and run the fan. A/C units can freeze due to low outdoor temperatures. If they ice it can be misdiagnosed as a plumbing leak and cause undue stress to the system and its components. Although putting a cover over the condenser in the winter is not necessary, it can help keep debris out and maintain the appearance. However we highly recommend shutting off the disconnect located next to your condenser or the breaker after doing so. If the air conditioner is accidently turned on while the cover is on it does not allow for airflow and can destroy the condenser.
Maintaining a constant comfortable year-round temperature is also important. A programmable thermostat is a great way to insure that your home meets your comfort needs while saving money and not making your equipment work harder than it needs to. Your technician can help you learn to program your thermostat to fit your needs and the time of year. When you find an optimal temperature the equipment will only need to run to maintain it rather than working to catch up once you change it. There are many programmable thermostats on the market, from the most simple to smart thermostats that can learn your family’s needs, control humidity, remind you of filter change intervals and maintenance or even be controlled by your smartphone!
Fire & Ice Heating and Air offers maintenance programs to help you keep up with your systems maintenance and warranty guidelines. Insuring your system runs at peak performance and efficiency while reducing the likelihood of breakdowns and system failure when you need it most.