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.