The Importance of Annual HVAC System Maintenance

Jan 12, 2020 | Main Blog | 0 comments

Have you scheduled your annual HVAC system maintenance yet? You might shrug off this task, but it’s more important than you think. Once you learn the ins and outs of annual HVAC system maintenance, you’ll never put it off again.

Why Is Maintenance So Important?

The purpose of preventative maintenance is to keep your HVAC system up and running all season long with no surprise breakdowns, while operating at top efficiency. You rarely see your HVAC system face to face, so it’s easy to forget about it and neglect it. Imagine doing the same with your car. If you never have the oil changed or refuse to take your car in for any kind of tune-up until the check-engine light comes on, you can’t expect it to last more than a couple of years.

Your HVAC system is the same way. No matter how expensive the system is or what the manufacturer promises, a complicated piece of mechanical equipment is  subject to breakdowns and needs repairs every so often. Reduce the incidence of repairs by keeping on top of annual maintenance.

Benefits of Annual HVAC System Maintenance

What can you expect from your newly tuned-up HVAC system? Is the cost of maintenance really worth it? You should consider that some benefits of regular maintenance are immediate while others prevent future problems from developing. Some of the most prominent benefits include:

  • Lower energy bills: You might assume that since the equipment is heating or cooling your home without any apparent problem that everything is fine. However, have you taken a look at your energy bills lately? A neglected system slowly loses its ability to keep your home comfortable at the same level of efficiency it once did. Just as a car tune-up delivers better gas mileage, your HVAC system consumes less fuel after receiving professional maintenance.
  • Fewer repairs: Do you hear a strange sound or notice an odd odor coming from your furnace? Calling for a tune-up right away could help catch problems before they become disastrous. For example, a fraying belt could result in strange operating noises. If a technician replaces it in time, you can avoid the expensive repair that results from a snapped belt whipping around inside. By preventing future repairs, annual maintenance pays for itself
  • Lower chance of a catastrophic breakdown: Everyone wants an incident-free cooling and heating season. After all, it’s incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable when equipment breaks down on a sweltering summer afternoon or frigid winter night, right when you need your HVAC system most. The odds of this happening when you schedule inspections every year are greatly diminished.
  • Longer equipment life: Air conditioners, furnaces and other HVAC equipment function best when they’re regularly serviced and cleaned. One malfunctioning part can cause a domino effect that causes the entire system to break down. Regular maintenance prevents this from happening and adds years to your equipment’s lifespan.
  • Safer equipment operation: A failing HVAC system does more than cost a lot of money to repair; it also can endanger your family. For instance, if the furnace develops a crack in the heat exchanger, carbon monoxide gas can escape and poison the air you breathe. Also, electric HVAC systems can develop a short circuit, which is a serious fire hazard if ignored. Clearly, your family’s safety is yet another reason to schedule annual HVAC system maintenance.

Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

Plan to schedule annual HVAC system maintenance once in the spring for your cooling equipment and again in the fall for your heating system. If you have a heat pump, the combined heating/cooling system should receive maintenance twice a year.

Plan to perform a few maintenance tasks of your own between these formal visits. The following DIY tasks help keep your equipment running smoothly until the next professional visit:

  • Change the HVAC air filter every month. Some units have an indicator light that tells you when the filter is beginning to become clogged and blocking airflow.
  • Remove debris from around the outdoor unit.
  • Hose down the outdoor unit when dirt begins to accumulate on it.
  • Trim back foliage to at least 18 inches from the outdoor unit.
  • Keep supply and return registers unblocked by drapes, rugs or furniture.

Maintenance You Should Leave to the Pros

Many homeowners wonder why they can’t just complete an entire tune-up themselves. The fact is a thorough tune-up requires skills, tools and knowledge that only experienced HVAC technicians can deliver. Here’s what to expect when you call in the pros to perform annual HVAC system maintenance:

  • Check the thermostat: The tech makes sure the thermostat is calibrated correctly to ensure comfort in every season. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat installed, the technician may recommend one and install it for you on the spot.
  • Tighten electrical connections: Loose connections are dangerous and can cause improper operation that shortens the equipment’s lifespan. The technician also measures voltage and current on equipment motors.
  • Lubricate all moving parts: Lack of lubrication causes high amounts of friction in the system. This can cause it to overheat and break down. Adding lubrication helps parts move smoothly against one another, decreasing electricity use and lowering your energy bills.
  • Inspect the condensate drain: Cooling equipment and condensing furnaces produce condensate when they operate. Under normal conditions, the condensate collects in a pan and drains away to the outside. However, over time sludge or algae can form in the drain pipe and create a blockage. During times of high usage, the drain pan may overflow and cause water damage to the equipment or your home. A technician checks the condensate drain to make sure it’s draining properly and cleans it out if necessary.
  • Check system controls: The start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence should occur in a particular fashion. The technician checks the controls to make sure everything is operating safely and properly.
  • Clean and adjust the blower: Issues with the blower can decrease equipment efficiency by up to 15 percent. Making adjustments ensures proper airflow and ample home comfort.
  • Clean the evaporator and condenser coils (cooling specific): Soiled coils slowly decrease efficiency and make the equipment run longer. Cleaning the coils annually is an important part of maintaining the A/C’s capacity, ensuring lower energy bills and prolonging equipment life.
  • Check refrigerant charge (cooling specific): If the air conditioner was charged too high at installation, you could be paying much more than necessary to cool your home. An undercharged system also can develop if the system has a leak. A technician checks for these circumstances, repairs any leaks that are present, and recharges the system if necessary.
  • Check fuel line connections (heating specific): Poor gas or oil connections are a fire hazard. They can also cause health problems if fumes are able to escape into your home. Tightening the connections ensures safe operation.
  • Inspect the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger (heating specific): Incorrect pressure, a dirty burner or a cracked heat exchanger can result in improper burner operation. These circumstances also can cause unsafe and inefficient operation. Adjusting the pressure and cleaning the burner are two viable options to improve operation and lower your heating bills, but if the heat exchanger is cracked, it’s likely you’ll need to purchase a new furnace.

Source: Black Diamond

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request A Service

All Home Heating Oil is Not the Same - Carlisle Petroleum

All Home Heating Oil is Not the Same

Jan 12, 2020 | Main Blog | 0 comments

People in this country rely on different sources of energy to heat their homes and keep themselves warm during the winter season. Although LPG, electricity, and other renewable sources are familiar, there is one that stands out: home heating oil. The most distinctive characteristic of heating oil is the fact that it is delivered by oil delivery companies and it is stored in a tank that is commonly placed or situated beneath the home.

But contrary to what most homeowners who use heating oil believe in, not all home heating oil is the same. Even if they all look alike and serve the same function, heating oil is actually distinguished into different types and grades. In this article, we look at those differences and compare each one.

Types of Heating Oil

Generally speaking, there are two types of heating oil intended for domestic or home heating. They are:

Gas Oil – This is also referred to as red diesel or the 35 second oil. It is distinguished by the fact that it is heavier and is primarily used in older generation of boilers, more specifically those once used in commercial and agricultural use.

Kerosene – Kerosene on the other hand is the second type. It is known as the typical heating oil and also called 28 second oil. Its main advantage is the fact that it is lighter and cleaner.

If you recently moved into a new house or property, the kind of oil you will be using primarily depends on the type of heating system that is already in place. In most instances, there is a clear label on the boiler or the tank, giving you the right instructions on what type of heating oil was used previously. If there is no indication, you have to ask a heating oil expert to be sure.

 

Heating Oil Costs

Furthermore, another manifestation that all home heating oil is not the same is the costs. Kerosene, for one, is considered as the more efficient compared to gas oil. But then again, there is also great emphasis placed on the area where you live and the availability of the type of heating oil in your state or city.


Heating Oil Grades

But aside from the two types, heating oil is also differentiated on grades. Traditionally speaking, there are three different grades along with three intermediary grades. Likewise, each has its own distinctive quality and characteristics. But just a preview of the quality of each grade, the common scenario is that when you choose a higher grade, it also means you will have to spend more on it. Although higher grade heating oil is more expensive, it also burns cleaner, more efficiently, and has lesser impact on the environment.

But just like the types we’ve mentioned earlier, you have to first understand your heating system and your furnace to be able to use the right oil required to keep your home warm during the winter. And for your information, heating oil, as of today, is the second most widely consumed petroleum product, obviously behind only to gasoline.

1 – Heating Oil (Grade) 1 and 2

Number 1 and 2 heating oil is considered as the two most common type used for residential heating. 1 is less expensive compared to 2. Actually, 2 has the same classification as diesel fuel in the United States so most people think they’re one in the same. However, they are not because number 2 is formed during the refining process by heating and then condensing raw crude oil. The best attribute of number 2 is that it is more efficient than other fuel sources for home heating like natural gas, propane, kerosene, or even electricity.

2 – Intermediary

Intermediary grade heating oil on the other hand is mostly blended mixtures of higher grades and lower grades. They are mostly used for industrial and commercial burners with better efficiency. However, they are expected to be more expensive.

3 – Number 6

The last grade is called heating oil number 6. This one is the least expensive of the three standard heating oil grades. However, as the price implies, it is also the dirtiest. Using this type of home heating oil will most likely correspond to more frequent maintenance and cleaning of your furnace and heating system. Because of the high concentration of pollutants and sulfur, it is gradually being phased out.

 

Source: R.F. Ohl Fuel

 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Request A Service

*For Emergency Services Please Call 717-245-2382*

" data-nonce-time="1620910813" />

*For Emergency Services Please Call 717-245-2382*