The Importance of Maintenance on Heating and Cooling Equipment
By Jeffery Hunt
The heating and cooling system in your home or business quite often gets taken for granted. We go about our routines day after day, week after week, month after month, while our furnace or air conditioning systems keep us comfortable. But, as with any piece of equipment, they require routine maintenance for several reasons. In this article, we will address how important this maintenance is.

First, and most important, is safety. Most heating and cooling equipment and related systems are powered by electricity, gas or oil, or both. An equipment malfunction or failure could have serious consequences if left unchecked. Over time, wiring becomes loose or degraded, gas fired equipment builds up soot and rust, venting systems become dirty or rusty, and bacteria builds up in cooling equipment, just to name a few of the conditions that can cause health and safety concerns for your family. Routine preventative maintenance can reduce the chances of safety related issues within the system, or external sources.

Energy efficiency is most likely the next highest ranking factor that supports routine maintenance. The escalation of operating costs in neglected heating and cooling systems has been studied and written about many times. A dirty air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace simply costs more to operate. Normal “wear and tear” parts become weak and inefficient in their duties, causing excessive utility costs and extended run times. The cost of routine maintenance is easily recovered by lower fuel or power usage.

Your overall comfort simply can not be quantified in dollars. In many cases, the heating and cooling equipment gets blamed for uncomfortable situations, when in reality, the problem is caused by loss of capacity due to the system being dirty or neglected. Comfort and indoor air quality is directly related to taking proper care of the system.

Unnecessary repair costs can be directly related to the lack of routine maintenance. First, it is much less expensive to repair the system or replace a part during a routine check-up than it is to wait until it fails, and incur an emergency service call. Also, repairing or replacing the part during scheduled maintenance is much more convenient. Heating and cooling systems usually fail at times when you need them the most. In many situations, a lesser expensive part that should have been replaced during maintenance will cause a much more expensive repair because it was not detected until system failure.

Premature equipment replacement is directly related to the lack of routine maintenance as well. As individual parts and systems are neglected, the toll of each accumulates on the heating and cooling system in general. The cost of replacing an HVAC system is a major expense that can be delayed by regularly scheduled routine maintenance.

Most equipment owners are limited in their own ability to perform many of the maintenance related tasks, other than controlling the thermostat settings and replacement of equipment filters. Today’s modern equipment is much more technical, and requires a professionally trained technician to perform the maintenance properly.

In summary, maintaining a heating and cooling system is less costly in many ways, than neglecting to do so.

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