Helpful Hints

When and Why to Replace the Air Filter
Lubricating Your Units
Heat Pump Maintenance
Economic Heating and Cooling Hints

When and Why to Replace the Air Filter
The most important thing you can do for both your heating and cooling system is something you can do yourself - replace the air filter. It's a good idea to check your filter monthly until you see how quickly it gets dirty at different times of the year. It will probably need replacement 2-3 times during both the cooling and heating seasons. A dirty filter can spread dirt throughout your house and make your system work harder than it should, reducing performance and energy efficiency. An extremely dirty filter can even contribute to compressor failure in both air conditioning and heat pump systems.

Lubricating Your Units
With older equipment, lubricating motors annually and checking drive belts for fraying or lack of tension will greatly increase the efficiency and longevity of your systems. Most modern units are direct drive, so there are no belts, but most motors still require lubrication by either yourself or a professional.

Heat Pump maintenance
Another important self maintenance task is to clean debris away from the outside of your unit. You need to keep the grills free of grass clippings, leaves and other debris, which can inhibit air flow. During the winter months, snow should to be cleared away from the unit to allow proper air movement. Maintenance tasks that should be done by professionals include checking electrical connections, pressure controls, air flow, freon level and cleaning condenser coils of dirt and dust.

Economic Heating and Cooling Hints

  • During the heating season, set your thermostat at 68 degrees or less.
  • If you have a natural gas heating system, turning back the thermostat an additional five degrees
        when you plan to be away will save energy. If you plan on being away for several days, set the
        thermostat at 50-60 degrees.
  • If you have a heat pump and do NOT have a programmable thermostat, it would be best to
        leave the thermostat at one setting. You may save energy when you turn the thermostat back,
        however the savings is lost when you turn it back up and the more expensive electric resistance
        heat comes on to raise the temperature. If you have a heat pump with a programmable
        thermostat, programming the thermostat to turn back an additional five degrees when you are
        away will save energy. If you plan on being away for several days, program the thermostat to
        maintain 62-65 degrees.
  • Use the sun - open the drapes and shades during the day on the sunny side of your home to
        allow solar heating. Keep shades and drapes closed on the shady side of your home and at night
        to retain warmth.
  • Humidified air will make the air feel warmer during the heating season.
  • Running the fan in the "on" position during the heating season will help to minimize differential
        temperatures from floor to floor, but may feel drafty and cool.
  • During the cooling season, running the fan in the "on" position will be more economical and keep
        more consistent temperatures throughout your home.
  • Consider lowering the temperature setting and dressing warmer.

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