Maintenance Keeps HVAC Systems Working Well

Two inspections per year can help ward off major problems

How often should you service your HVAC system? Professionals recommend twice a year - once in the spring to check the air conditioner before temperatures rise, and once in the fall to check the heating system before the weather turns cold.

Keeping up with this bi-annual maintenance schedule can pay off with continued efficiency and energy savings. While there will likely be a service cost when a technician visits, routine upkeep can ward off the major problems that can put a dent in church finances.

What You Can Do

Here are a few spring cleaning tips that can help you clean up and maintain your HVAC system before summer arrives:

  • Take winter coverings off.
  • Check for ants and mice, and any signs that an animal might have sought shelter inside the unit.
  • Trim bushes around outdoor units to allow at least two feet between the plant and the machine.
  • Remove leaves and debris from inside the unit’s top grille.
  • Make sure insulation around the refrigerant line going into the building is intact.
  • Examine pipes for rust or erosion. Contact professionals if you find signs of wear.

Another way to make sure your unit is working at peak efficiency is to check for any obstacles that might make the system work harder. Do this by:

  • Keeping downspouts and gutters clear to allow proper drainage. This stops condensation from soaking into the building.
  • Making sure drainage from the downspouts is carried away from your foundation walls.
  • Replacing window and door seals and weather stripping if necessary.
  • Caulking around doors and windows where there are air leaks.

Finally, remember to replace your air filter monthly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and slow down your system.

From the Professionals

Scheduling a tune-up with a qualified technician is the next step to getting the most out of your cooling system. While it’s smart to handle certain maintenance measures yourself, it’s important to have the system evaluated by someone with expertise in the field. A contractor will be trained to not only know how to clean and adjust each component, but also how to monitor gas and oil connections to avoid fire hazards and health problems.

If your HVAC unit is more than 10 years old, consider budgeting for a new unit in the future, as the life-span is somewhere between 12 and 15 years on average.

Additional Resources

For more resources on church maintenance projects, check out Brotherhood Mutual’s Safety Library.