Most maintenance and repair tasks on your heating and air conditioning systems should be performed by a licensed professional. However, here are three simple things you can do to avoid an inconvenient breakdown or needless energy loss during the peak summer months:
- Change your filters. Clean filters keep your equipment from working too hard. Less wear-and-tear means longer life and increased comfort.
- Inspect your ductwork in the attic and crawl space. Unfortunately, separated or torn duct lines are common, allowing air to escape or enter from the crawl space.
- Turn on the cool. Before that first 90-degree day, turn on the air to make sure cool air flow can be felt at each vent location.
These simple measures will reduce wear and increase energy efficiency, but don’t forget to have a licensed HVAC professional clean and tune your system once or twice a year. The life expectancy for most residential equipment is 10-15 years. Preventative maintenance agreements are inexpensive and will extend your equipment’s life.
If you suspect your equipment is near the end of its life, don’t despair. The recently approved economic stimulus package includes tax credits that allow consumers to recover 30 percent of their investment in energy-efficient HVAC equipment, up to a maximum of $1,500. Energy efficiency standards have been relaxed to include a wider range of equipment, making it easier to qualify. And most heating and air manufacturers also offer seasonal rebates on HVAC equipment upgrades.