Its bitter cold, and time to get ready for work, the kids haven’t had breakfast yet, and your heat is not working. You jiggle the thermostat; walk downstairs to the basement to plead with your furnace and no matter how hard to beg, you can’t get the piece of machinery to work!
Who to call? Your choices are plentiful. The local utility company provides service for emergencies. So you’ll call. Press one, you are instructed. You comply. You wait, for what seems to be hours. The kids are cold. Time is passing. You just can’t wait. So, you go to your computer, pushing aside the piles of mail that you haven’t had the opportunity to read (including the solicitation you ignored about pre-season service!)
Internet searches seem like the logical place to start. And so you are on a quest to find companies in your neighborhood that offer the services that you need, and begin to check out their websites. You find a few, send emails, jot down telephone numbers and voila! You hit the jackpot. There’s a local contractor that can fit you into his schedule.
Kids off to school, a fast shower, further reminding you of the frigid temperatures in your home. The service technician arrives, you lead him downstairs. He flips a switch, removes a strange looking metal object and turns the unit back on. That’s it, lady. You’re fixed! How could that be? What was wrong? Upon further discussion you learn that your filter was totally blocked. Filter? I have a filter? Where is it? Can’t be! I never knew! The blocked filter serves as a safety to shut the system down if air is not circulating properly.
Heating Maintenance 101. Your education begins today when you are told that there is a filter in your heating system that is installed to trap particulates and other airborne particles. And you are further instructed to replace that filter every single month. Every month? No kidding! And, the technician suggest, I would call to get on our annual service schedule. And call you do.
Let us discuss a few pointers:
You, the homeowner view this mail intrusion and unnecessary service as a gimmick to get you to call your friendly Heating and Cooling Contractor and line his or her pockets with money. FALSE: servicing your heating system is a plus for you and your family. It is a known fact that maintaining your equipment will extend the life of the mechanical comfort systems that you depend on.
Maintenance is unnecessary. I can call for service when I need it. FALSE: We recommend that you have your air conditioning and heating comfort systems serviced twice annually to maintain peak performance. In the same manner as you maintain your automobile with oil changes and timed services to increase its longevity; likewise caring for your comfort equipment will pay you back in steadfast performance for years to come!
Filters? It is really not necessary to change them. FALSE: Warm air (ducted) heating and cooling systems with disposable air filters should be maintained on a monthly basis. A blocked filter will cause excessive energy consumption, obstruct air flow resulting in discomfort or severely reduced air flow and system failure. Likewise, a clean filter can save upwards of 5% on energy consumption. Create an easy to remember schedule of changing your filter and stick to it! Be sure your system is turned off first!
An important hint: GO GREEN! Raising the temperature setting (during summer months) or lowering the temperature setting (during winter months) in your home during peak weather by 1 degree will save energy consumption by approximately 8%. Consider a digital set-back thermostat during unoccupied hours. Raising the temperature slightly after midnight and automatically lowering it prior to your every-day wake up time during air conditioning season OR Lowering the temperature slightly after midnight and automatically raising it prior to your every-day wake up time during heating season will achieve similar results. It all adds up!
Leave the service to the professionals. Don’t get caught on that first cold night or that first blistering hot summer day without the comfort you and your family deserve. Call your heating and cooling professional today. Set up a twice annual maintenance plan for your protection. Perhaps the company you select will have a more comprehensive plan as well to protect you from the financial surprise of unexpected repairs, too.
Written by Bonnie Bornstein Fertel
Bornstein Sons, Inc. - since 1928
Site Design Bonnie B, LLC