June 2, 2011

Maintenance Tip of Day

Heating and Air Conditioning repair bills are expensive, master of the obvious, right? Here are some simple steps that will improve air flow and reduce some of those costs.

Dirt is the greatest enemy of your air handling equipment. One of the most cost effective ways to avoid the dirt getting into the equipment is a filter. These are inexpensive and are available in several places. In rental properties it is the tenant's responsibility to replace the filter, but in the real world this seldom is the case. Running the units without proper filters causes dirt build up in the A Coil inside the furnace and reduces air flow and can cause the air conditioning unit to freeze up. Then you have to wait for the thawing out of the unit before service can be performed. Another point of running the unit without a filter is dirt builds up on the blower motor. This puts a burden on the bearings and shortens the life of the motor, you guessed it, another service call that could have been avoided.

How can you get someone to check and change the filter? Great question. It needs to be an enforceable point on their lease. Annual inspections of the properties should inspect and change this. We are not thinking about heat when it is 90 degrees outside, but a clean filter means better output, which means less work on the furnace for the same temperature. We like to use the term "think outside the box" - when it comes to air conditioning, think outside the house. The outside condenser unit needs to be hosed out with water to remove excess dirt, also the weeds, tall grass and anything else should be removed from around the unit. This also must have a good air flow to maintain it's optimum capacity.

Good preventive maintenance pays in the long run, and the initial investment reduces regular and emergency calls. Enjoy your summer!

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