Home Heating and Cooling Equipment Maintenance Checklist

Air condition sitting outside of a home in Boston.

New Englanders are fortunate enough to enjoy all four seasons. But along with the change in the seasons comes the task of keeping the inside of your home at a moderate and enjoyable temperature despite the temperature outside. Here are some simple guidelines to keep your heating and cooling systems operating effectively and efficiently.

Heating System Maintenance

Prepare your furnace for the chill of winter in early fall, well before you’ll need to rely on its use. If you have a forced air furnace, check the filter every month and replace as needed to improve efficiency, maximize airflow and prolong the life of your furnace, which can last over 20 years if taken care of properly. Hire a professional to perform an inspection, tune up and clean the vents.

For homes with hot water heat, it is best to leave annual furnace tune up and repairs to the professionals. Simple maintenance for some homeowners is draining of the boiler and expansion tank, if needed, along with bleeding of the radiators to remove trapped air. Refer to your equipment specific owner’s manual for instructions on proper maintenance for your hot water heating system.

Person adjusting heat setting on a thermostat.

Air Conditioning Maintenance

Spring is the best time of year to make sure your air conditioner will run properly during the summer heat. If your air conditioner is part of your home’s central heat system, you’ll want to continue to check the filters monthly.

Next, head outside to remove dust and debris that may have accumulated around/on the condenser unit over the winter. To make this an easier job in the spring, cover your air conditioning unit with a tarp or fitted plastic cover over the winter. It is important to remember to turn off the power before doing any maintenance to the condenser. Vacuum or hose off the fins gently, as they are easily damaged.

Check the unit monthly for leaves, dirt, dust and other outside debris throughout the summer. Some units will need fan lubrication, but many newer units won’t so check your manual. Test for proper cooling and if you are not getting expected results, hire a professional to check the coolant or identify other operational issues.

Proper maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment will help you save money on energy costs and extend the life of the equipment. Check out our article on Home Maintenance for more tips.