We tend to take our heating and cooling systems for granted, never really paying attention to the strange sounds they make until it’s too late and they won’t turn on at all. To keep yourself from freezing in the winter or overheating in the summer, here are three tips to help your heaters and A/Cs and keep them in tip-top shape all year long:

Do Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your heating and cooling systems running smoothly, and has the added bonus of making you aware of small problems before they can grow into bigger (and more expensive!) problems. 

For your cooling system, regular maintenance means changing filters and removing debris from around the unit. If you’ve got a wall unit, maintenance is relatively easy. If you have centralized A/C, the process is a little more involved, and it might be worth calling a professional to do the cleaning for you. Maintenance on a central cooling system means cleaning the fins inside the unit with either a vacuum or a garden hose. You should also check to ensure that the fins are still straight, since fins can bend over time and become less efficient at moving the air into the home. You’ll also want to make sure to clean the evaporator coil and evaporator drain.  The best time to clean your cooling system is before you intend to use it, so if you live in a temperate area, mid-to-late spring will probably be the ideal time to start your maintenance. 

For your heating system, if you’re using a gas furnace, the process will be fairly similar to the one outlined above. You’ll want to begin by turning off the gas furnace to prevent any accidents. Then you’ll want to clean (or replace) the filter, clean the blower, the ducts and the vents. Gas furnaces are prone to debris build up, which can slow down the furnace or even spark fires. 

Supplement The Systems With Curtains

Running your cooling system all day and your heating system all night will obviously lead to some wear and tear that can decrease the lifespan of your HVAC systems. To get the most out of your heating and cooling systems, use curtains. If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, cold air can still be getting into your home. Curtains can help retain heat by limiting the air flow. In the summer, curtains can help keep rooms cool by keeping them shaded and thus keeping the room from heating up (or at least, slowing the heat down). A room that has been cooled at night will stay cooler longer during the day when the curtains are drawn. 

Use a Programmable Thermostat

If you come home and immediately start blasting the air conditioner to cool the room off as quickly as possible, you’re going to risk straining the system by making it work harder than necessary. Instead, cool or heat the room gradually with a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat lets you set the temperature around your schedule, allowing you to keep the A/C off all day and still come back to a nice cool home after work. Set the system to start cooling about 30 minutes before you get home; this way, the A/C can work to lower the temperature slowly.

With these tips in mind, you’ll get to keep your heating and cooling systems working at their best for a long time. And if you’ve got some concerns that you have overworked your systems or neglected their maintenance, get in touch with your local HVAC repair company to get your heating and cooling systems back where they should be!