Posted: August 3, 2015
Posted by: SOS Xtreme Comfort
Having your air conditioning and heating system maintained is important for many reason like improving the unit’s efficiency and reducing operating costs. There are some things that you can do as a homeowner to keep your system operating smoothly. This video discusses these and also talks about other maintenance items for your HVAC system.
Brett Lewis: Hello! I’m Brett Lewis from L4 Group. Today, we’re going to talk about heating and cooling maintenance.
Right now, it’s in the middle of summer. Our air-conditioners are running full force. We’re going to discuss how homeowners can make sure that their heating and cooling systems don’t break down when they need it the most.
Today, I have with me an HVAC expert from SOS Xtreme Comfort, Chris Powers. How are you, Chris?
Chris Powers: I’m doing excellent today.
Brett: Awesome! Awesome! So first, SOS Xtreme Comfort has been in the business since 1934. You guys had been delivering fuel, as well as installing and servicing air-conditioning systems and heating systems. So when it comes down to staying cool in the summer, you guys are experts in the field.
So I’d like to talk about some HVAC maintenance tips and suggestions that you can give our viewers and give us some insights as to why maintenance is important for our system.
To start off, why don’t you give us some tips that homeowners can do when it comes to just maintaining the system on their own.
Chris: Sure, absolutely! The easiest way to start this off is to always check your filter down at your unit or up in your attic. You’ve got to check at least once a month. It doesn’t mean you got to replace them, but at least just put your eyes on them, make sure there’s not any visible dirt on them.
We come across that quite often. People just seem to forget to check the filters. We recommend checking every 30 days no matter what anyone tells you just to see how much dirt is in them. It doesn’t mean you got to replace them, at least check them.
While you’re there (at the unit or wherever it may be), you want to look around. You want to see if there’s any water on the floor or in a pan possibly up in the attic because then, you can actually prevent some damage in your house. If there is something going on, you can give us a call. We’ll come out right away and address that.
The other couple of things that you should really pay attention to would be your batteries and your thermostat. People always seem to forget to change those. So what I recommend is any time you change your batteries in your carbon monoxide detector or smoke detector, you should replace all your batteries if you have batteries in your thermostats. That’s number two.
And then, the last thing that a homeowner can do is outside for your air-conditioning systems, your outdoor units or condensers, the number one thing we come across is too much grass or shrubbery. Bushes have grown around the unit [starved] the unit.
So it’s best practice if you can either get your landscaper (if you have a landscaper) or yourself just to keep that area clean. And then if you do see some dirt on the outside of that coil or that unit outside, you can always take a hose, a water hose and just wash it off. If you’re watering your plants out in the back, you can also put some water to that too because that will actually improve the efficiency also and prevent that service call.
Brett: Awesome! Hey, one thing I thought of while you were talking about is that outdoor unit, in the wintertime, do you guys recommend covering it up to protect the unit or is that not recommended?
Chris: That’s a great question and we do get that question quite often. What we recommend is there’s no need to cover the unit. The unit is designed to sit outside all year long.
What we do recommend is to actually get a piece of wood of some sort that would match the size of the top of the unit and put a rock on top of that piece of wood. All that is to do is to prevent any debris or leaves or anything getting inside the unit, rotting the bottom of the unit up. So that’s the only reason why we’d tell anyone to cover the unit up. You want the unit to breathe. It’s designed to breathe naturally. You don’t want to trap moisture inside that unit because it will rot away quicker than expected.
Brett: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So what about having a system maintained professionally? How often should homeowners have a company like SOS Xtreme Comfort come out and do that?
Chris: We recommend every year. And here’s why. You wouldn’t drive a car a hundred thousand miles without replacing the oil. The same logic holds true to your systems in your house. Preventative maintenance is the best way to lower your energy cost, your utility cost, which is skyrocketing nowadays.
So we recommend every year. And one of the biggest things (especially with air-conditioning) that happens is people seem to forget and don’t really want to spend the money on preventative maintenance for air-conditioning because the unit is running proper. But the biggest thing is when the drains that remove the water (that’s an actual process of air-conditioning), if those drains get plugged up for any reason, it will back up to the unit. And if you don’t have some sort of protection like a pan or a safety switch, it will cause a lot of damage to the house.
So we recommend maintenance every single year, both on your heating system, both on your cooling system because if you do that type of maintenance, it will help prolong the efficiency of the unit and prevent those breakdowns.
Brett: Awesome! And I could imagine that if the unit is up in the attic, you have that backup of water, I can just picture water just coming down through the ceiling and causing all sorts of problems.
Chris: We’ve had a couple of those this year. People forgot to call us in time and we had a couple of issues where, unfortunately, the unit wasn’t maintained and it did back up and cause quite extensive damage in the home.
Brett: Yeah, I could imagine.
So let’s shift gears a little bit. What about some advancements in the HVAC industry? Have there been any significant advancements that will help homeowners save money on their utility bills?
Chris: There is. Some are cheap, some are expensive, but we are advancing quite quickly in the air-conditioning side of things. There are higher SEER units coming out – 27 SEER or 30 SEER, which is pretty close to a geothermal. That used to be unheard of. You can never get those SEER ratings. Now, we’re getting closer and closer to those SEER ratings. That’s the first thing with the advancement. That’s the more expensive side of things.
But your thermostat, you should make it work for you. So basically, they’ve come out with WiFi thermostats, Internet-based thermostats. It’s becoming a big trend. And home automation. Home automation is exploding in our industry. It’s linked all through that thermostat. You could control lights, doors, cameras even. We offer all those services.
So it’s a great opportunity. It’s fairly inexpensive to do a WiFi thermostat. You can control that anywhere in the world as long as you have Internet capability. That is where you can really dial in your utility usage because you can control your house at any given time.
Back in the old days, it used to be either on or off. And then we did advance to a programmable thermostat, which are still excellent options, but they only give you usually four programmable options during the day. With the Internet-based thermostats, you can virtually control it every minute if you really needed to.
So those are some really good advancements that have come down the pipeline and are really taking off.
Brett: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And actually, I was reading something. There are some thermostats now that learn your habits and will adjust based on that. So it knows if you’re in the house or out of the house and it adjust up and down.
Chris: That is true, 100% correct. It will start to learn your habits and will know when you’re going to be home and how your living habits are and will get your house ready for you.
Brett: Yeah, that’s awesome. And I can imagine that will save the homeowner quite a bit of money over the course of the years, just the energy savings alone.
Brett: Awesome! So if somebody wants to contact you guys to schedule a maintenance, to discuss maybe an upgrade or maybe making a change to their thermostat like we have talked about, what’s the best way that they can reach out to you?
Chris: Well, there are a couple of multiple ways. The first and easiest way is our phone number. It’s 845-351-4700. Twenty-four hours a day, we’ve got people on the phones all the time.
The next best option would be the website. It’s www.SOSXtremeComfort.com. We also have a Facebook page that links to the website also. That’s SOSXtremeComfort also.
Brett: Very good, very good. And the phone number, all the links, everything are in the description below this video as well.
So Chris, I want to say thanks for taking time out of your busy day to talk about HVAC maintenance and giving us some tips. I’m sure we will be talking again soon.
Chris: Thank you for your time.
Brett: Alright! Take care.
Chris: Take care!