All new homeowners should read this blog about HVAC maintenance

When I purchased my first house, I was a bit overwhelmed by the many responsibilities.  I had always rented apartments and relied on a landlord to handle upkeep and repairs. I didn’t even own a snow shovel, rake, ladder, hose or lawn mower.  I had never cleaned the vent on a clothes dryer or the aerator on a faucet. I didn’t know anything about draining a hot water tank, air filters in the heating/cooling equipment, or caulking around windows.  When I moved in, the furnace installed into the home was already eleven years old. It seemed to be in good condition and handled the cold weather without any problem. Every fall, I raised the setting on the thermostat and started up the furnace.  Every spring, I lowered the temperature on the thermostat and shutdown the furnace. Other than replacing the air filter, I wasn’t aware I needed to provide any further maintenance. The furnace eventually overheated, in the middle of the night, during a blizzard, when the outside temperature was twenty-one degrees.  The HVAC contractor who came to handle the repair asked me about my maintenance program. I had no idea what he was talking about. He then proceeded to show me the very disgusting accumulation of debris inside the furnace. He explained that the buildup of contaminants had caused the furnace to overheat, which led to a crack in the heat exchanger.  Because I’d failed to have the heating system professionally serviced every year, I needed to buy a whole new furnace. I was forced to get by with space heaters for several days, during the installation process, and nearly froze to death.  

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