Homeowner’s Manual: Air Conditioning and Heating Equipment (Updated for 2021!)
IMPORTANT: A semi-annual service contract with a qualified HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor to inspect and service your heating and air conditioning equipment will keep your system operating efficiently and extend its life.
Keeping Your Home Comfortable
Due to changes and variances in temperature and humidity, your heating and air conditioning system is one of the more important features your home has to offer. Inspect the combustion chamber in gas-fired furnaces to be sure a bright blue flame is visible along the entire length of burner pipes. A yellow flame or excessive scaling, rust or soot indicates improper combustion and/or a possible leak in the heat exchanger that could allow combustion gases and carbon monoxide to enter your living area. This potentially dangerous situation requires professional inspection and repair. Electric heat requires little homeowner maintenance. Simply be observant, and if the unit does not seem to be heating adequately, or must run all the time, call your HVAC contractor to evaluate it. If the system is installed in midsummer, it cannot be checked for operation of the heater. At the first sign of cool weather, you should turn on the heater to check it. Even if heat is not yet needed! The first time you turn on the heat, the unit may blow smoke for a minute or two because of the oil used on the furnace to prevent rusting during shipment. (This could cause your smoke detector to sound its alarm.) Your heating and air conditioning system not only controls temperature but also controls the humidity in your home. Do not leave windows or doors open while your system is in operation. If they are left open, condensation will form on the air conditioning vents and on the inside of the windows. Often, this moisture will stain the drywall or woodwork and may cause the unit to freeze up, possibly causing permanent damage.
Did You Know – Most Warranties Do Not Cover the Following:
Cleaning or changing filters, adjusting thermostats, cleaning condenser coils, problems caused by insects or debris in the equipment, or tripped breakers.
Before calling for service:
- Check filters to ensure they are clean
- Check breaker or fuses; confirm they are in the “on” position
- Check switches; confirm they are in the “on” position
- Check thermostat; to see that it is set properly.
Thermostats and Controls
Visually inspect the wall thermostat for any damage or missing parts, and repair as needed. Programmable thermostats have a battery that must be changed if the LCD readout indicates the battery is weak. There is also a “fan limit switch” that ensures greater energy efficiency. If the blower either runs continuously after turning off the heat or shuts off immediately, the fan limit switch may not be functioning properly; a qualified HVAC contractor should service the unit. Your air conditioning may include a “set-up, set-back” thermostat to keep a comfortable temperature during those hours you’re at home; and to run on more efficient temperatures when you’re away or asleep.
(Check out our other inspection services, like Thermal Imaging, Foundation Survey, WDI/Termite Inspections and More!)
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Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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