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How to Keep Your Heating and Cooling System Clean in Rochester, NY

Keeping your heating and cooling system clean inside and out is important, but not that difficult. There are really only three steps — and two you can do yourself. They are:
  1. Change Your Air Filter
  2. Clean Around the System
  3. Get Regular Tune-Ups
Have you ever turned on your furnace for the first time in the cold weather and smelled something burning for a few minutes? That’s dust built up on your system burning off from the sudden heat. It’s actually nothing to worry about. But, it is a sign that you can do a better job keeping your heating and cooling system clean.

When your furnace and the area around it is clear, it works much more efficiently. That saves you money: The less energy it needs to get the job done, the less oil, gas, propane, or electricity you pay for to do it.

And, your home is much more comfortable. With nothing gumming up the works, your furnace can produce enough heat — and move it around — to warm your entire house the way it should. The main culprit here is dust and dirt. You may not think that much of those tiny little particles. But, there are lots and lots of them. And, when they build up, they can cause problems.

In this article, we’ll talk a little about those problems. But, for the most part, we’re more solutions-oriented. That means telling you how to keep things neat and tidy, so you don’t have to deal with these issues. Let’s dive in.

How Does Dirt and Dust Affect My Heating?

Dirt and dust, along with other small particles, can cause clogs, restrict airflow, and prevent various components in your furnace from working correctly. Plainly put: It gets in the way.

So, one of the best ways to keep your system in great shape is to keep it clean. That means the furnace itself and the area around it. Unless your system uses negative pressure — long story short, that means it pushes air out all the time — any small particles around your furnace can make their way inside.

You can’t stop it from happening altogether. But, you can manage it very well with our three steps. And, if you follow them all, you’ll also address a few other potential problems.

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Change Your Air Filter

Your air filter is the small, inexpensive screen that blocks dust and dirt from circulating through your ductwork and the entire house. But, eventually, it gets clogged. Then, it won’t trap any more particles, and it will affect your circulation, efficiency, and comfort.

That means you’ll get less heat, higher bills, and you won’t be nearly as comfortable in your house. So, the first step toward keeping your system clean and efficient is putting in a new air filter at least once a season. That’s every three months or so.

Doing this is easy. Just buy a new filter — most cost between $10-$30 at a hardware store. Then, slide out the old one and slide in the new one. That’s it!

A few quick things: Make sure you get the right-sized filter. You can find the dimensions clearly marked on the one in your system. And, make sure you put it in, so the arrow on it is pointing in toward the furnace, not away toward the return duct. But that’s it. A clean filter will trap all sorts of dust and debris before it builds up in the system or circulates through your home. That keeps the system running better.

Clean Around the System

Here’s another easy one: Keep the area around your furnace clean.

That means there should be nothing around the system for at least a few feet. It’s not exactly on the top of people’s minds. After all, you’re usually never near the system. It’s often in the corner of the basement. Or, in some cases, tucked away in a closet. But, that makes it easier for dust and other debris to build up around it. And, if that gets kicked up, it’s very easy to make its way inside the system.

Once that happens, you can’t get it back out. Not on your own, anyway. We’ll get to that in a moment. Before you start using your furnace, make sure to clear away any clutter.

There’s always a chance that someone could move or bump into something and knock it into the furnace, damaging it. Then, sweep up well around the system. Now, the area is clean, with fewer contaminants that can make their way in and gum up the works.

It’s quick, it doesn’t cost a dime, and it will give you some peace of mind all winter long. And, to really feel ready for the cold weather, there’s one more step to take.

Call Us About Service For Your HVAC System 585-641-3080

Get Regular Tune-Ups

A tune-up for your furnace or air conditioner is when a professional HVAC tech goes through a step-by-step inspection and cleaning of your system. It helps the system run well, use less energy, and avoid costly breakdowns during peak seasons.

If you’re not familiar with these, keep on reading. If you are, be sure to schedule yours before the severe weather hits! Even if you’re already using your furnace, it’s not too late to optimize it for the season.

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What Happens With a Furnace Tune-Up?

With a furnace tune-up, your tech gets inside the system to clear out any junk in there. That’s the part you can’t do yourself.

They’ll also make sure all the moving parts are lubricated. That keeps them working well all winter. They’ll also replace anything that’s broken or worn down.

Along the way, they also do some safety checks and other services. But, in terms of keeping things clean. But, in terms of keeping things clean, that’s the central part. And, it’s not something you can do yourself. It’s a safety hazard to mess with those inner components. There’s also a chance you can damage something by accident.

How Often Should You Get a Tune-Up?

The good news is that even though you have to hire a professional to do a tune-up, you don’t have to call them out all that often. At most, you need two a year, and that’s if you have central air. In that case, it’s twice a year: One for the furnace, one for the AC.

And, you can sign up for service plans that will save you money.. And, you’ll get other benefits. If you want to make sure your furnace is ready for another Rochester, NY winter, call Airquip at (585) 641-3080 today. We’ll set you up with a tune-up. And, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about the process or if a service plan is right for you.

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