Keep Your Heating & Cooling Systems Trouble Free

posted by Andrea | 07/25/2011

Here in West Michigan, the past 10 days have been absolutely sweltering — with heat indexes above 100*F, and humidity in the 70-80%. We are SO thankful that our old farmhouse has a good air conditioning unit — and that it works!

However, if you have not been so fortunate with your heating and cooling systems, the following post, written by Abby Snyder from, will offer you some helpful tips.


Many people give little thought to their heating and cooling systems unless they encounter a problem. We usually expect our home systems to perform flawlessly through thick and thin weather even though experience has taught many of us otherwise!

However, there are ways to ensure our air conditioning and heat units will hum happily for years on end with just a little attention and it’s not a complicated effort:  Add reminders to your home maintenance checklist. You’ll increase your household savings each month in the process.  You’ll also feel relief when it comes time to pay your heating and cooling bills.

Consider these five steps for heating and cooling maintenance:

1. Change Air Filters Regularly

This is one of the simplest and most beneficial projects related to your home’s air system.  Air filters should be checked each month and changed at least every three months. Allowing dust to enter your system can cause it to function less efficiently and may cause system failure at some point.

Change your filters! It’s easy to do, just follow the instructions that come with your brand, or the filters themselves.

2. Yearly Check-up by a Professional

Your heating and cooling system needs an annual check-up just like you do. Hopefully you have a trusted technician; if you don’t, try asking friends and family for referrals. Someone with training and skills will be able to spot trouble before it can occur and will keep your system operating trouble-free for years to come.

3. Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts

Duct work can be sealed in your attic or wherever it is located to prevent warm or cool air from escaping. Duct tape itself should not be used; consumers can look for metal tape or a special sealant for ducts. Check the connection points to make sure they are sealed together. Also, keep your ducts sealed so your system can efficiently direct air to where it is needed.

4. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great was to save money on your energy bills. You can set your system to certain temperatures for when you are at home, away from home, and sleeping. Your heating and cooling system will actually operate more efficiently if it is not set on the same temperature all the time.

5. Seal Air Leaks

Check for air leaks around windows, doors, and also in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Foam or caulk can be used to seal any holes that you find. Your heating and cooling system will thank you when all of its hard work is not escaping outdoors.


Sometimes it just takes paying attention to the needs of the household heating and cooling system to ensure their longevity.  And if keeping track of the basics involved in their smooth operation means tracking just a handful of tasks then it’s probably time well spent.  At least that’s the case at my house!

What are your best tips for saving on heating and cooling?

Abby Snyder writes for on how homeowners can save money on their heating and cooling bills.  Furnace Compare provides comprehensive, unbiased data and consumer product information on air conditioners, boilers, and furnaces.


Filed under: LifeHome Management

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1 comment

  1. Chris Williams


    Just a heads up. We live in the South and have a heat pump. I bought a programmable thermostat and ended up taking it back before installing it. You are not supposed to use these with heat pumps for reason. I am not sure if it ruins your system or what, but just a heads up Thanks for your awesome web site. I love it.