Sarte's HVAC FAQ
With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your heating and cooling system and improve its performance for years to come. Winnipeg’s Sarte Heating & Cooling Ltd. wants to improve your knowledge about your home’s system in order for you to make the best decisions about maintenance. Find information about heating and cooling on this page and contact us with any further questions.
- How should I maintain my furnace and air conditioner?
- How should I maintain my filter?
- How should I maintain my hot water tank?
- At what temperature should I keep my thermostat?
- What should I do with my heating and cooling system when I go on vacation?
- How should I maintain my supply registers and return grilles?
- How does indoor air pollution affect us?
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HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY FURNACE AND AIR CONDITIONER?
Manufactures recommend that consumers get their heating and cooling systems checked yearly in order to maintain warranty – once in the spring before using your air conditioner and once in the fall before using your furnace. In the winter season, the breaker for the air conditioner should be switched to “off.” Most A/C compressors have a crankcase heater that runs 24 hrs a day in the off cycle. Switch on the breaker in the spring, 24 hours prior to using the cooling system for the first time. This helps warm up the oil that has been sitting over the winter season. Spray the condenser fins once a year with a garden hose prior to using the cooling system. Clean air conditioners will release unwanted heat more easily. Clean out drain fittings and hoses. Build-up can cause condensation to overflow. If your system has a condensate pump, cleaning it once a year will help prevent future blockages.
HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY FILTER?
Check your filter regularly. When filter packages state they are good for 3 months, it still should be checked monthly. Changing them depends on the cleanliness of the duct system. Most homes with smooth flooring (unlike carpets) will require service more often. Carpets will trap lint and dust. As dust and particles are collected, filters become more restrictive, causing the motor to consume more power. A blocked filter can also cause a unit malfunction.
HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY HOT WATER TANK?
Change the anode rod every 1 to 3 years, depending on the quality of the water entering the tank. This will help prevent build-up on the element for electric water heaters and the thermostat bulb for gas water heaters. Draining and flushing the hot water tank once a year will help prevent build-up at the bottom of the tank. This process is only effective on newer tanks. Build-up on older tanks may not break away from the tank.
AT WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD I KEEP MY THERMOSTAT?
A room thermostat should be located on an inside wall, away from windows, doors and/or any heat-producing products like lamps and electronic equipment. Normal room temperature is 21°C or 70°F. Thermostats should not be set lower than 16°C (60°F) in winter. A temperature setting below this point may shorten the life of the furnace. During the summer months, we recommend maintaining a constant temperature. A normal temperature is between 21°C and 25°C. Air conditioning systems are designed to reduce the humidity and the temperature drops with it. The difference in temperature from inside to outside should not exceed 10°C (18°F).
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM WHEN I GO ON VACATION?
When going on vacation, changing your heating/cooling system thermostat to 16°C (60°F) for winter and 28°C (83°F) for summer will save energy. You can also turn the thermostat on your hot water heater lower or on most systems to “vacation.”
HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY SUPPLY REGISTERS AND RETURN GRILLES?
Keeping these vents free from obstruction will allow your system to flow evenly and efficiently.
HOW DOES INDOOR AIR POLLUTION AFFECT US?
Carbon monoxide takes the place of oxygen in blood cells. This reduces delivery of the oxygen to your vital organs. Most people spend 60% of their day at home. That’s breathing in close to 10,000 liters of air a day. Air indoors can be 5 to 70 times more polluted than the outdoor air.