Below are five common myths about heating and cooling systems. If you buy into any of these, you may be doing your home and your family a huge disservice.

Myth #1: As long as the system is running, everything is okay.
Without regular maintenance, you won’t know the current condition of your heating and cooling system.  In older furnaces, heat exchangers and other components need to be regularly checked for safe operation. Problems can silently intensify without warning.

Myth #2: Changing filters is all the maintenance you need.
Changing and keeping filters clean is critical to maintaining the proper airflow through your equipment.  However, there are numerous things that should be done regularly.  The blower should be inspected and periodically cleaned, and some may need to be lubed.   Refrigerant level and temperature differences should be checked annually in the case of your air conditioning, and check thermocouples/flame ignition modules and flame sensors, as well as perform a combustion analyzation annually on the furnace.  Burners should also be adjusted and cleaned.  It’s more than just changing filters!

Myth #3: Maintenance contracts are a waste of money.
Heating and cooling systems are complex mechanical systems that require regular maintenance to keep them working efficiently. Just as you wouldn’t drive your car without regular oil changes and maintenance, you shouldn’t run your heating & cooling system without maintenance. Regular maintenance can help spot problems before they happen, preventing emergency repairs and replacements that are expensive and inconvenient. Regular maintenance also ensures that your heating and cooling system is working at its most efficient; thereby, decreasing energy usage and lowering your utility bills. In some cases, the energy savings are enough to offset the cost of a planned annual maintenance service.

Myth #4: Always hire the company with the lowest price.
Always check the reputation of the company you hire, through the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and references from past and current customers. Be specific about the services you want performed and make sure they back their work with follow-up and guarantees. The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.  Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish.  Price is usually an indication of quality.  More efficient equipment costs more.  Better-trained service people cost more.  Reliable service and products cost more.  You don’t buy the cheapest car, clothes, or foods.  Don’t let price be the deciding factor when choosing a contractor. A low price bid may be just an attention-getter, with hidden costs to follow.  Many homeowners have learned the hard way that the low price they saw advertised, was not the amount they ultimately paid.

Myth #5: Indoor air quality is not a problem at my house.
All houses have indoor air quality problems.  They just differ in severity.  All houses have some problems with dust.  It is usually most noticeable right after you’ve dusted.  In the springtime, pollen can be a big problem.  And if you have pets, there’s pet hair and dander that get in your air.  There are also fumes from painting, hairspray, cooking, and who knows what else.  Plastic in your house is always giving off molecules as it sets up.  If you have allergies, all these problems feel amplified by your sneezing and runny nose.  Regular filter changes can help this problem, but for some a better filter system is needed. The heating and cooling industry offers a variety of indoor air quality solutions for any home. Remember, all houses have indoor air pollution, some are just worse than others.

Sources:
www.energystar.gov
www.bbb.org          
http://www.epa.gov
www.eere.energy.gov