HVAC – Heat, Ventilation & Air Conditioning

Heating and cooling system problems range from increased operating costs due to an older and inefficient system to hazardous malfunctions. Most important is to periodically maintain heating and cooling systems to avoid dangerous conditions or costly repairs. To maximize the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems (which also maximizes the air quality in your home) you must have all your ducts, registers, vents and filters cleaned and/or replaced regularly. While duct cleaning requires professional expertise, you can clean all your filters, vents and registers between the scheduled duct cleaning service visits. In areas with heavy dust and particles in the air cleaning should be done every month. Remove and clean all registers, vents and filters and then vacuum all ducts as deep as your vacuum cleaner hose will reach. Clean or replace all dirty filters as necessary.

There are several easy and inexpensive things you can do yourself to maintain the efficiency of your heating system. If your heating system is a forced air furnace, you should clean or change the intake air filter frequently (every 2 to 3 weeks during the cold months). If you have a radiator, you need to “bleed” the trapped air that will prevent the hot water from circulating efficiently through the system. You can do this by opening the bleeding valve until water comes out and then closing it. Exercise caution since both the steam and the water are very hot. Be sure to have a container to catch the water. If you have a hot water heating system, you will need to clean the boiler by opening the drain valve until all the water runs out. This cleaning should be done about once a month.

The photo above right shows the mold that is the result of air conditioner being turned off in a well sealed and insulated home. Your cooling system also requires regular maintenance to operate efficiently. For central air conditioners you should hire professional service to perform a system check-up before the hot weather starts. Cooling specialist will thoroughly clean the air conditioning unit and a refill the coolant as needed. Every month you should check if the unit has blockages or vegetation growing around it that interferes with its proper functioning. Clean or change the filter and check the condensate drain at least monthly. For window units clean or replace the filter at least monthly, and bi-weekly during the hottest months. Check the condensate drain to make sure that all moisture is draining properly.

If your HVAC systems use natural gas, locate your gas shut off valve and place an open end wrench where you can easily get it in case you need to shut off the gas. If you ever smell gas please follow the below steps:

  • Evacuate your home
  • Once everyone is safely out of the home, shut off the gas supply from the external shut off valve (located near your gas meter)
  • Call the gas company or emergency gas service to report the leak

If you would like an expert analysis of the condition of your HVAC systems please contact us for a quote.

Conventional heating, air conditioning and heat pump thermostat wiring labels, wire color codes and the corresponding function description:

Terminal Code Wire Color Function Description
Rh Red 24 Volt Hot for Heating
Rc Red 24 Volt Hot for Cooling
Y1 Yellow First Stage Cooling
Y2 Blue Second Stage Cooling
G Green/Grey* Energizes Indoor Fan
W1 White Energizes First Stage Heat
W2 Black Energizes Second Stage Heat
O Orange Heat Pump Reversing Valve
Energized In Cooling
B Brown Heat Pump Reversing Valve
Energized In Heating
C Brown** 24 Volt Neutral (Common) leg




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