Resolving Home Heating and Cooling Problems Before They Become Emergencies
Mary Tarpy with DiPietro Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical discusses how preventative maintained and resolving home heating and cooling problems before they become big emergencies can save you money and make your system last longer.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Mary Tarpy, Service Manager at DiPietro Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical. Today we’re talking about resolving home heating and cooling problems before they become emergencies. Welcome, Mary.
Mary Tarpy: Thank you, John.
Where to Look for Home Heating and Cooling Problems
John: Mary what are some problem areas in the home where I should be watching for issues?
Mary: [The] biggest thing is water damage. Whether it’s heating or cooling, [or] you have a boiler, you may have water damage, so it’s running water through your system, and air-conditioning generates water because it takes humidity out of the air. [The] biggest thing I’d be looking for is signs of water, standing on the sealing if you have an AC system up in your attic, [or] water on the basement floor, especially if you have a finished basement. You want to make sure that you keep your eyes open for things like that.
Being Proactive About Identifying Home Heating and Cooling Problems
John: Would it be a good idea for me to periodically kind of do a little bit of a survey of my house? I go up in the attic, I might I go up in the attic more than a couple of times a year to throw out something in for storage. Should I be going up maybe on a monthly basis or something like that and just looking around [to] make sure I’m [not] seeing any issues?
Mary: I think you want to be proactive as far as that’s concerned and one of the things obviously is to have your heating and cooling systems maintained just like your car needs to have its oil changed. Your heating and cooling systems need to be inspected and maintained annually. [Have] your air-conditioning [checked and maintained] before you’re going to be running it. Same thing with your heating system, before the demand for that system [begins]. Have it checked out, have it looked at so you can find problems before they become an emergency.
Warning Signs Your Heating and Cooling Systems May Need Attention
John: Right. So what are some of the warning signs then that my heating and cooling system might need some attention?
Mary: I mentioned the seeing water obviously on either system. [Or,] it just doesn’t seem to be heating like it used to. It’s heating, but not like it used to. That could be something as simple as a plugged air filter if you have a forced start of your system. [Or, maybe] you’re hearing noises. You got a strange odor. Anything that’s out of the ordinary when you’re running that system [would be an indicator that] you might [want to] have somebody come in and take it look at it before it becomes a big problem.
Does Preventative Heating and Cooling Maintenance Help Save Money?
John: Right. So will fixing a problem before it becomes an emergency automatically save you money in the long-term?
Mary: There is no question. If we’re out there doing [maintenance] for you on your air-conditioning system and we see an electrical component that’s pitted and charred, [and] it’s a good sign that in a week or three months or something that’s going to fail and then it’s going to result in an emergency call, [it’s cheaper to have it fixed then]. Whether it’s Monday through Friday, where you’re paying just an emergency labor rate and flat rate for someone to come out and diagnose and fix the problem, or Heaven forbid it’s Saturday or Sunday or you lose your heat on Christmas Eve, then you’re paying premium price to get that heat or air-conditioning going.
So having someone come out and take a look at it before it’s a problem and trying to make sure that you can avoid it [will definitely save money]. You can’t avoid everything from happening, but having regular maintenance will avoid a lot of unnecessary bills [and] emergency calls and then ultimately, you’ll make the system run longer and more efficiently.
When to Contact a Professional
John: Right. Do you recommend that homeowners call you just when they’re starting to notice some of these warning signs, or do you think that it’s best to, like you said, have a company like DiPietro come in the spring and look at the AC system, [and then] coming every fall and look at the heating system?
Mary: I’m an advocate [that] it’s just like having the oil changed on your car. Most companies offer a maintenance agreement where you pay [for regular service and] you get a better deal [than if you were calling for] one-time maintenance. You pay a lower price for the maintenance ultimately and you get discounts on repairs when it does fail.
In my opinion it’s a no-brainer, just like you go to Valvoline and get your oil changed in your car. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas — you don’t smell it and you’re not going to know it’s there. So have your systems checked prior to [using them to] make sure it’s up to specs and it’s working the way it should.
John: Great. That’s great advice Mary. Thanks again to speak with me today.
Mary: Thank you.
John: For more information, visit calldiepietro.com or call (978) 372-4111.