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Common HVAC FAQs

Furnace Fitness

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Nearly 6 decades in the HVAC industry has given the Arpi’s team insight into the questions that homeowners ask most. Here’s a few tips on dealing with your heating and cooling needs.

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Home Comfort Solutions Guide

Equipment Maintenance and Care Guide

Annual Maintenance will improve the efficiency and prolong the life of your equipment. Your equipment should only be serviced by a qualified service technician.

Annual Maintenance is required to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty.

Caution: Do not perform any maintenance without turning OFF the power to the equipment.


Air Conditioners

  • After turning power off to the unit, rinse outdoor coil annually with garden hose to remove dust, grass cuttings, etc.
  • Check unit operation annually. Do not wait until you need cool air! Annual maintenance is recommended.


  1. It is recommended that the thermostat be set no lower than 21ºC (70ºF) for cooling. Below this temperature, ice could form on the indoor coil, possibly resulting in damage to the equipment.
  2. If ice forms on the connectors going into the indoor coil or outdoor unit turn equipment off and call for service immediately!
  3. In cooling mode, do not lower temperature setting on the thermostat unless the outdoor unit has been off for five minutes. The breaker will probably trip or a fuse may blow if you turn it on too soon.


Hot water heating systems require some maintenance, including draining the boiler and venting the radiators to ensure things are running efficiently.

  1. Lubricate the circulating pump motor on your boiler. Use a lightweight oil, as per your boiler owner’s manual and pour it in the oil cup.
  2. In the fall and throughout the season of use, you need to vent or purge radiators if they do not already have an automatic purge system.
  3. After purging make sure pressure levels are ok. You can find out what pressure level is recommended by the boiler manufacturer in the operating manual. You then let out the air in each convector, if needed, until the pressure is at the recommended operating level.

Continuous Fan Operation

Definite advantages can be obtained by providing continuous fan operation, particularly with the use of Fresh-Air Ventilation Systems, Energy Efficient Air Cleaners and Power Humidifiers. Today’s new and efficient motors can save you hundreds of dollars while providing better indoor air quality. Keeping your furnace fan running in the summer months can enhance home comfort, by circulating the air in your home. You’ll feel cooler and more comfortable.

Electronic Air Cleaners

  1. Gently clean the electronic air plates every two months. Use approved cleaner.
  2. Clean pre-filters every two months

Caution: To avoid improper operation be careful not to bend plates.

Fresh Air Ventilation Systems

  1. Check intake and exhaust filters monthly. If required, vacuum the filters, or rinse under a water tap. Mild detergents may be used but DO NOT use solvent cleaners.
  2. Check the core every six months for dirt accumulation. If required, slide the core carefully out of the case. Clean the core with water and mild detergents ONLY! DO NOT use solvents or other cleaning agents; the water temperature must not exceed 65ºC (150ºF). DO NOT use a high-pressure hose, and be sure to replace the core CAREFULLY. It must be properly aligned with the service instructions facing outward and the arrow UP.
  3. The Drain Pans should be wiped clean with water and mild detergents. AVOID solvent-based cleaners!
  4. Set Dehumidification Control to Summer Setting or Winter Setting dependent on applicable season.
  5. Check outside hood to make sure free and clear of debris.

Gas Furnaces

  1. Permanent or disposable air filters should be cleaned/changed every two months during the heating and cooling seasons.
    Please note: For new homes, it is advisable to wash permanent filters once per month for the first year.
  2. Check unit operation annually. Do not wait until you need heating! Annual maintenance is required to maintain the warranty.

Hot Water Tanks

Establish a maintenance program to extend the life of your water heater. Most water heater failures are due to lime/sediment buildup, excessive pressure or corrosion.

To Reduce Lime/Sediment Buildup (Every 6 Months):

  1. Drain the tank through the drain valve until the water is clear.
  2. Inspect the tank for lime or sediment deposit either through the nipples or through the clean-out hole.
  3. Remove lime, scale or sediment using care not to damage the glass lining of the tank.

To Assure Relief Valve Operation (Every 12 Months):
Manually open the relief valve to flush any lime deposits that may have developed. Caution! Water can be extremely hot. Make certain the seat closes properly. Let it snap shut.


  1. Turn Humidistate to OFF position, then turn water supply off, and close humidifier damper every Spring.
  2. Turn water supply on, then turn humidistat to ON position, and open humidifier damper every Fall.


  1. Only operates when the furnace fan is running, and the humidistat is calling for humidity.
  2. Acceptable humidity levels vary depending upon outside temperature but they usually range between 30% and 50%.
  3. Place conditioning tablets in water reservoir to prevent bacteria buildup.

Media Air Cleaners

Replace or clean filters every two months. Some systems require the filter to be replaced more often, depending on environmental conditions. Filters may need to be changed more frequently in newly constructed homes, homes under renovation, or homes where several pets live. Call us for filter media.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters should be installed with a water softening system. Yearly maintenance to remove scale is recommended. The water heater filter cleaning procedure should be performed by a qualified service technician in order to maintain your warranty. Please call Arpi’s to perform this service.


Conventional type: This type of thermostat does not require any maintenance. Note: If the room is dark a small blue flash may be noticed when heating or air conditioning comes on. This is normal.

Programmable / Electronic types: Annual replacement of batteries is necessary for proper operation where applicable.


  • This type of thermostat normally maintains the temperature within half of 1ºC, unlike conventional thermostats, which may vary up to 3ºC. The furnace or air conditioner may cycle more rapidly especially under low load conditions. This is a normal operating condition.
  • Programmable Thermostats can conserve energy and save you money.
  • Do not set back your temperature more than 3°C. A temperature difference of more than 3ºC will not provide any savings.
Troubleshooting Outside Exhaust Vents
Troubleshooting Your Furnace or Air Conditioner
Expert Tips Cooling
Expert Tips Cooling
Summer Energy Savings Tips
Troubleshooting Excessive Humidity or Dryness Tips