Congregation Comfort: Five Steps to Maintaining Your Church’s Furnace & A/C Unit
Does your church facility have a forced air heat or air conditioning system? The good news is that they don’t require much attention. The bad news is that if you ignore routine maintenance, things can turn uncomfortable quickly.
It is best to maintain your systems HVAC on a regular basis. If that is too much effort, inspections at the start and end of each heating or cooling season is adequate.
Here are five simple steps to keeping your congregation comfortable:
1. Keep it Clean & Clear – The space in and around your internal and external units should be kept free of clutter and dirt. Clean out the furnace room and make sure nothing is leaning or propped against the unit. Inspect, vacuum and wash the coils on the outside unit, making sure they are clear of sticks, leaves and debris. Inspect the base pan for blocked or clogged drain openings, remove any issues. Inspect and clean the blower assembly, including the blower housing, wheel and motor. Ductwork should also be spot checked for leaks and blockages.
2. Proper Air Filtration – Just like you do at home, clean or change your filter every month or two during prime use. Depending on the type, filters can be vacuumed or washed but it is advised to completely replace them regularly.
3. Component Maintenance – Keep the main circulating fan oiled on a yearly basis. Make sure that the motor is well lubricated and functioning properly. Inspect your unit for proper refrigerant levels and adjust if necessary. Inspect the fan motor, fan belt, and fan blades for wear and damage. Older models may need lubrication on fan parts.
4. Component Repair – Damage or wear is common and can easily go unnoticed, causing discomfort and higher energy usage. Be sure to inspect the compressor and associated tubing for damage. All control box and electrical components should be checked for wear or damage – be sure to turn off all electrical power to the unit if anything needs to be replaced. Also check out the flue system for proper joints to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. If anything looks unusual, replacement may be necessary.
5. Professional Help – If at any point you feel like you are looking at repairs too big to handle or that might cause larger issues, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. You may even have a trained HVAC technician in your congregation. It is advised to hire professional at least every other year to maintain components that require extra attention including the burner, flue, heat exchanger, and ducts. Also, if you notice a drastic change in temperature, a professional will be able to have your system up and running properly to keep your congregation comfortable.
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In my role as Executive Director of the United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, I have had the pleasure to work with Mr. Bill Skubik for the past fifteen years. I believe Bill has looked out for our best interests in every situation and I believe you will be in good hands if you choose to work with Bill Skubik.
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