Annual Maintenance: Why so important?


Annual Maintenance is very important to maintain the safe and effective operation of the heating, cooling, plumbing, and ventilating systems in your home.

The good old days:  A hot water boiler with radiators and one thermostat for the whole house.
In the old days, many people had an oil or propane fired boiler connected to hot water radiators that needed very little attention – it was not unusual for them to last 20, 30, or even 40 years.  Because these systems had no electronic controls, operated at low pressures, circulated hot water in a closed system, and had one or two moving parts, they were fairly inefficient yet extremely robust.

Modern day systems:  A heat pump with ventilation and multiple thermostats throughout the house.
Unfortunately, the simple boiler days are gone forever.  New systems that provide heating, cooling, and ventilation are designed to be energy efficient, quiet, and responsive to our demands.  This means that they are exposed to dirty inside air on a daily basis, experience pressures up to 450 pounds per square inch (compared to the “old school” boiler at fifteen pounds per square inch), are outside exposed to rain and salt air, in freezing and very hot temperatures, often covered in snow and ice, and still expected to operate reliably and invisibly.  We are now seeing these systems start to fail after ten years of operation.

What can be done to extend their useful service life?
If we wish to make the most of the investment in modern heating, cooling, and ventilating equipment, we need to be thoughtful of the extreme duty they experience.  Snow must be removed from outside heat pumps in the winter, heat pumps must be elevated above the snow line so they can successfully defrost, inside air units and their refrigeration coils must be kept clean so they don’t get clogged.  Modern condensing boilers need to be cleaned annually to remove the buildup of sludge and scale inside the heat exchanger.   The heating, cooling, and ventilating systems in seasonal homes sometimes have it even worse than their year-round counterparts as the equipment is idle for long periods of time which can lead to service issues later.

We have assembled a list of all of the maintenance services that we offer on our Preventative Maintenance page.  We can customize an annual maintenance plan for your system that will strike a sensible balance between cost and thoroughness to ensure that your system operates effectively throughout its intended service life.

Our goal is to be Martha’s Vineyard’s premier plumbing and HVAC outfit – we appreciate the opportunity to discuss what annual maintenance we can offer you for the equipment in your home.