While homeowners and apartment tenants are accustomed to having hot or cool air on demand, without proper attention, heating and air conditioning units tend to wear down or become clogged over time.
When that happens, units consume more energy to produce the same results that they did when they were brand new, leading to higher energy bills.
"One of the most common mistakes we see is people overlooking routine maintenance," said Alex Almansky, vice president of Feder's Co., a heating and air condition installation and repair service operating in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. "Your unit may be working, but that doesn't mean that it's going to work forever with no problems whatsoever. It has to be properly maintained in order to serve you well. Plus, regularly maintained units last longer, so you avoid the waste of time and money that would come with new installations."
Almansky advises that heating units be checked before and after winter. Air conditioners should be attended to before and after the summer season. "The heat relay, gas line pressure and manifold pressure are just a few of the heating components that service professionals should inspect," he said. "In addition, they should clean the contact point and the pilot as well as adjust the burner, if necessary. You should also have a professional check your air conditioner's cooling coils, thermostats and controls, operating pressures, fan speed, and voltage and amperage draw, among other things." One other important task in both instances is the installation of clean air filters to capture pollen, mold, dust and other allergens that are often carried into or produced by building interiors.
"Most other companies don't help with upkeep because they feel that there's 'no money in it' and so they prefer to wait for your systems to break down," Almansky warns. "But we've found that developing trusted ongoing relationships with customers through regular maintenance is a better deal for both sides."
Feder's has been providing repair and installation services to area residents, landlords, property management companies and others since 1963. "We have become the most trusted company for air conditioning and heating service in the Los Angeles neighborhood," Almansky stated. "In fact, even though we widely advertise various phone books and periodicals, most of our new customers are referred by someone who used our services and had a great experience with us."
The company charges $65 per unit for each maintenance call. It also provides services for plumbing, appliances, electrical systems, satellite television, retrofitting and property preservation. Military personnel and senior citizens receive a 20 percent discount on all services.