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Modern Comfort Heating and Cooling is Carroll County’s home heating and cooling specialist. We provide installation and service for all types of heating and air conditioning systems including oil, propane, gas, electric and geothermal systems.

Do-It-Yourself Maintenance

With the rising costs of energy, it’s important to keep your systems running at peak efficiency.

Although there is no substitute for a regular system tune-up performed by the professionals at Modern Comfort Systems, there are a number of steps that most homeowners can take to help keep their system running smoothly and hold energy costs down.

Please remember: your home heating and cooling system is complex and requires professional maintenance and repair. Other than the items listed below, you should not attempt to make any adjustments to your heating or cooling system. Please call Modern Comfort Systems to take care of any problems you may be experiencing.

Heating System

Do-It-Yourself Maintenance

  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces and heat pumps once a month. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.
  • Clean warm-air registers, hot water baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Do not close room registers if you have a heat pump. This will restrict air flow and may damage your equipment.

Cooling Tips

Older air conditioners may still be able to offer years of relatively efficient use. However, making your older air conditioner last requires you to perform proper operation and maintenance.

  • Clean filter and coils regularly. When filters and air conditioning coils become dirty, the air conditioner will not work properly, and the compressor or fans are likely to fail prematurely.
  • An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Delaying necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in its performance and increased energy use.
  • Clear dirt and debris from around the outdoor unit, and trim foliage back at least 2 feet to allow sufficient air flow to the unit. Your dryer vents, lawn mower, and falling leaves are all potential sources of dirt and debris.


In the winter, dry air in your home can make you feel colder, cause skin, nose, and throat irritations, and damage your furniture. Adding moisture with a humidifier is the key to keeping indoor air healthy and comfortable.

It is important to use the correct moisture setting for existing conditions, and to clean your humidifier thoroughly. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on cleaning and maintaining console and central (furnace mounted) humidifiers.

  • In particular, if the humidifier contains a tank, do not allow water to stand in the tank for extended periods of time. Keeping the water clean will discourage algae and bacteria growth.
  • Clean the humidifier, as directed, at the end of the heating season or when the unit will not be in frequent use.
  • Before storage of portable humidifiers, make sure all the parts are dry. Dispose of all used demineralization cartridges, cassettes, or filters. Store the unit in a dry location. After storage and before next use, clean the unit and remove any dust on the outside.
  • If you have a drum-type central humidifier, do not try to re-use the evaporator pad. Instead, replace the pad at the beginning of each heating season. These are available from most home improvement stores. If the pad is washed and re-used, it can become flimsy and out of shape. This can cause the pad to push down on the float each time it goes around, which in turn, may cause a flood.
  • Once your central humidifier is ready for the new heating season, put everything back together and turn on the water. Wait for it to fill completely and make any required adjustments to the float or water level.
  • Be sure to open the damper in the humidifier by-pass tube for winter operation. Keep it closed in summer.

Water Heating Tips

  • Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment.
  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.