Recommended Maintenance at Santiago Street Lofts
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Change Air Filter every 6-12 months depending on frequency of use and sensitivity to allergies. Higher quality after market air filters are generally more restrictive in regards to the amount of air they allow to pass through. The result is that your system will need to work harder, it will likely require more service more frequently and may not last as long. Therefore it's recommended that you use a relatively basic filter or what's recommended by the furnace manufacturer.
Your Roof Mounted Condenser should be looked after carefully due to the difficult accessibility and sun exposure. If you're a first time home buyer it's highly recommended that you consider a maintenance contract with an HVAC Contractor to ensure you keep up on routine maintenance. Unfortunately, condensers are not designed to alert you when there's something wrong with them and they'll run themselves to death or until you notice they're not performing correctly. Routine maintenance on a roof mounted condenser will likely save you money over the long run.
I recommend you have your condenser inspected annually and semi-annually as it gets older in age or begins to show signs of problems, preferably before warm summer months when you begin to use the air conditioning. Inspections typically cost $80-100. Have your HVAC Contractor replace any deteriorated foam insulation, which should be cheap or possibly included. They should check to be sure the system is functioning correctly and it's common for the condenser to need additional refrigerant. If you're consistently low on refrigerant, you likely have a leak somewhere in the system.
If the condenser needs to be replaced you'll likely have to hire a crane to get the new condenser on to the the roof and the old one off of it. The crane can cost approximately $1,500 (2014yr), which should the extra motivation you need to stay on top of routine maintenance.