Seasonal maintenance on HVAC appliances is a common recommendation, but does it really matter? After all, plenty of people have HVAC units that last well over a decade. That being said, the vast majority of homeowners have to replace parts here and there. Regular maintenance would negate expensive repairs.
Seasonal maintenance on HVAC units is very useful because it prevents early appliance replacements, expensive HVAC repairs, and more. It also ensures that your HVAC units provide optimal heating, cooling, and humidity control. Full HVAC maintenance is recommended twice a year.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn why seasonal HVAC maintenance is a good idea, what’s checked during these routine maintenance checkups, and more.
Is Seasonal HVAC Maintenance Necessary?
Getting your HVAC system checked every season can make a big difference. You’ll notice multiple improvements, not to mention the reduced repairs. It might be tempting to wait until something needs to be replaced, but you’ll spend a lot more money on multiple repairs than you would if you relied on scheduled maintenance.
According to Go Preferred, regular HVAC maintenance can prevent skyrocketing utility bills. Clogged ducts, unlubricated parts, and faulty thermostats will make your bills go through the roof. Hiring a maintenance technician will ensure you don’t have to deal with these unexpected, unwanted price hikes.
There are several reasons you should consider seasonal HVAC maintenance, but many people get by with twice-a-year maintenance. If you only want to get your HVAC systems checked twice a year, we suggest getting it done right before summer and right before winter. These seasons often have the highest temperature changes, which puts a lot of pressure on HVAC systems.
What Are the Benefits of HVAC Maintenance?
There are many benefits of HVAC maintenance, including increased unit efficiency, longevity, and effectiveness. Furthermore, scheduling seasonal HVAC maintenance will prevent expensive repairs and localized HVAC problems that can lead to more problems down the road. Preventative maintenance stops permanent damage.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of each of the benefits of seasonal maintenance:
- Unit efficiency: HVAC units require various fuel types to function properly. Clogs, slowed airflow, and overheating will limit your unit’s efficiency. Once the technician removes the debris and ensures everything works properly, you’ll likely save money and have to use your HVAC appliances less often.
- Increased longevity: Overheating and a lack of cleaning or lubrication will drastically reduce an HVAC system’s lifespan. Since HVAC technicians clean, lubricate, and diagnose various issues, you can expect your HVAC appliances to last a lot longer. They’ll also be much quieter since they won’t have to work so hard.
- Optimal effectiveness: If it seems like your thermostat won’t adjust as quickly as it used to, it’s a good idea to request seasonal HVAC maintenance. Repairing, cleaning, and replacing various parts will allow your HVAC systems to perform as effectively as possible. They’ll be nearly as good as new (unless it’s time to replace them).
- Repair prevention: Although HVAC repairs are eventually necessary, you shouldn’t have to get a repair every season. Preventive maintenance will ensure various cleaning, oiling, and adjusting methods that save you money in the long run. Replacing a filter, cleaning the ducts, and tightening loose wires can make a world of difference.
- Localized HVAC damage prevention: Localized HVAC damage is when multiple things go wrong within your HVAC system. It often includes a thermostat, ducts, appliance malfunctions, etc. This issue occurs due to a lack of maintenance. For instance, a clog can overheat a motor, causing the motor to fail, and damaging the connected thermostat.
Merritt Island Heat & Air mentions seasonal HVAC maintenance can prevent hazardous excessive temperatures. For instance, if it’s too hot outside during the summer, it could lead to heat stroke, extreme discomfort, dehydration, and more. Scheduling HVAC maintenance will keep your appliances ready to go throughout the year.
What Is Checked During Seasonal HVAC Maintenance?
Seasonal HVAC maintenance checks every part of your HVAC system’s well-being. This process includes securing electrical components, tightening nuts and bolts, and lubricating the moving parts. Seasonal maintenance often comes with topping off coolant and replacing dirty filters.
Goodman MFG claims many seasonal HVAC maintenance experts will verify temperature fluctuations on thermostats to ensure they correspond with the air conditioner and heater. A faulty thermostat can make an entire HVAC system perform sub-optimally. You’ll end up with incorrect temperatures, making it colder or hotter than desired.
So, what should you expect during seasonal HVAC maintenance?
- Almost everything related to your HVAC system should be cleaned. Dust, excess moisture, and other debris should be removed. These small obstructions can lead to rust, overheating, and overall failure. Cleaning should also include scrubbing or replacing the air conditioner’s filter and wiping the humidifier’s water tank (if you have one).
- The HVAC technician should look for rust, corrosion, and loose parts. Rust can often be eliminated by using rust inhibitors, but sometimes it requires part replacements. Loose parts are tightened or replaced if they’re stripped. Unfortunately, corrosion typically requires part replacements because the holes can’t be sealed.
- Don’t forget to mention unexpected noises, temperature issues, and so on. Always keep a list of what seems out of the ordinary for your next seasonal HVAC maintenance. You can tell the HVAC technician about all of these issues to ensure they get the extra attention they need to stay operational.
- Duct inspection is a regular part of seasonal maintenance. If you have a ductless system, you won’t have to deal with this part. However, duct inspection, cleaning, and overall maintenance are essential parts of a technician’s checklist for those who have them. Cleaning and clearing the ducts will let more air move throughout the building.
The best way to know what will be checked during your routine inspection is to ask the HVAC company. They should have a checklist to let you know what they’ll be looking for. Keep in mind that a true maintenance checklist should include cleaning, not just looking for problems. The maintenance checklist needs to prevent overheating, early replacements, and so on.
What Happens if You Avoid Seasonal HVAC Maintenance?
If you avoid seasonal HVAC maintenance, you’ll likely save money in the short run, but you’ll spend a lot more down the road. Avoiding maintenance can be quite expensive because you’ll have to pay for localized repairs or replace the entire HVAC unit.
For example, if you don’t clean or replace an air conditioner’s filter, you’ll save the replacement cost. However, you’ll have to pay for a brand-new air conditioner when it overheats due to filtration clogs. You’ll also have to deal with higher utility bills and reduced heating or cooling throughout the building.
Failure to clean or replace various parts during seasonal maintenance can also cause your HVAC system to fail. Once it overheats, the breaker will likely trip. You might have to replace thermostats, breakers, wires, motors, and more. It’s always worth paying the upfront cost for seasonal maintenance.
Seasonal HVAC maintenance might require scheduled payments, but it’s more than worth the long-term expensive repairs you’ll inevitably incur without it. Always go with a licensed professional for in-depth maintenance. That being said, it’s a good idea to keep an HVAC checklist to know what to look for.