When you come home, you expect your residence to be at a comfortable temperature once you hit the door, which is why your HVAC system is so important.
However, sometimes, your HVAC system can go on the fritz. During the summer and winter, this can be especially concerning as the temperatures hit extremes.
HVAC system service is a great way to find issues with your system and fix them before they strike.
With a quality HVAC system service, a technician can repair your system or even find and fix issues before they start affecting the comfort of you and your family. Keeping your HVAC system at its best ensures that no matter what the weather is doing, you can guarantee that your family will be comfortable and safe from outside extremes.
For most homeowners, the thought of any service related to their HVAC system can be concerning.
After all, it is a big, costly appliance, so what will having a technician come out cost?
What will they even do? We’re here to help you get to know the ins and outs of HVAC system service and what it’s all about to give you peace of mind. Just keep reading.
How Much It Cost?
With any home system repair, costs can go up very quickly. When you first grow concerned over your HVAC system, the first thing to ask about is, “What will this cost me?” In most cases, the average for an HVAC system service is $75 to $150 an hour.
While that can be pretty steep, there are some things you can do to circumvent cost.
Some HVAC technicians may provide free assessments to help you identify issues with your HVAC system and then let you know what repairs are needed.
This can be very helpful and allow you to make the final decision on who handles your HVAC system repair needs.
In other cases, the initial service fee may be waived, allowing you to rest easy knowing your system is being looked after by a technician who cares.
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What’s Included in the Service?
After hearing the cost, the next big question is, “What all am I getting for my money?”
You want to make sure wherever your investment dollar goes that you are getting the most from it.
Remember, as much as an HVAC system is for the comfort of your family and loved ones, HVAC system service is an investment in your home and its quality.
With service, you ensure your HVAC system is checked out by a licensed professional who knows the ins and outs of every HVAC system.
This means you are giving your HVAC system the best care and are working towards extending its life for as long as possible.
They will be able to show you any problems you may be facing and what can be done about them.
When a licensed professional technician comes out to perform HVAC system service, you can expect them to handle the following tasks:
- Inspection of interior and exterior of the system
- Test refrigerant levels
- Thermostat assessment
- Check of electrical connections
- Lubrication where needed
- Condensate drain examination
- On/Off Check
- Fan checks
- Air filter replacement
- Check Heating Cycles
- Test Heating Components
- Check Venting
- Discussion going over all of these details
Inspection of Interior and Exterior of the System
When your technician arrives, they will do a thorough check on your system from the outside and then the inside.
They will check the area to make sure no tree debris has fallen into it, there is no dirt collecting in it, and generally, there are no obstructions.
On the inside, they assess all of the wiring and mechanical parts for wear and tear.
Test Refrigerant Levels
Refrigerant is extremely important for how your home comfort is maintained. At times it can need recharging.
Your technician will assess the levels and note if there is any need to recharge the system or if it’s functioning correctly.
Your thermostat is part of your HVAC system service too! This is the command center for you to talk to your system.
When you have an HVAC system service, the technician will check the settings, ensure the thermostat is communicating, and test if there is any short cycling.
Short cycling is when you request your system to work, and it suddenly turns on and then off.
Check of Electrical Connections
If you have a faulty connection, your HVAC system might not get the orders to work when you need it too!
Assessing these wires for looseness or damage will identify any issues within the system.
A technician will also check the voltage going through the system to ensure it is getting enough power to do its job.
Lubrication Where Needed
HVAC systems are made up of many different mechanical parts. Sometimes these parts can rub and cause wear, leading to premature issues with the system.
Lubrication will allow the parts in your HVAC system to move smoothly, preventing damage.
Condensate Drain Examination
During the heating and cooling process, condensate is produced and drained away from your system.
There is a line that is in your HVAC unit specifically for this purpose.
If there is a clog within the line, it can back up the condensate and lead to system problems. A technician can unclog this.
Sometimes a simple on and off check can tell a technician a whole story of what is happening with a system.
An on and off check is just as simple as it sounds: the technician will start your system with a call for air and stop your system afterward.
Any funny noises or hiccups can point a technician to specific issues.
Have you ever noticed the big metal fan on top of your HVAC unit? This fan actually helps pull in air for your system to cycle through.
Your system draws in the air, takes it through the coils to heat or cool it, and then sends it on its way through the ducts into your home.
However, if the fan is not working, there is no regulator to draw the air in!
Your HVAC technician will first check for any debris or visible problems that may block it.
If there are none, then they will check the motors, wires and call the system to see if there is any miscommunication or mechanical error that they can remedy to get your system back online.
Air Filter Replacement
Air filters play a key role in your HVAC system’s capacity. When in use, air filters prevent pollen, allergens, dust, and debris from traveling through your home.
This affects the indoor air quality, making the air more breathable and lessening possible respiratory effects from the outdoor air. However, what if it is not cleaned?
Without cleaning an air filter regularly, a home can see a downturn in air quality, which can present as sneezing minorly and even bigger respiratory issues for those who are susceptible.
An HVAC technician will assess your filter, seeing how much it has collected, and replace it with a clean one if needed. They can also advise on how often it needs to be changed.
Check Heating Cycles & Test Heating Components
Whether it is wintertime or not, there is no harm in checking to make sure your HVAC system is heating the home properly.
The way your technician checks this will vary depending on if you have a heat pump, central heat, or even a furnace.
They will assess how it powers on and takes a look at all the parts, from heat exchanges to burners. They will even test the defrost on the system.
Venting is critical, especially if you have a furnace. Making sure any byproducts of the heating and cooling process are taken away from your home appropriately ensures you and your loved ones are not just comfortable but safe as well. A technician will ensure there are no leaks or broken seals in the system.
How Often to Service?
Now that you know what to expect, exactly how often should you consider contacting an HVAC professional for service?
Most manufacturers recommend annually. However, what they really mean is that you should have your AC serviced once a year and then your heating services once a year.
In layman’s terms, your HVAC system service should occur every six months, typically during the spring and the fall when temperatures are leveled out.
This is done to ensure your system is ready for the extremes when they set in. If you have HVAC system service, there is no chance of you coming home in winter to a frozen house or in summer to a sweltering room.
Getting HVAC system service doesn’t have to be a trying experience. With a quality technician, you can rest easy knowing your system has gotten the TLC it needs to continue running for years to come. Get quality HVAC system service today and know that the investment in your home is worth it!