Unfortunately, a lot of us are used to dealing with problems instead of preventing them. When it comes to HVAC equipment, tune-ups can actually work wonders, so you might want to take advantage of those.
Regular HVAC maintenance will help you improve the air quality in your house and will lead to a few environmental benefits and improved safety. Money-wise annual check-ups will help you avoid expensive repairs, cut energy bills, and prolong the system’s lifespan.
What Is HVAC Maintenance?
HVAC maintenance is the process of maintaining your heating and cooling equipment by inspecting, testing, cleaning, and, in some cases, replacing the system’s components.
Even though the terms ‘HVAC maintenance’ and ‘HVAC service’ are often used interchangeably those are not the same things.
Your system would require HVAC service if a part of the unit had already broken and is in need of repair.
HVAC maintenance, in its turn, is a preventative measure that helps avoid the majority of problems with your heating and cooling system, as well as improve its overall performance and prolong the system’s lifespan.
Why HVAC Maintenance Is Important?
Some homeowners might think that inviting an expert over to simply have a look at a system (that is functioning well) is a waste of time and money. However, that is not true.
If you manage to follow a regular maintenance schedule, you’ll soon be able to take advantage of a few extremely important benefits.
Air quality improvement
Throughout time, your heating and cooling system can become a source of indoor pollution. HVAC units that are not maintained well are extra dirty and might become home to mold and mildew.
The great news is that a properly working and clean unit will help you get rid of the majority of airborne particles by filtering them out of the air that you breathe.
There are quite a few ways in which preventative maintenance helps you save money.
Regular check-ups will help you avoid costly repairs, cut energy bills (as the system is able to perform at peak efficiency), extend the unit’s lifespan, and stay protected under warranty (some manufacturers require proof of yearly maintenance).
Improvement of your comfort
When your system is working correctly, it is able to heat and cool your house evenly and efficiently. Regular maintenance will also help avoid any HVAC-related noises and odors that, in another case, would certainly affect your comfort.
The majority of HVAC equipment can potentially possess a health risk. Carbon monoxide leaks, refrigerant poisoning, water damage – the chance of something going wrong will be minimized if you allow the experts to check your system every year.
A well-maintained system that is working at peak efficiency will be consuming less fuel and electricity.
HVAC technicians will also keep you educated about what kind of refrigerant your system uses, how you can make a switch from gas or oil to electricity, and the benefits of a smart thermostat.
All these things will help you reduce the environmental impact of your HVAC equipment.
Read: Why HVAC Is Important
Why Is Commercial HVAC Maintenance Important?
A commercial HVAC system has the same aims as a residential heating and cooling system – to improve the comfort of the people in the building.
The benefits of HVAC maintenance in such a case are pretty much the same.
An extra bonus is that if a facility has a customized maintenance plan, then it becomes a top priority for the service provider.
Read: Quietest HVAC System
How Often Should an HVAC System Be Serviced?
Ideally, you would want to invite an expert over right before the heating or cooling seasons start. So, if you want your heating system checked, schedule the maintenance for fall, while a cooling system check-up should be scheduled for spring.
Experts recommended booking a maintenance appointment once a year. Do bear in mind that if you have both, a heating and a cooling system, you would have to call in a specialist every 6 months.
Tip: if you have a heat pump and you use it year-round, then the unit should be checked every 6 months.
Read: Why HVAC Not Working?
Do I Need Regular HVAC Maintenance?
You should certainly opt for regular HVAC maintenance if you want your system to be able to keep you comfortable all year round.
With annual maintenance, you can easily begin the cooling and heating season with a reliable system that is operating at maximum efficiency.
What Is Done During HVAC Maintenance?
- The expert is going to assess the thermostat settings – the temperature in your house should be comfortable, but, at the same time, the system has to be able to save energy when you’re not home.
- The electrical connection should be checked – the specialist is going to make sure that the voltage and current readings are right and that the wiring and connections are not damaged.
- Lubrication – the technician will lubricate the moving parts in the system.
- Inspection of the condensate drain to make sure that it is not clogged.
- An assessment of the general operation.
- The technician will carefully inspect the outdoor unit – there shouldn’t be any dirt and debris around the unit.
- An assessment of the fan – the expert will check the blades and the motor.
- The HVAC specialist can also replace the air filter if there is such a need.
Some points in the checklist are going to be specific for a heating or a cooling system. For example, cleaning of the coils, checking the refrigerant level, adjusting the blower compartment, and examining the heating elements.
Read: Does HVAC Use Gas?
What Are the 4 Phases of Planned Maintenance In HVAC?
- Routine maintenance
- Pre-start inspection
- Operational checks
What Is Preventive Maintenance?
Regular preventative maintenance can reduce the likelihood of damage by up to 95%. Check-ups can extend the life of the equipment and will help make sure that you, as a homeowner, get the most out of your heating and cooling system.
It is better to leave annual maintenance to a professional. However, there are a few things that you can do on your own.
- Understand the equipment specifications.Knowing the size of your unit, its efficiency levels, and features will help come up with a better preventive maintenance plan.For example, you need to know exactly where the air filters are located in the system and what type of filters does your unit need.
- Even though there are separate checklists for the spring/summer and fall/winter season, there are still some general service checks that should not be forgotten about (like the ductwork and electrical lines, for example).Have a look at the checklist offered by the experts and make sure that they have managed to get everything done.
- Bear in mind that the system should be monitored continuously, not only during the annual check-ups. Pay attention to the sounds that your unit makes and take note of any minor changes year-round.
Is HVAC Tune Up Worth It?
Annual HVAC maintenance will cost you around $150-$300.
Experts agree that tune-ups are definitely worth it as they help avoid costly repairs and are able to save you a small fortune in the long run.
As they say, it is easier to prevent a disease than to cure it, and that’s exactly the case with HVAC maintenance.