A Guide to HVAC Maintenance Service
A home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, also known as the HVAC, is one of the most important systems in a home. It keeps your home safe from excessive humidity, poor air quality, and mold and mildew.
Your thermostat links to the HVAC, allowing you to regulate the function of the system and therefore the comfort in your home. To keep it operating properly, HVAC maintenance service is a must. With proper maintenance, it’s possible to keep your system running efficiently for many years. There are other benefits, too, including saving you time and money.
Without a doubt, planned maintenance helps minimize risks to your system, including a loss of efficiency and a higher risk of breakdowns. It enables you to count on your HVAC system for a longer time. The key to remember is that this isn’t the type of task you should put off. HVAC maintenance is essential for multiple reasons.
Why Is HVAC Maintenance Service So Important?
HVAC function seems simple. When you are cold, you adjust the thermostat to allow your furnace to kick on. When temperatures are rising, you turn the AC on. Yet, in order for these things to work as expected, you have to invest in keeping the HVAC system maintained. Take a few minutes to consider the reasons why this is so important.
The Importance of HVAC in Your Daily Life
Without proper HVAC maintenance, the system is likely to develop a problem that could lead to a breakdown. Maintenance ensures every working component operates as it should. A breakdown on a hot, humid day or on one of the coldest nights of the year often means expensive emergency repair calls.
Homeowners also need to consider the impact of a malfunctioning HVAC system on the health of those living in the home. If the HVAC system is unable to remove allergens, dust, and pollen from the air of your home, it could trigger allergies or asthma symptoms.
Another concern of putting off HVAC maintenance is the potential for the development of mold and mildew. The air conditioner, in particular, works to remove and control humidity in the home. If it stops working, there’s a higher risk of mold and mildew development in hidden areas, such as under the carpeting or behind the walls.
You are unlikely to see the problem developing until it becomes so significant that it impacts your overall health, causing breathing issues and sometimes leading to health problems.
Less threatening but just as noticeable, when your system isn’t running properly, you’ll likely feel uncomfortable, irritated, and even frustrated. No one likes to be in a space that’s too hot and sticky or in an area that’s always cold.
In all of these ways, HVAC maintenance service impacts your daily life in ways you may take for granted. Keeping your HVAC system in good working order is more important than many realize.
Related: The True Cost of Home Maintenance
Maintenance Impacts Energy Efficiency
Routine maintenance keeps your home’s HVAC running at its best. That means it is operating at its highest efficiency level possible. That matters when you consider the cost of heating and cooling your home. According to EnergyStar.gov, the average U.S. household spends over $2,200 on energy bills each year, and about half of that goes to heating and cooling costs. If your system is not properly maintained, it’s likely going to cost you much more.
Why is that the case? Consider what often occurs.
A poorly maintained system is unable to work at its best. The air filter may not be clean, or the ductwork may have leaks. When this happens, the system has to operate for longer periods of time, often at a higher energy level, to keep your home at the proper temperature. The more it works, the higher your energy bills climb.
By improving the overall maintenance of the system, on the other hand, it’s able to work properly and at its peak performance. That may mean your home is heated and cooled at a lower cost, saving you money. The investment you make in HVAC maintenance is often a fraction of what it costs to heat or cool a home when the system is operating inefficiently.
Maintenance Improves Air Quality in Your Home
Another reason why you should invest in routine HVAC maintenance is that it helps to improve air quality. Not all families have people who have allergies or asthma, but you don’t need to have those conditions to be impacted by an improperly-working HVAC system. In some situations, you may notice that there’s a lot of dust in your home, or you may experience odors that linger for a long time. This may be due to HVAC problems.
The most common of these occurs when the system’s air filter is not changed or cleaned on a routine basis. When that doesn’t happen, the air filter cannot stop pollutants from getting into the ductwork and spreading throughout the home. That can include mold spores and mildew. Odors spread this way, too. When this happens, it’s difficult to clean ductwork to eliminate the problem. Prevention is simply the better option.
Is Preventative Maintenance Really Worth It?
The short answer here is yes, preventative maintenance is worth it. From a financial standpoint, routine HVAC maintenance service may help you with:
· Reducing your home’s energy bills
· Reducing the risk that you’ll have a major breakdown occur requiring expensive emergency repair
· Extending the life of the system, so you don’t have to spend money to repair it or replace it as often
· Enabling you to keep the system under warranty, as a lack of maintenance may lead to a denial of coverage for a claim
If your heating and cooling system has a warranty from the manufacturer, it may require that you properly maintain the system according to their requirements. If you do not do this and need to request service through the warranty, the manufacturer may refuse to pay for those repairs.
You should have documentation that outlines when you performed maintenance and the tasks you’ve completed. It’s very important, then, to invest in preventative maintenance (generally from a professional if possible) to minimize this risk.
When you consider all of these factors, the value of home maintenance on an HVAC system becomes clear.
What Are the Risks of Not Performing Regular Service?
When you do not get HVAC service on a routine basis, it could cost you in a variety of ways. Even if your home’s system is older but in good condition, replacing it could lead to a significant cost that could have been put off for additional years. Here are some of the things that can happen if you don’t invest in maintenance.
· Bills Increase: The cost to heat and cool your home increases. Higher utility bills may be hard to manage, but this is likely to happen as long as the system is unable to work at its best.
· Air Quality Decreases: You may develop respiratory conditions due to poor indoor air quality. Mold and mildew may also become concerns when the air is not able to circulate properly or pass through filtration systems.
· Moving Parts Break Down: The interior moving components of your heating and cooling system start to break down. This can lead to errors in its function as well as total failures in operation over time. When these parts cannot move properly and easily, it can lead to damage and breakage, which can be expensive to fix.
· Poor Cooling: If your home’s AC system cannot operate properly, it may never reach a proper level of cooling. You may still feel the humidity and uncomfortableness of a hot day no matter how hard the system works.
· More Frequent Repair Needs: It is not uncommon for property owners to have repair technicians on speed dial when their system is not well maintained. In many cases, you’ll notice breakdowns of the entire system because parts are broken, the motor is shot, or the system just doesn’t turn on.
· Replacement: One of the biggest problems with a lack of maintenance comes from the shortened lifespan of these systems. Though most heating and cooling systems should last at least 20 years, those without proper maintenance may not make it that long. That means a lot of money to replace your system, especially if the ductwork needs repair, too.
Getting the Facts: When Do You Need Maintenance?
Now that you can see the value in HVAC maintenance service, the question is this. What does it take to keep your system in good condition and operating properly?
A good first step is to check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer directly to find out what preventative maintenance the system needs. This provides the most comprehensive breakdown of what specific tasks you need to do and how often those tasks need to be completed. It is also what determines if the manufacturer will maintain your warranty.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional maintenance service that will keep track of your HVAC system and its maintenance needs, streamlining the process and taking the burden off of your mind.
Most of the time, routine maintenance of HVAC systems should happen every six months, or more often for air filter changes. It’s wise to view this as an investment in your home and make sure it’s done correctly.
What Should Routine HVAC Home Maintenance Service Include?
Your home’s specific needs may be different based on the make and model of your system. However, most of the time, you’ll need to perform the following types of tasks on a routine basis:
· Inspection of the coils, drains, and elements for the heating and cooling system. Pour water down the drain line and confirm proper fall in the lines and have someone at the termination point confirm flow (often into a bathroom P-Trap or outside the exterior of the home).
· Disinfection and clearing of condensate lines. Check overflow pans for standing water. Any standing water is an issue indicating not enough fall in the lines for proper drainage, resulting in rust and holes over time.
· Inspection and cleaning of all termination points. Inspect the outdoor condenser, including a visual inspection to confirm if leaves, dirt or other debris have become packed in the coils/fins.
· Replacing or cleaning filters. Review your filters. Understand the rate at which your filters are exhausted. This will vary from home to home and depend on activity in the home, such as whether you have pets or high traffic, etc.
These are some of the most common tasks. Your system may need other actions to ensure it keeps working at its best. You can choose to do the work yourself to keep up with these tasks. If that’s the case, be sure you understand the components of these systems, how to inspect them, and how to ensure that all areas are getting the attention needed.
If you plan to do the work yourself, create a calendar that outlines what needs to be done, when, and what to expect from the process, such as what tools and parts you may need. Set aside time to do these tasks every few months.
Why Choose a Home Manager for HVAC Maintenance Service?
One of the ways to ensure everything gets done is to use a personalized maintenance service, complete with a home manager. Having a professional come to your home to handle this type of work for you simply makes sense.
A home manager can come according to the requirements set by your manufacturer, such as every few months or twice a year. They can then make sure that all aspects of the system are in good condition. Because your HVAC maintenance is being performed by a trained professional, you can rest assured you’re getting the attention you need.
A pre-planned service takes the guesswork out of the process. It also helps ensure that the work is done completely and correctly, even when your schedule becomes too busy for you to do the work yourself.
Gain Peace of Mind by Letting a Pro Do the Work
Utilizing a team of professionals to handle the upkeep of your HVAC system makes sense. You’ll have licensed technicians inspecting and updating your system. At the same time, you won’t have to give up your weekends to handle these tasks on your own.
PreFix makes that possible. When you reach out to us, we can schedule routine HVAC home maintenance service for your home that meets your manufacturer’s requirements and ensures the best efficiency for your system. If there’s a problem that our technicians cannot fix, we’ll find the team to do it, without a markup.
Contact PreFix today to find out how you can give your HVAC system the attention that it needs. Your home manager will work with you to create an affordable, stress-free, and thorough plan to get the job done.