Your HVAC system impacts nearly every part of your home. It’s probably the most important part of having a comfortable and affordable home. So you’ll want to make sure to take good care of your home’s HVAC. This is where your HVAC maintenance plan comes in.
It takes some regular tune-ups to keep this major part of your home operating at its optimal level. It also helps to prevent repairs that can get pretty expensive. Chances are, someone near you offers an HVAC maintenance plan to cover all of these issues. The question is — are these plans worth it?
By the time we’re finished with this blog post, it should be easy to answer that question.
What Is HVAC Maintenance?
Let’s get started with what exactly HVAC maintenance should look like. Here are a few basic tasks that should be part of your maintenance routine.
- Replace the air filter every 1-3 months.
- Wash the filter (if you have an electrostatic filter).
- Clear any debris away from the outside unit.
- Clean dirt from the unit by hosing it down.
- Make sure the registers in the house are clear from furniture and anything else that may cover them up.
These are tasks that most homeowners can and should take care of on their own. But there are several other things that require more expertise and should be done by an HVAC professional. And they might even require specific tools that a homeowner won’t have on hand. Here are some things that you should leave to a professional.
Leave It To The Pros
- Tightening electrical connections. A loose connection is a safety hazard and can short out your entire home — possibly causing expensive damage.
- Inspection of the condensate drain. Your air conditioner creates condensation when you have it turned on. The condensation should run into an outside drain. The drain needs to be inspected to make sure that it is not clogged up with sludge or other debris.
- Lubrication of moving parts. HVAC units work hard and will eventually break down. Keeping the moving parts lubricated helps them to move smoothly. This allows your unit to run efficiently, use less electricity, and lower your energy bill.
- Clean the blower. Blower issues can decrease the efficiency of your system by 15 percent or more. A clean and properly adjusted blower will give your home proper airflow and a comfortable atmosphere.
- Check the refrigerant in the air conditioner. Correctly charged air conditioners are going to save you tremendously over the years. An overcharged A/C unit will leave you paying much more than necessary to keep your home cool. If it is undercharged, you probably have a leak. Either way, it is something for a professional to take care of.
- Check the fuel lines in the heater. If you have a bad gas or oil connection, you have a fire hazard. And maybe some health problems too. Fortunately, you probably just need the connections tightened to take care of this.
When Should HVAC Maintenance Be Done?
It is widely recommended that your HVAC maintenance should be done two times per year. Why? Good question. Ideally, you’ll get a tune-up before you need to run your air conditioner all through the summer and again before you need to run your heater through the winter. It can depend on the climate of where you live, but the springtime tune-up before summer is usually the most important if you are only able to do it once. However, if you are on an HVAC maintenance plan, you should have these two tune-ups included — along with a bunch of other benefits.
Why Is HVAC Maintenance Necessary?
There are a few reasons why you should be doing this. Most of them are money-related. If you haven’t already decided to join an HVAC maintenance plan, here are a few more reasons why you should.
- Your air conditioner is constantly collecting dirt, dust, and other debris — all year long. All of this stuff makes it work less efficiently — driving your energy use bills higher and higher.
- An increased lifespan. The better maintained your air conditioner and heater are, the longer they will go without needing an expensive replacement.
- Avoid water leaks. An unchecked system can be leaking water without you even knowing it. And whether you know it’s happening or not, leaking water can cause mold and all sorts or damage to your home.
- Working motors reduce your electricity bill. Regular service keeps them in good working condition for longer.
- Avoid condenser failure. Without regular cleaning of your system, the wear and tear makes your condenser more likely to fail to function.
- Avoid blocked drain pipes with proper cleaning.
- Enjoy better indoor air quality with a clean HVAC system.
- Prevent costly repairs with your HVAC maintenance plan.
HVAC Maintenance Benefits
We have covered the what, when, why, and benefits of HVAC maintenance. Now we’ll move on to the final things you should consider before you decide if an HVAC maintenance plan is worth it.
- Where do you live? For example, in San Antonio your air conditioner is going to run a lot. That puts strain on your system. Without proper maintenance, it won’t be able to keep your home cool during excessive heat.
- Does your warranty require maintenance? If you have a new HVAC system, you might think you can go for a while without doing maintenance. Not so fast. Make sure you check the fine print on your warranty. It may be void if you don’t have regular maintenance and documentation to back it up.
- Can you do the basics of HVAC maintenance? If so, great. If not, no big deal because your maintenance plan will cover everything necessary to keep your system operating smoothly.
- Is priority service important? When your air conditioner or heater needs repairs are you willing to wait for a service call? Or do you prefer VIP treatment that will get a repairman to your home within 24 hours?
- Do you like money? Pretty sure you do. Joining a maintenance plan or Combo Club comes with discounts on just about everything you would need an HVAC company to do.
- Do you like to have peace of mind knowing that your needs will be met when they arise? It is a great feeling knowing that if something goes wrong, you’ll be taken care of. For some, this alone is reason enough to sign up for an HVAC maintenance plan.
Having answered these questions, you will likely agree that a maintenance plan will be worth it. There’s no better time than now to get signed up.