HVAC maintenance tips to keep your system in top condition. Our heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems help us to maintain a comfortable temperature in our homes without much effort. All we need to do as homeowners to enjoy warm heat during the winter and cool air in the summer is to switch the power button on and set the thermostats at desired temperatures.
However, for you to enjoy the best from your HVAC unit, it must be properly maintained. Failure to take proper care of your new HVAC unit over a number of years will result to costly repairs or having to buy a new unit, something that you could have easily avoided if you performed proper maintenance of your HVAC system.
Good news is that it won’t cost you much to keep your HVAC unit in excellent working condition. While the unit isn’t designed to last for a lifetime, you can keep your system in great shape for much longer if you have a strong preventative maintenance program.
Reasons Why HVAC Maintenance is Critical
Warranties for heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment can be anywhere from 5 to 10 years. However, they are only valid if some conditions are met at the time of invoking the warranty. In case you have not abided by the warranty terms, getting a warranty service will be a mountain to climb, it at all you will get it. In HVAC warranties, one common condition is that it must get regular maintenance.
Sticking to a regular HVAC maintenance program will help you ensure your warranty work gets to be covered by the manufacturer as well as your service provider. You can save a lot of cash from warranty work if your unit fails in a way that’s covered. While you may have to cover certain costs, but it’s not remotely as costly as what you would have to pay were you to cover the whole expense on your own.
Oftentimes, manufacturer warranties do not cover the whole cost of replacing a unit. The truth is that warranties cover only parts. In addition, they will only cover those parts where a licensed technician proves that a manufacturer defect is the cause of the issue. Parts usually covered are components, whose defects result from no fault of your own, and large components.
As the unit owner, it’s up to you to maintain wiring, fan belts, and ensure that parts are well oiled and that you change air filters regularly. To ensure that the process is done the right way and recorded, you need to do at least biannual maintenance. However, having a year round maintenance plan in place with an HVAC contractor that is fully licensed is your best bet. Ensure that you’ve provided all your warranty information to enable you use it in case something was to go wrong.
Preventative HVAC maintenance
There are many things that you can do which are considered preventative on the HVAC unit. These things are inspecting drains and pans for blockages, watching for pilot light in the furnace checking for visible leaks or checking the water heater to ensure that it ignites in a timely fashion, as well as clearing debris and dirt away from the unit. But the truth is that, unless you are technician, there are several things that are not easily discernible.
The components in the HVAC system contain several moving parts and electrical systems which are exposed to wear and tear. You may not be able to tell that something in a unit is almost breaking. There’s is not a single belt that warns you it’s about to break, and so are ball bearings in motor parts and fans which make noise when they begin to fall.
A technician has the necessary skills in spotting known signs that may be brought by any of these faults. When a bearing becomes defective, fans wobble off center. The wear in the belt can be seen before it breaks. These are just a couple of examples of how a well-trained HVAC technician can identify.
When these issues are spotted by a technician in early stages, the problems will easily and quickly be fixed, and in most cases, with less expense. All the issues can be identified when a routine inspection is done. As you can see, you can save a lot of money in the long run by setting up a periodical HVAC maintenance program.
Save money on your energy costs and breathe easy
Over time, HVAC units will lose their efficiency. Parts will get worn out with use, and even tend to lose ability to give out maximum power. Usually, you won’t notice this right away because the problem isn’t noticeable at the start. What you will see is your energy bill going up month by month. Eventually, you will notice spikes in your energy costs. When this happens, just know that your heating ventilation and air conditioning system has started slowing down. In other words, it’s not performing with the same power and strength as it used before. Luckily for you, it’s very easy to keep your unit performing at peak efficiency. While you cannot completely stop the natural ravages of time from eventually weakening your machine’s efficiency, but you can be sure that you will get much more from your HVAC until such a time that you need to replace it.
Another issue that you may want to deal with is poor flow of air in the duct work. HVAC system works by blowing air through the home, whether it’s hot air or cold air. This implies taking the indoor air and circulating it through your house. All of the debris and dust that often accumulate in the duct work. Failure to maintain the filters makes the debris and dust to build up inside the HVAC system as well. This accumulation of debris and dust can hold moisture. The moisture can ultimately become grime that is bad for your system’s inner workings. All of these problems may start out as small inconveniences. However, they can turn into bigger issues if no attention is given to them.
Why HVAc Preventive Maintenance is not optional
Preventive HVAC maintenance can be equated as preventive maintenance for your car. Like a car, if you don’t change the engine oil regularly and replace filters and belts, the engine will automatically lock up and the car will stall. This is applies to air conditioning systems. If you pay $30 for an oil change in your car will save you from having to pay for expensive repairs or spending $30,000 on another car. You get the same thing when your HVAC equipment is given proper preventive maintenance.
Maintenance is often much cheaper compared to what it would cost you to pay for a degraded system. For example:
Assume that your equipment costs $10,000 to maintain and carries a forecasted life of 10 years subject to proper maintenance. This way, you will spend $20,000 from the initial cost to replacement cost, if we assume that the cost of a new one would still be $10,000.
On the other hand, if you didn’t properly maintain your HVAC system and it broke down after 5 years, you will need to buy a new one after 5 years at the cost of $10,000. You would also need to replace it at the end of another 5 years at similar cost. Taking the initial cost, plus the two HVACs you bought at the 5th year and the tenth year, you realize that it would cost $30,000 to have from initial cost to the end of 10 years.
The difference between preventive maintenance and back of it, as you can see, is $10,000, which can be significant amount.
In the end, proper maintenance will cost you much less over the entire life of your HVAC equipment than if you neglected it and had to replace the equipment frequently. Preventive means it stops things from happening.
How often should I Service my Air Conditioner?
Even if your HVAC system has not started showing any problems yet, heating and cooling professionals advise that you should a professional inspect it, service it and even clean it once every year. Preferably, this should be done in the spring, as this ensures that the machine will function at peak energy efficiency and even cool your house during the times you need it most.
As your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit works, it gathers dust and dirt in important areas of the equipment that can affect its efficiency, such as the air filters and condensing coils. If not being checked, this can make your AC to lose as much as 5% operating efficiency every year. In other words, your house will lose its capacity to cool your house as it used to.
Majority of heating and cooling contractors offer affordable, preventative maintenance service contracts where they clean and even service your HVAC system and replace the air filter. There are even companies that offer discounts if you subscribe to their annual plan and give you preferred scheduling to maintenance customers.
Quick HVAC Maintenance Tips
Regularly Change the Filters
Know when to swap out the old filter for new one, and when your calendar indicates it’s time to do so, make sure you do it. Clogged filters often exert lots of stress on your machine and if not checked, can lead to failure of certain parts.
Get rid of the Debris from the Outside Unit
Dirt, dust, leaves and debris from the garden and lawn as well as other material can build up atop the outer part of the unit of the HVAC machine. Make sure that you look at the machine regularly and remove any debris by hand, or even spray it away using your garden hose.
Close up leaks at Doors and Windows
Your HVAC equipment needs to work only as much as it should. When it’s overworked, too much load is put on your HVAC unit, which can lead to its failure.
If you do not tightly secure your windows are doors, you are literally throwing money every time the HVAC system is running! In the summer, cold air produced by the AC machine escapes and in winter, it leaks out. It’s important to seal up cracks and leaks on windows and door jambs so your HVAC system doesn’t need to overwork.
Arrange for Annual Inspections by Professionals
You need to know that you aren’t an AC expert. Therefore, you need to leave the maintenance to heating, ventilation and air conditioning experts. It’s advisable that you have a technician come to your home at least once every year to inspect and service the cooling and heating components and make sure that they are working properly.
Maintaining your HVAC machine is something you simply cannot ignore. It makes your unit to run much more smoothly and to be efficient. Also, it prolongs the life of your machine and saves on cost that you would have used to buy a new one. Lastly, proper maintenance of your HVAC system will result to lower electricity bills, and keeps money in your pockets.
While some homeowners choose to do a little bit of maintenance by themselves, and this is not a terrible thing, the best option is to subscribe to a preventative maintenance program. Under such a program, an HVAC maintenance company will send their pro to your home to inspect and fix all the problems with your unit. Finally, a strong preventative maintenance also means your warranty is preserved.
While maintenance is not for free, it is much cheaper compared to the cost of buying a new HVAC unit. Investing in a strong maintenance program is therefore not an option, but something you must do if you want to get the most from your unit. Call EP Temp Line, Inc. to schedule service or start a preventative maintenance program for your HVAC unit.
Schedule Service – (915) 594-9442