Preventive Maintenance on Your HVAC System Is Important
Preventive HVAC maintenance is the best way to keep your HVAC system in optimum operating condition. It allows you to make inexpensive minor repairs before they become major expenses. It also reduces your chances of a catastrophic breakdown of your heating system in the middle of a winter storm, when you could be risking going without heat for an extended time. In the summer, it reduces your chances of an air conditioning meltdown and expensive repair or replacement during the peak season.
Benefits of Fall HVAC Maintenance
Avoiding a major breakdown in the winter is a primary reason to do fall maintenance on your HVAC system. Weather conditions and other emergencies may interfere with an HVAC contractor getting to you quickly. In severe weather, you run the risk of frozen pipes and life-threatening conditions for your family. Reduce these risks by scheduling fall maintenance on your HVAC system soon. The other benefits of fall HVAC maintenance include:
Lower your operating costs
Think of preventive maintenance like a tune-up for your car. Your HVAC system may seem to be operating well, but over time it loses its efficiency. It burns more fuel to deliver the same performance that it did when it was new. A tune up will help it function efficiently and as inexpensively as possible. After the service on your HVAC system, you may notice lower energy bills.
Prolong the life of your entire system
As is the case with any mechanical equipment, neglecting small repairs can eventually lead to a serious breakdown– one that was entirely avoidable with regular HVAC maintenance.
Reduce the dangers of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning
When your heating system develops short circuits or cracks in the heat exchanger, turning on the heater is dangerous. You will not even know you have a problem. However, these conditions likely could have been identified and repaired during your fall maintenance.
Reduce the need for repairs
Keeping up with the service on your HVAC system can significantly reduce the frequency that you will need to call a technician for repairs. By addressing minor issues before they become problems, you will lower your overall maintenance costs.
In short, the cost of regular professional maintenance on your HVAC system is well worth the benefits.
Things You Can Do Yourself
You do need a professional to properly service the mechanical components of your system. However, you can and should do a few things that will help keep things running smoothly.
Change your air filters every 30 to 90 days
Changing your air filters regularly is an easy DIY task and so important. If you have pets, change them more often. Keeping the air filters clean will help keep the system working efficiently and without undue strain.
Clean any leaves and debris off of your outdoor units
This will promote maximum airflow and help keep the system operating efficiently for a long time.
Clean your indoor air vents and registers
Also, remove anything such as furniture and draperies that block the air flow. An unobstructed air flow will prevent your system from working too hard to circulate the air it needs to function efficiently.
Move anything combustible away from your heating system
Make sure stored items have not accumulated around your heating equipment.
If you have a carbon monoxide detector, replace the batteries
A cracked heat exchanger will release carbon monoxide fumes into your home, creating a dangerous situation for you, your family members and guests.
If you have a humidifier, change the water panel
Make sure that at least 80% of your air registers are open
Closing off the air registers in unused rooms or parts of your home can put too much strain on your system.
Things Your Professional HVAC Technician Will Do
Before you start operating your heating system, schedule a professional to perform fall HVAC maintenance. The HVAC technician will inspect your HVAC system, clean and lubricate it, and replace worn and malfunctioning parts. Below is a listing of some of the services a professional technician can provide:
Calibrating the thermostat
Making sure the thermostat works properly is part of the contractor’s service. If you want to install a programmable thermostat, this is a good time to do it.
Adjusting electrical connection
The contractor will tighten any loose connection and measure voltage and electric current throughout the system.
Lubricating moving parts
Inspect and clean the condensate drain
Blockages in the condensate drain can cause the system to leak and malfunction
Checking and adjusting system controls
The technician will make sure the start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence are occurring properly.
Cleaning and adjusting the blower
To ensure your equipment is operating efficiently, the blower should be operating properly. Issues with the blower can decrease equipment efficiency by up to 15 percent.
Checking all fuel line connections
Poor gas or oil connections are a fire hazard. The connections need to be tight to prevent health problems if fumes are able to escape into your home.
Inspecting the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger
Incorrect pressure, a dirty burner or a cracked heat exchanger can result in improper burner operation. These circumstances also can cause unsafe and inefficient operation. Adjusting the pressure and cleaning the burner can improve your system’s operation and lower your heating bills. Note, however, if the heat exchanger is cracked, you will likely need to purchase a new furnace. In that case, you should know about it and address it before the middle of winter.
Contact a Professional HVAC Contractor to Schedule Service
Fall HVAC maintenance is incredibly important and should be considered a number one priority on your fall household chores list. If you have not had your heating system serviced in more than one year, you should make sure you do it this year. Delays can be expensive and even dangerous. Call a reputable HVAC contractor soon to schedule an appointment.