HVAC Maintenance Is Important: These Are The Reasons


Why Is HVAC Maintenance Important?

New HVAC system owners might not see maintenance as an important thing, but they will definitely have to do it at some point.

After months or years of non-stop operation, all equipment corrodes types accumulate dirt and rust, and many more problems can lead to surprise breakdowns.

This happens when HVAC owners ignore the importance of maintenance.

Why is HVAC maintenance essential? Yes, preventive care is a way to save money from unnecessary repair costs, and it improves air quality inside your home or workplace. It also levels up comfort and peace of mind and makes air safer for you and your family.

Below, I will mention the importance of preventive HVAC maintenance and why you should do it.

You can also see a list of maintenance tasks that are arranged in a timeline. It can help you to keep up with the maintenance tasks that are necessary for a specific time.

6 Reasons Why HVAC Maintenance Is Essential

The obvious result of keeping your HVAC systems maintained is to save money from unnecessary repairs, enjoy clean air and a safer home or work environment. It also provides you peace of mind.

Those are only a summary of the six main reasons why HVAC maintenance is essential.

To discuss it better, proceed on the list below to decide whether or not preventive maintenance is a great investment:

1. Save Money

Here is a breakdown of what preventive maintenance do:

  • Reduce energy bills
  • Prevent Costly HVAC System Breakdowns
  • Extend the life of your system
  • Stay protected under warranty

Doing regular maintenance on your HVAC systems can lower the risk of costly breakdowns by around 95%.

You can compare it to the need to get an oil change after driving your car for 30,000 miles. Otherwise, you are in trouble.

Reduce Energy Bills

An efficient HVAC system consumes less energy compared to those with poor performance.

Preventive maintenance on HVAC systems is a critical part of ensuring that they are running close to peak efficiency.

The U.S. Department of Energy can mean saving about 30% of electricity.

Stay Protected Under Warranty

Doing annual preventive maintenance is one of the requirements you need to submit a repair claim.

Most HVAC manufacturers require owners to pass proof of annual maintenance before granting the warranty benefits, which is one thing that HVAC owners should be aware of.

Some, if not most, parts of HVAC systems are pretty expensive when you buy them alone. You can tell by this that staying under the warranty coverage is not a bad investment.

Extend The Life Of Your HVAC System

All HVAC systems can only last for a certain number of years. However, regular maintenance can keep them in shape or even extend their life.

Preventive maintenance is similar to health checkups on humans.

It helps to determine signs of detriments and know the right solution. The only difference is that HVAC technicians make house calls.

2. Improve Your Air Quality

According to the EPA, indoor airborne pollutants are estimated to be 2 to 5 times higher than the level outdoors.

If your family has asthma or other respiratory issues, it is significantly higher.

Most people may not be aware of these pollutants present every day, but they live with us inside our homes.

They might also include substances that can negatively affect our health.

The most common indoor allergy triggers include ordinary household dust that carries dozens of respiratory problems and dust mites, pet dander, mold, cigarette smoke, and pollen.

If you wake up one day with a musty odor lingering in your home, it must be mold.

It would be best if you considered asking a professional to clean your air ducts and check other areas that affect your HVAC system’s efficacy.

Preventive maintenance also helps make sure that the air circulating your place is clean and free from pollutants.

A cleaner and comfortable environment can provide a better sense of security and peace of mind.

3. Improve Your Comfort

To keep you comfortable every day of the year, you have to ensure the well-being of your HVAC system.

Implementing regular HVAC maintenance can help your system to circulate warm or cool air effectively and consistently.

You wouldn’t want to encounter a surprise breakdown, don’t you?

Besides that, preventive maintenance helps decrease the possibility of waking up with icy temperatures inside your home during winter or extreme heat during summer.

Most people, though, take this crucial task for granted.

Tasks like cleaning your ductwork are among the preventive steps to ensure that your home will continually have cool or hot air.

Also, regular maintenance lessens the possibility that HVAC smells or create noises that will lessen your quality of life.

4. Keep Your Home Safer

If anything makes preventive maintenance a lifeline, it keeps your HVAC system running even when you are away from home during holidays.

Imagine going home to a severely damaged house due to polar vortexes or a cold snap while you are away just because your HVAC system stops working. That would be horrifying.

When your heating system stops working, its effect is like that of a domino.

Burst or frozen pipes can lead to water damage and far much worse than that. Also, repairs are costly in this case.

Another thing about HVAC maintenance is that they help secure you and your family from carbon monoxide exposure.

Carbon monoxide is known as a poisonous odorless and colorless gas. The Centers for Disease Control says that carbon monoxide exposure, even at low levels, can lead to serious health detriments.

Among the most common reason why carbon monoxide leaks happen is due to failed or cracked heat exchangers.

HVAC maintenance usually includes a carbon monoxide test. It helps to determine any potential carbon monoxide leak in your HVAC system.

Also, HVAC professionals can discuss the benefits of installing a carbon monoxide detector.

5. Help The Environment

If you worry about the well-being of the planet, it is worth noting that a well-maintained HVAC system utilizes considerably less fuel.

Other homeowners also ask about the refrigerant used by their HVAC systems as EPA has been making efforts to phase out chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

EPA Section 608 Certification is also required for the HVAC technicians working with refrigerants.

This certificate indicates that a technician undergoes training about the proper handling of refrigerants.

Also, technicians will help you understand the kind of refrigerant used in your HVAC systems and its environmental effect, so don’t be shy to talk to them.

Additionally, HVAC technicians will tell you about the benefits of switching from oil heat to natural gas or utilizing a programmable thermostat to reduce your HVAC system’s impact on the environment. It is up to you to make better choices.

6. Give Yourself Greater Peace of Mind

To complete the list, preventive HVAC maintenance provides greater peace of mind.

You will have nothing to regret knowing that you have already taken the right measures to improve the well-being of your HVAC system.

Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

Asking a professional is not necessary all the time. In fact, there are preventive maintenance tasks that you can do even on your own.

Here are among the things you can do to keep your HVAC system in its best condition until the next checkup of HVAC technicians:

  • Keep return and supply registers unblocked by rugs, drapes, or furniture.

  • Look at the filter every month to see if it needs replacement. There are HVAC units that feature an indicator light triggered by a timer. It helps to let you know if it’s time to check your filter.

  • Use a hose to wash the outdoor unit when it starts to accumulate dirt.

  • Remove debris that can stick to your outdoor unit.

  • Trim back leaves or any greenery around your outdoor unit to at least 18 inches away from it.

Maintenance Tasks That Only Trained Technicians Should Do

Most HVAC maintenance tasks are not meant to be done by homeowners themselves, except for trained HVAC technicians.

HVAC maintenance requires skills, knowledge, and the right tools that only professional technicians have.

Trained service technicians do the following during their preventive maintenance visit at your home:

  • Adjust and clean dampers
  • Ensure proper airflow
  • Check system controls to guarantee proper and safe operation.
  • Inspect the area around the air intake
  • Check duct system condition
  • Check heat strip amps
  • Inspect dirty air filters and confirm the right filter size
  • Check for loose or corroded connections, inspect electric terminals, apply a non-conductive coating, and, if necessary, tighten and clean connections.
  • Determine the right refrigerant charge by measurement
  • Verify correct electric control, guaranteeing that heating is locked out when the thermostat calls for cooling and vice versa
  • Lubricate all motors along with non-sealed moving parts
  • Inspect fan, belts, bearings for tightness and wear
  • Clean and adjust the blower
  • Straighten fins on the outdoor unit of your HVAC for efficient operation.
  • Test thermostat to see if it is cycling the system on and off properly
  • Clean interior of the unit and remove leaves
  • Check the condensation system to guarantee proper drainage. If necessary, treat pan.
  • Check operation of defrost board (heat pump)
  • Check fuel line connections
  • Inspect the gas piping, flue vent, burner combustion, gas pressure, and heat exchanger
  • Clean and check the condenser coils and evaporator coils for dirt and other blockages

Aside from these areas of your HVAC system, there are other required items to check, depending on the type of system you have.

Deep cleaning of HVAC systems may also include extra costs.

As mentioned earlier, preventive maintenance must stay covered by the HVAC system’s manufacturer’s warranty.

So, make sure to keep proof that you have conducted an annual preventive HVAC maintenance.

Many contractors also provide service contracts that include a visit in the fall to tune up your heating system for winter and in the spring to prepare your air conditioning system for summer to fall.

Fortunately, some contractors also provide discounts on purchasing a new unit or repairs when you sign a maintenance agreement.

All the mentioned advantages earlier in this article only indicate that preventive maintenance is something that you should take seriously.

It is especially for those who want to provide a healthier environment for their families, save money, and have greater peace of mind.

Common HVAC Problems

Your HVAC system will definitely have a long way to go, and the range of possible issues lining up before it is just a lot.

Some of these problems are inescapable, like corrosion, dirt accumulation, and rust, but there are ways to prevent them from causing more trouble.

It also helps to be aware of what these problems are. To help out, here is a list of the three common HVAC issues to watch out for on your next preventive maintenance:

  • Corrosion – There is a possibility of corrosion if you pair wiring with moisture. It can affect any wires or terminals connected to your HVAC system, allowing your heating or cooling system to turn on and off on its own. It would also cause the machine to operate faster, much like leaks, leading to a full break over time.

  • Leaks – The potential to create leakage is possible on both HVAC connectors and drain lines. Such leaks can cause the system to work harder than it should, eventually leading to one or more components needing to be replaced. Watch out for leakage from refrigerant lines and leaks from the AC condensate line and heat exchange.

  • Dirt And Debris – Every component of your HVAC system needs to be clear of waste, through cleaners to the electric panel, and all in between. In addition to allowing the machine to operate inefficiently, dust and allergens can also be pumped into your home from items such as polluted air filters, lowering air quality and flow, and eventually clogging the system.

Types Of HVAC Maintenance Tasks

You won’t create an HVAC to-do list if you are not aware of the things you should do.

To help out, here are the maintenance tasks that you should perform each year to keep your HVAC system up and running 24/7.

The list is also separated into specific timelines to make everything easier for you.

Today

Ensure that you do the following days to reduce the possibility of avoidable issues with your units:

  • Inspect the area around the visible indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system and guarantee that they are free of grass, boxes, leaves, furniture, and any debris.

  • Purchase high-efficiency air filters and store some extra to have them ready whenever you need to replace the ones located inside your unit. In case you don’t have them, swap one in.

  • Make sure that there are two feet of cleared space around all HVAC system components.

Once A Month

Check for leaks on your air conditioner’s refrigerant lines. These lines are usually made of copper that links your outdoor air conditioner to your HVAC system’s indoor evaporator coil.

Here are among the signs that your air conditioner’s refrigerant lines are leaking:

  • Your HVAC unit runs longer than normal
  • Your room never reaches the desired thermostat setting.
  • The air vents of your HVAC are blowing slightly cool or even warm air.
  • You are receiving a skyrocketing amount of electric bills.

The common areas where you can spot refrigerant leaks are:

  • Condenser Coils – These coils have U-bends that are held by tubular sheet metal. While operating, the sheet metal rubs with the ends of the copper tubes, creating small holes.

  • Evaporator Coils – These coils come with small tubes that can vibrate when your HVAC system operates. When these tubes rub together, they will develop holes, requiring them to be replaced.

  • Refrigerant Line Sets – Usually, these lines leak at the flare connections or joints. But when they are tripped over or hit with a lawnmower, that means a disaster. Technicians can repair these lines depending on where they are leaking. Replacement is required if they have multiple leaks.

Once A Season

  • Stop the water to the furnace humidifier from running in the summer.
  • Every 90 days, replace the air filter of your unit.
  • Replace the filter of your humidifier and turn the water back on in the fall.

Once A Year

  • Inspect the carbon monoxide detectors inside your home, then replace the batteries when necessary.
  • Using bleach, clean your AC condensation drain line.
  • Keep your HVAC motor lubricated and replace the fan belt if it’s not running efficiently.
  • Check your outdoor AC unit and make sure that it is free from debris and the unit is standing on level ground.

Doing the tasks mentioned in this list will allow you to extend your HVAC system’s lifespan and keep you away from costly repairs.

HVAC systems only last around 10 to 25 years. With proper maintenance, you can expect it to be closer to 25 years or more.

Conclusion

To conclude, preventive HVAC maintenance has a lot of positive things to offer to be ignored.

Besides guaranteeing that your place is free from pollutants, it also maximizes your HVAC system’s potential.

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