Your HVAC system is the circulatory system of your home. It blows warm air in the winter, cool air in the summer and moves the air through a system of ducts and vents that are installed throughout the home. In short, the HVAC system is what keeps you comfortable and makes your home somewhere you want to be year round. If you want to keep up this level of comfort, you need to engage in regular HVAC maintenance and learn why HVAC maintenance is important. Regular HVAC maintenance helps you avoid sticker shock from a costly repair or equipment replacement when least expected. Most parts of your HVAC system are out of sight and out of mind, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored and neglected. Here are three reasons why you need to stick to a regular HVAC maintenance schedule.
Reason Number One: HVAC Warranties
Warranties on HVAC units last anywhere from five to ten years. But they’re only good if certain conditions are met at the time you invoke the warranty. If you haven’t followed the terms of the warranty, you are far less likely to get warranty service, if you even get it at all. One of the conditions usually found in an HVAC warranty is getting regular maintenance on the unit. You want to stick to a regular HVAC maintenance schedule in order to ensure that your warranty work gets covered by the manufacturer and your service provider. Warranty work can save you a lot of money if your unit fails in a manner that’s covered. You may be required to cover certain costs, but it’s nowhere near as expensive as covering the entire amount on your own.
Manufacturer warranties don’t cover the entire replacement of a unit. Unfortunately, warranties only cover parts. Furthermore, they only cover parts if a licensed HVAC technician identifies that the source of the problem is a manufacturer defect. The parts that are covered are large components or components that fail through no fault of yours. You, as the owner of the unit, are expected to maintain fan belts, wiring, making sure parts are lubricated and that air filters are changed regularly. To ensure this process is done correctly and recorded, you should at least do biannual maintenance. However, establishing a year round maintenance plan with a licensed HVAC company is the best option. Make sure to fill out your warranty information so that you can use it in case something goes wrong.
Reason Number Two: Preventative HVAC Maintenance
There are a number of things you can do that are considered preventative maintenance on your HVAC unit. These include inspecting pans and drains for blockages, looking for visible leaks, watching for the pilot light in a furnace or water heater to ignite in a timely manner, and clearing dirt and debris away from the outdoor unit. If you’re a little handy, you can perform small repairs like swapping out your filter or covering an AC unit with a cover that you made on your own. However, there are many things that you can’t see or know about unless you’re a trained HVAC technician.
The components contained within an HVAC system are full of moving parts and electrical systems that are subject to wear and tear. You may not know that something inside a unit is about to break. Belts don’t always give a warning that they’re about to break. Ball bearings in fans and other motor parts sometimes make noise as they begin to fail, but not always. A technician is trained to spot the known signs that come with any of these problems. Fans will wobble off center when a bearing is starting to go bad. The wear in a belt is noticeable before it breaks. Pilot lights that don’t reach their full height. These are just a few warning signs that a well-trained technician can identify.
When a technician can spot any of these issues in the early stages, they can repair the problem quickly and easily, and usually with less expense. All of these issues are easily identified during routine inspections. Setting up a biannual HVAC maintenance schedule can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Reason #3: Save Money on Your Energy Costs and Breathe Easy
It’s not unusual for HVAC units to lose efficiency with age. Parts get worn with use and tend to lose their ability to provide maximum power. You may not notice this right away because it’s not all that noticeable in the early stages. Instead, you might see that your energy bills go up a little bit, but not to an amount that alarms you. Eventually, you’ll begin to see significant spikes in energy costs. This is a classic sign that your HVAC unit is starting to slow down. That means it isn’t performing as strongly as it should. Regular maintenance on all of the components of your HVAC system goes a long way towards keeping them running at peak operating efficiency. You won’t be able to completely stop the ravages of time, but you will get the most out of your HVAC until it’s time to replace it.
Another issue you may be dealing with is poor air flow through your duct work. The very nature of HVAC is to blow air throughout your home, whether it’s hot or cold. That means using the indoor air and circulating it throughout the house. All of the dust and debris that floats around in the house can collect in the duct work. If the filters are not maintained, the dust and debris collects inside the HVAC equipment as well. This buildup of dust and debris can hold moisture. Ultimately, this moisture can become a grime that is detrimental to the inner workings of your system. All of these issues start out as minor inconveniences. However, they can quickly become big issues if you don’t pay attention to them. Learning why HVAC maintenance is important and having a consistent HVAC maintenance schedule can prevent a lot of these issues.
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