Imagine buying a car. The oil is never changed and there is never a tune up. How long would you expect that car to last? It is the same concept with HVAC units. No matter how well the brand, units are complicated pieces of mechanical equipment that need servicing, repairs, and will have breakdowns every now and then. By having a preventive maintenance package, you can reduce the need for repairs caused by breakdowns.
Why Leave the Work for HVAC Professionals?
Many homeowners wonder why they can’t just complete an entire tune-up themselves. The fact is a thorough tune-up requires skills, tools and knowledge that only experienced HVAC technicians can deliver. Here’s what to expect when you call in the pros to perform annual HVAC system maintenance:
Check the thermostat: The tech makes sure the thermostat is calibrated correctly to ensure comfort in every season. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat installed, the technician may recommend one and install it for you on the spot.
Tighten electrical connections: Loose connections are dangerous and can cause improper operation that shortens the equipment’s lifespan. The technician also measures voltage and current on equipment motors.
Lubricate all moving parts: Lack of lubrication causes high amounts of friction in the system. This can cause it to overheat and break down. Adding lubrication helps parts move smoothly against one another, decreasing electricity use and lowering your energy bills.
Inspect the condensate drain: Cooling equipment and condensing furnaces produce condensate when they operate. Under normal conditions, the condensate collects in a pan and drains away to the outside. However, over time sludge or algae can form in the drain pipe and create a blockage. During times of high usage, the drain pan may overflow and cause water damage to the equipment or your home. A technician checks the condensate drain to make sure it’s draining properly and cleans it out if necessary.
Check system controls: The start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence should occur in a particular fashion. The technician checks the controls to make sure everything is operating safely and properly.
Clean and adjust the blower: Issues with the blower can decrease equipment efficiency by up to 15 percent. Making adjustments ensures proper airflow and ample home comfort.
Clean the evaporator and condenser coils (cooling specific): Soiled coils slowly decrease efficiency and make the equipment run longer. Cleaning the coils annually is an important part of maintaining the HVAC units capacity, ensuring lower energy bills and prolonging equipment life.
Check refrigerant charge (cooling specific): If the air conditioner was charged too high at installation, you could be paying much more than necessary to cool your home. An undercharged system also can develop if the system has a leak. A technician checks for these circumstances, repairs any leaks that are present, and recharges the system if necessary.
Check fuel line connections (heating specific): Poor gas or oil connections are a fire hazard. They can also cause health problems if fumes are able to escape into your home. Tightening the connections ensures safe operation.
Inspect the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger (heating specific): 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 are two viable options to improve operation and lower your heating bills, but if the heat exchanger is cracked, it’s likely you’ll need to purchase a new furnace.
What are Some Advantages of Seasonal Cleaning?
What can you expect from your newly tuned-up HVAC system? Is the cost of maintenance really worth it? You should consider that some benefits of regular maintenance are immediate while others prevent future problems from developing. Some of the most prominent benefits include:
Lower energy bills: You might assume that since the equipment is heating or cooling your home without any apparent problem that everything is fine. However, have you taken a look at your energy bills lately? A neglected system slowly loses its ability to keep your home comfortable at the same level of efficiency it once did. Just as a car tune-up delivers better gas mileage, HVAC units consume less fuel after receiving professional maintenance.
Fewer repairs: Do you hear a strange sound or notice an odd odor coming from your furnace? Calling for a tune-up right away could help catch problems before they become disastrous. For example, a fraying belt could result in strange operating noises. If a technician replaces it in time, you can avoid the expensive repair that results from a snapped belt whipping around inside. By preventing future repairs, annual maintenance pays for itself
Lower chance of a catastrophic breakdown: Everyone wants an incident-free cooling and heating season. After all, it’s incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable when equipment breaks down on a sweltering summer afternoon or frigid winter night, right when you need your HVAC system most. The odds of this happening when you schedule inspections every year are greatly diminished.
Longer equipment life: Air conditioners, furnaces and other HVAC equipment function best when they’re regularly serviced and cleaned. One malfunctioning part can cause a domino effect that causes the entire system to break down. Regular maintenance prevents this from happening and adds years to your equipment’s lifespan.
Safer equipment operation: A failing HVAC system does more than cost a lot of money to repair; it also can endanger your family. For instance, if the furnace develops a crack in the heat exchanger, carbon monoxide gas can escape and poison the air you breathe. Also, electric HVAC systems can develop a short circuit, which is a serious fire hazard if ignored. Clearly, your family’s safety is yet another reason to schedule annual HVAC system maintenance.
We at Cagle Service want you to have the best unit working at top shape. Always remember Spring time – service A/C. Fall – service Heat!
Call us today with any questions or to become a part of our VIP Priority Preventative Maintenance family (731)300-1030!