There’s probably no other mechanical system, with the possible exception of your automobile, that reaps greater benefits from a regular maintenance regimen than your home’s heating and cooling systems. The best way to ensure your HVAC equipment gets the professional maintenance it needs is with money-saving HVAC maintenance plans. Combining semi-annual maintenance for your HVAC system with do-it-yourself homeowner maintenance should give you a reliable, energy-efficient system that provides comfortable year-round cooling and heating.
What Do HVAC Maintenance Plans Provide?
Most planned maintenance programs for HVAC systems give you an annual or semi-annual maintenance tune-up at a discount. Ideally, you’ll want a tune-up for the A/C in the spring and another for the heating system in the fall. These plans usually include a provision for notifying the homeowner and scheduling appointments for regular maintenance. This way you know you’re getting the most important benefit of HVAC maintenance plans.
These maintenance visits typically include the following tasks:
- Check the thermostat and system controls to make sure they’re working properly. This is especially important with heat pumps that require gradual temperature changes when in heating mode.
- Make sure electrical connections are tight and that current and voltage on motors are set properly. Deficient electrical connections will create an unsafe situation and potentially damage HVAC components.
- All moving parts should be cleaned and lubricated. Otherwise, friction between moving parts will waste energy and stress parts.
- Airflow rates should be measured and adjusted for optimum efficiency and performance. Issues with airflow can reduce system efficiency by 10 to 15 percent. In line with this, the technician should inspect your ductwork to make sure the ducts aren’t blocked, leaking air or otherwise deficient.
- The technician should inspect the condensate drain for both a furnace and standalone A/C system. A clogged drain can result in water damage in your home and raise humidity.
For A/Cs and heat pump cooling, the maintenance tune-up also will include a few other tasks.
- The technician will clean the condenser and evaporator coils. Over time, the coils accumulate dust and other gunk. This impedes the heat-exchange process that’s vital to A/C cooling, as well as heat pump cooling and heating.
- The refrigerant level should be measured, and if it’s not correct, should be recharged to manufacturer specifications.
For natural gas furnaces, the maintenance tune-up should also include:
- A comprehensive check of all gas connections, along with measuring gas pressure, burner combustion and the heat exchanger. Malfunctions in combustion furnaces can create the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- For the same reason, the venting system for exhaust gases should be inspected for safety.
Do-It-Yourself Maintenance Steps
- Make sure you inspect the HVAC air filter monthly, and change or clean the filter when it looks dirty or clogged. A dirty filter will force your equipment to work harder than necessary, wasting energy, providing uneven cooling or heating, and stressing system components. A dirty filter also can erode indoor air quality, as the system blows airborne particulates past the clogged filter.
- Ensure proper air circulation in your home by keeping registers and vents clear of furniture, rugs, drapes, toys and other objects.
- Similarly, ensure unimpeded airflow to the outside compressor unit by clearing away nearby yard debris such as grass clippings, brush and leaves.
Other Benefits of HVAC Maintenance Plans
Along with annual or semi-annual maintenance tune-ups, a quality HVAC maintenance plan should offer the following:
- Discounts on repairs and parts
- You’ll receive priority scheduling when you need service.
- With guaranteed regular maintenance, your cooling and heating systems will operate efficiently, using a minimal amount of energy. This benefit will be reflected in lower monthly energy bills.
- Under HVAC maintenance plans, you develop a trusting relationship with the company you’re working with and the HVAC service providers you come to know. They know your system and home and can adapt their service to your needs.
Learn more about Air Conditioning by Luquire’s HVAC maintenance plans, or call us at 334-230-5870 to schedule an appointment for your Montgomery area home.
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