If you’re like us, you start thinking about HVAC maintenance around this time of year. Perhaps it’s not the most exciting preoccupation, with all the summer blockbusters finally coming out, fantastic new music dropping left and right, and the weather drawing us all back outside for fun in the sun. That’s OK, though. A little air-conditioning maintenance can go a long way to making your summer more comfortable, affordable and planet-friendly. If you’re ready to think about whether and when to go about an HVAC tuneup, you’re in the right place.
The best time is now.
If you’re wondering about the best time to tune up HVAC systems, knowing when to do A/C tuneup stuff is sometimes tricky. It can depend on how old your system is, how regularly you’ve had it serviced, and how it functions currently. It’s a good idea to get into a routine of service checkups twice a year — or at least annually. Even if your system seems to be running well now, and regardless of your unit’s history, summer heat extremes are nearly upon us.
The EPA says so.
By the way, regular tuneups are not just some A/C company sales pitch. The EPA’s Energy Star program recommends them as the single best way to keep your system running smoothly for longer, with cleaner air and less energy expended. If you skipped that recommended A/C spring tuneup, there’s no better time to go ahead with an HVAC checkup than today. Here’s why.
Get a jump on the season
Due to worn-out parts, less-frequent use in milder seasons, accumulation of organic debris and airborne dirt, and the potential for invasive pests like insects and rodents, an HVAC tuneup is important to take care of before a heavy-demand season (like winter or summer) begins. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is a unit that breaks down due to any of these factors amid either season and won’t cool in the summer or heat in the winter. Getting a jump on these two seasons of extreme temperatures is highly recommended.
Enjoy cleaner air
Your HVAC system filters the air you and your family breathe, day and night. Making sure it runs smoothly is an investment in your health and that of your loved ones. Not only does your system filter out harmful particles like dirt, dust and allergens, but it can also leak harmful chemicals into your home if it’s not working properly. With regular tuneups, your HVAC system will do its job effectively and keep your family breathing cleaner air.
Let’s face it, maintaining your comfort is the whole point of having an HVAC unit in your home, so go ahead and help it do its job by keeping it in the best condition you can. This way, it’ll keep every room of your house at a comfortable temperature for comfortable living.
Make it last
You wouldn’t neglect your car for years without tuneups, filter changes or regular maintenance, would you? Common sense tells you that your vehicle will last longer if you take care of it, and the same is true of your HVAC system. Keeping your system running strong and efficiently over the long term requires regular upkeep. Regular maintenance helps spot minor issues before they become major problems that could threaten your HVAC’s longevity.
Maintain your warranty
Some HVAC warranties require that you obtain and record regular service and maintenance visits by certified HVAC professionals to retain full coverage. Failing to keep up with these records can void your warranty. This rule is a little extra encouragement that some manufacturers include in their warranty coverage —not because they lack confidence in their machines, but because they know that regular maintenance is required to keep any machine running smoothly for the long haul. Your home’s HVAC system is no exception.
Many things can cause an HVAC unit to run less efficiently. These causes include clogged drain lines, old filters, or accumulated dirt, sticks and leaves, which can gum up the works. Uninvited guests can also damage parts, take up residence in your system and leave behind unwanted gifts. When you have your HVAC system serviced regularly by a certified HVAC professional, you’re helping your system run more efficiently and use less energy.
Using less energy directly impacts your household’s bottom line, saving you money on utility bills. Your heating and cooling costs can take up as much as 30% of your utility bill. A little extra efficiency can make a big impact, especially when you consider those benefits as applied to an entire year. You can spend less now on regular service or a lot more later when a neglected system breaks down. While you’re at it, you may want to look into whether your home warranty covers your HVAC and the additional savings you could experience with coverage.
Another key function of your HVAC system is regulating humidity. This task is essential because excess moisture in the air can lead to harmful mildew and mold, which can become a serious health hazard and ruin walls, floors, furniture and more. Regular maintenance helps maintain your home’s air quality and keeps humidity within appropriate ranges all year long.
Preserve parts and peace of mind
The truth is that, periodically, parts wear out. In an HVAC system, one failed part can lead to many failed parts that rely on each other to keep the whole system running appropriately. Regular HVAC tuneups can spot faulty components before they fail, preserving the functionality of your entire system, along with your peace of mind.
Avoid costly surprises
A surprise breakdown of your HVAC system — especially at the height of winter or summer when it’s working as hard as it ever does — is the kind of surprise that nobody wants. Breakdowns happen when neglected systems have had enough, and paying for fixes — sometimes even complete replacements — can really cost you. When you have regular HVAC tuneups, a professional will inspect, clean, tighten up and fine-tune your system to avoid these potentially costly scenarios. Don’t let your system break down when you need it the most. Don’t just go ahead and get one HVAC tuneup and call it quits. Make it a habit.
Beat the rush
One sad but true fact about the HVAC industry is that companies are busiest in winter and summer — the months with the most extreme temperature shifts. What does this say about most HVAC owners? Unfortunately, many of them neglect their HVAC systems until it’s too late. They forgo regular maintenance and service, thinking that if everything is working fine, why bother? For reasons we hope we’ve outlined effectively by now, this faulty thinking is certain to backfire. The good news is that because these companies are busier during peak months, you shouldn’t have much trouble booking an appointment for an HVAC tuneup in the spring (to prepare for summer) or in the fall (to prepare for winter).
If you’re still wondering how to get more HVAC efficiency out of your home’s heating and cooling systems, stick around for more blog posts on this topic and much more. Thanks for stopping by!
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.