Your comfortable home environment depends on your HVAC operating effectively during every season it’s needed. Regular maintenance is vital to have your system working at peak efficiency. For most people, the HVAC equipment’s complexity means they rely on qualified technicians to perform this work. But what should you expect from maintenance technicians, and how often should you schedule them? See these crucial heating and air conditioning maintenance facts homeowners should know.
Regularly changing or cleaning air filters for heating or cooling equipment is a primary maintenance task. It’s the single most effective heating and AC conditioning maintenance job you can do to keep your indoor air at a high-quality level.
Changing air filters is also relatively easy for most homeowners to do on their own. It’s not highly technical; it just relies on knowing which specific air filter to purchase and finding where it is located in your equipment. In most cases, you should be able to simply slide out or click the existing filter and install a new one in the same manner.
The type of filter and its location should be detailed in the user manual or technical specification accompanying your equipment purchase. If your equipment was installed before purchasing your home, an online search will probably retrieve the needed instructions. Or you can always contact the relevant call center to get the details.
Inspection and Detection
When an HVAC service call is scheduled, you should expect your technicians to provide you with a comprehensive list detailing the equipment inspection tasks. They should also discuss any minor repairs you can expect as part of the service call. For example, whether ductwork will be sealed where gaps have been detected or exactly what air duct cleaning will entail. Ensure you also discuss any concerns with them about odors, noises, or poor air flow that you’ve noticed.
Ask to have a look at the technicians’ checklist and see that it covers the following:
- Thermostat testing
- Checking and replacing air filters
- Airflow tests
- Checking the levels of refrigerant
- Inspecting equipment connection points
- Testing electrical connections
- Examining blower mechanisms
- Lubrication, tightening, and sealing of connection points and moving parts
- Looking at drain lines and water collection pans
- Identifying and notifying any pests or contaminants that have taken up residence in the ductwork, and
- Reporting on the general condition of the system.
An important outcome of the final report is to give the owner a heads-up on the expected remaining life of the equipment. Any hint of equipment failure that may happen in the future without replacement or major repair is also helpful. Better to be prepared and have money set aside for such eventualities.
Some Common Problems to Focus On
HVAC equipment has some common fail points, mainly when heating and AC maintenance has been irregular. These include leaks in connector and drain lines and corrosion of metal parts where moisture accumulates, such as connecting wires.
AC units can often develop faults in circuit breakers or fuses. If airflow becomes a problem, check that the space around the unit is clear and open. Furniture or household items may have been inadvertently misplaced and be a hindrance.
Furnaces can fail for several reasons; thermostats malfunction, ignition switches fail, and blower motors stop. If a furnace is not pumping out heat in its usual manner, often the culprit is dirty filters hindering the free flow of air.
Scheduling Heating and AC Maintenance
Most maintenance plans for HVAC equipment include two service calls each year. One service will focus on inspecting, servicing, and any necessary repairs on the air conditioning equipment. Scheduling should be planned so that all work is done well before the hot weather begins. Similarly, the heating component will be serviced before cold weather sets in.
With a set maintenance plan, you minimize the worry of anything going wrong with your equipment when needed most during the peak of summer or winter. It’s not worth skipping maintenance even if you think you can get by for a year. Little problems can quickly turn into severe ones in a heavily used HVAC system.
Of course, an annual service will be satisfactory if you only have an air conditioner or a heating component.
HVAC Cleaning Services in Northern Virginia
Six Penny Chimney in Northern Virginia has an intimate understanding of the local weather and the impacts on your heating and cooling systems. We provide expert maintenance for chimneys, fireplaces, gutters, furnace flues, and HVAC ductwork. Book your service with us today.