Your HVAC company has most likely recommended maintenance intervals for your air conditioner or heater. Homeowners too often pass off maintenance as optional, thinking their HVAC system is working fine. But many problems aren’t obvious until there is major damage. If your AC isn’t properly maintained, it can become inefficient and enough wear can occur that you could be dealing with expensive repairs, or possibly have to prematurely replace the system. Maintenance can avoid that if done at recommended intervals.
Best Time for HVAC Maintenance
Most HVAC professionals will say that spring is the best time to schedule maintenance. Air conditioners tend to break down in the summer, when a strained system works the hardest. During this time, your local HVAC contractor may be so busy with emergency calls, service is delayed. Scheduling maintenance before the peak cooling season gives you more flexibility to set up a time for service. It’s also best to service your heating system in the fall.
In short, your heating and cooling system should be serviced at least once a year.
Is Annual Maintenance Enough?
A service technician has a checklist of items that ensures they assess the overall condition of your HVAC equipment. It includes an inspection of major components such as evaporator coils, outdoor condenser units, condensate drains, and safety controls. Various tests may be performed to ensure the system is functioning properly. You may even get discounts on repairs and future replacement, a longer warranty, and priority scheduling.
But there are things you should do in-between maintenance visits. These include:
- Changing Air Filters: Most AC filters slide in and out easily, so you don’t need a professional for this important task. If your home is dusty or you have pets, the filter should be changed once a month. You should never wait more than 90 days to replace an air filter.
- Clean the System: Brush or vacuum away dust on indoor vents when they start looking dirty. From time to time, look for debris around outdoor units, make sure there’s at least two feet of clearance on all sides, and check the unit is level. The refrigerant lines should also have adequate insulation.
- Check How Your AC Is Working: Turn it up full speed and be attentive to some important points, like whether the system is quiet, any odors dissipate, or your home is cool enough. Do this at the start of the season or if you haven’t turned the unit on in a while.
Benefits of Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Scheduling maintenance when a system manufacturer or your repair contractor recommends is beneficial because it can allow your HVAC system to run at peak efficiency and:
- Increase reliability
- Improve efficiency
- Maximize comfort
- Reduce energy costs
- Prevent excessive wear and tear
- Prolong system lifespan
- Spot problems to fix early
- Improve safety and air quality
- Decrease the risk of a breakdown
If you haven’t had recent HVAC maintenance, or there are signs of wear and tear, it’s a good idea to schedule service sooner rather than later. Check the owner’s manual for recommended intervals or the details of your service plan. Many warranties require scheduled service; if you neglect maintenance, you risk voiding the warranty and having to pay for expensive repairs.
Call Elmer’s Home Services
Based in San Antonio, TX, we help maintain, install, repair, and replace air conditioning and heating systems in communities throughout the area. We offer a comprehensive maintenance plan and service all brands and models. To schedule a visit, request service online or call 210-333-5637 today!