Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems keep homes cool and comfortable in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. But these important systems require regular maintenance: even minor problems with your HVAC system could become significant, forcing you to replace your system prematurely (which is costly).
Read on for the benefits of regular HVAC maintenance as well as steps you can take — with the help of an HVAC professional — to maximize the life of your HVAC system. Simple precautions and regular maintenance can keep your system running better for longer.
Benefits of HVAC Maintenance
Maintaining your HVAC system can benefit both your health and your wallet. For one, a poorly-functioning HVAC system may worsen the quality of the air in your home: dirty air filters and malfunctioning coils can contain dirt, mold, and bacteria, potentially leading to breathing problems for you and your family. Regular maintenance ensures coils function correctly and air filters are changed appropriately, improve the air quality in your home.
Additionally, a well-functioning HVAC system can lower your heating and cooling bills, and problems with parts of your system can be repaired before they become serious issues, saving you additional money. With proper maintenance, HVAC systems can operate properly for up to ten years; poor system maintenance, on the other hand, can cut the life of your system short. And they're not cheap to replace!
Maintaining Your Own HVAC System
In between professional scheduled servicing, you can also take steps to better maintain your HVAC system yourself. Make sure you clear at least two feet of space around outdoor heating and cooling units. Additionally, regularly remove pollen, leaves, grass, and other natural debris from your air conditioner and heater. Finally, replace your carbon monoxide alarm’s battery at least once a year in case of emergency.
You can also inspect the air filters in your air conditioner, furnace, and heat pump as often as once a month. If the filter in any one of these systems looks dirty, clean it or replace it. A dirty filter increases energy costs and may decrease the lifespan of your machine. If you’re not sure how to clean or replace your filter, ask an HVAC professional the next time they service your system.
What to Expect in a Maintenance Check
In the metro DC area, rely on John C. Flood’s expert HVAC professionals to perform your twice-yearly HVAC maintenance. John C. Flood has been in the heating and cooling business for over 100 years, and our team of professionals understands the ins and outs of HVAC system maintenance to keep yours running cleanly and efficiently over the course of its lifespan.
When John C. Flood’s HVAC professionals come to your home, they'll examine the following:
- Your thermostat, to ensure the heating and cooling system is working.
- Your machine’s moving parts, to make sure all are well-lubricated and properly functioning.
- The system controls, to ensure that the system starts, stops, and functions like it should.
- The condensation drains, to make sure a plugged drain isn’t contributing to high home humidity levels.
- The machine's electrical connections, to ensure your machine’s voltage and currents are operating at the proper levels.
Additionally, your HVAC professional will check the following on your air conditioner:
- Your evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils, to make sure they're clean. Dirty coils reduce the life of your machine and cool your home less effectively.
- Your refrigerant level. Refrigerant levels that are too high or too low can affect your energy costs and decrease the lifespan of your HVAC machine.
- Your blower levels, to ensure optimal cooling temperature.
On your heater, HVAC professionals will check:
- Your gas or oil connections. Improper connections could be a fire hazard or contribute to breathing problems.
- Your gas pressure, to make sure pressure levels are optimal.
- Your burner combustion. A dirty burner can cause improper operation.
- Your heat exchanger. A cracked heat exchanger will make your heater work incorrectly.
Because HVAC systems are so complex and integral, they require routine inspections and maintenance. While you can perform simple maintenance yourself, you'll also need to schedule full inspections by HVAC professionals twice a year. Our advice is to schedule a regular HVAC maintenance check in the fall and the spring. Contact John C. Flood for the most trusted HVAC professionals.