The cost of HVAC repair calls can be high and often seem to come at the most inconvenient times. There are ways to avoid costly HVAC emergency service calls. With proper maintenance, you can head off trouble with your system before issues become serious.
Maintenance on the HVAC system should be done in early fall and early spring, just before the heating and cooling system will be in heavy use for the winter and summer months. This will give you plenty of time to repair any problems discovered. Also, HVAC repair services are traditionally slow at these times and may be offering discounts and deals.
Steps to follow for heating system maintenance
- Test the thermostat to make sure it is functioning properly. When you turn it on listen for any unusual sounds that might be indications of trouble. If you are concerned investigate or call a repair service for help.
- Locate the filter in your furnace and make sure it’s clean. If it appears clogged or dirty, change the filter.
- Make sure all of the air ducts and returns are uncovered and free of dirt and debris, so that air flow is not blocked in any way.
- Make sure air flow to the outdoor unit is unrestricted as well. Remove any trash leaves, grass and tree trimmings that are in close by.
- Make sure the outdoor coil on the heat pump or air conditioner is not obstructed by dust, leaves and yard debris. Wash it with the garden hose, but apply gentle water pressure.
- Make sure that the outdoor unit is sitting level. If the ground settles so that it is not level it must be re-leveled. This will allow the unit to drain properly.
- Test the electrical components in the furnace to make sure they are functioning properly
- If needed, oil the moving parts inside your furnace.
Steps to follow for cooling system maintenance
- Test the thermostat same as with the heating unit.
- Make sure there is adequate refrigerant; a low level is indication of a leak that must be found and repaired before adding additional refrigerant.
- Change or clean all filters same as with the heating unit
- Test the electrical components in the air conditioner unit same as with the heating unit
- If needed, oil the moving parts inside your air conditioning unit.
- Clean the evaporator and condenser coils, as needed.
- Make sure the outdoor unit is free of debris and air flow is unrestricted same as with heating unit.
- Make sure the outside unit is sitting level same as with the heating unit.
Regular maintenance will help you avoid expensive emergency HVAC repair calls. However, many of the maintenance steps needed are beyond the comfort zone of the typical homeowner, so in most cases, it is best to have a professional perform the maintenance for you. Remember you will be saving money in the long run.