We rely on our HVAC systems to keep our homes comfortable all year round. But, this is a complex system with electrical, mechanical, and electronic components, and it’s worked hard. When equipment is neglected, it will fail eventually, which can lead to a large and unexpected repair bill. Even the lifespan of the HVAC system can be lowered if the maintenance needs are not considered. In this article, we will look at five tangible benefits of preventative HVAC maintenance.

A Brief Primer on HVAC Maintenance Needs

Before we begin, it’s important to explain what we mean when we talk about preventative maintenance. Many people use complex equipment until it fails, and then they get someone to fix it. This is a flawed approach because neglect can damage equipment, and this will lead to an earlier than expected replacement which is expensive. Adopting a proactive approach to maintenance is a smart move because minor issues can be detected before they develop into larger problems that cost more to fix. Well maintained equipment is less likely to fail when you need it most, and this helps you to limit downtime. HVAC equipment tends to last for 10-15 years and regular maintenance will place the system at the upper end of that range.

5 HVAC Preventative Maintenance Benefits

1.   Lower Utility Bills

Let’s face it, energy costs are rising, and any steps that we can take to reduce our energy needs are money in the bank. When we’ve invested money in an HVAC system, we want good performance, but this must be balanced with energy efficiency. After installation, a new HVAC system loses some efficiency every year as it ages. This can be offset with regular preventative maintenance before the start of each cooling and heating season. Another way to lower utility bills is to install a smart thermostat which would give you unparalleled control over the HVAC system.

2.   Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Poor IAQ is a major concern, and many homes have more polluted air indoors than you can find outdoors. When the HVAC system is running, the treated air (warm or cool) is distributed throughout the home via the ductwork system. This is a cyclical movement; the air is moved through the system multiple times each day. As it circulates, the air picks up a wide variety of airborne particulates, including dust, dirt, bacteria, mold spores, dust mites, and more. These contaminants may be present in the home, and they are often found in the ductwork system. They lower the IAQ, and the first people to notice are usually asthma sufferers, those with allergies, or people with pre-existing respiratory problems. These contaminants can be found in the air filter too, and over time, they will clog the filter and degrade the airflow. Regular air filter changes are advisable, and the details are in the owner’s manual for your HVAC equipment. If you really want cleaner IAQ, speak to your local HVAC specialist about upgraded air filters and air purification systems.

3.   Improved Energy Efficiency

We touched on this earlier, but HVAC energy efficiency improvements deserve to be restated here. When an HVAC unit is dirty or poorly maintained, there is a drop in energy efficiency. In many homes, the units may require up to 20% more energy to generate the same levels of heating and cooling as a well maintained unit. Spread across an entire year, this is an astonishing waste of energy and money.

4.   A Lower Risk of Emergency Repairs

There is no guarantee that a well maintained HVAC system will need an emergency repair at some time. But, the risks are mitigated, and they are less likely to fail when compared to a poorly maintained system. The most common periods for a breakdown are June to September (summer) and December to March (winter). At these times, the cooling and heating systems are working hard to keep your home comfortable. The last thing you need is an HVAC system that fails when you need it most. Regular maintenance will identify problems at an early stage before they cause the system to fail. Check with your local HVAC specialist to find out if they have a maintenance program to help you save even more money.

5.   Increasing the Lifespan

Well maintained equipment of any kind tends to have a longer lifespan. When you consider how much an HVAC system costs and the additional cost of installation, it’s easy to understand why people want to defer that outlay. Every year that the HVAC system runs efficiently is another year when the homeowner can recoup those initial costs. This is a smarter way to look at an HVAC system, it should be considered as an investment, and it deserves protection.

How to Prevent Expensive HVAC Repair Bills

As you can see, preventative HVAC maintenance is essential before the start of each heating and cooling season. But, in between those visits, there are two maintenance checks that you can perform with some basic DIY skills and a little patience:

1.   Replace the Air Filter

The air filter is a critical component, but it’s often overlooked because it’s simple and it’s out of sight. But, the air passed through the filter membrane repeatedly throughout the day. If the filter is clogged with dirt and other contaminants, it will degrade the airflow. The HVAC equipment will work harder to push the air through, which places the components under stress and drives up the energy bills.

2.   Clean the Condenser

The outdoor AC unit and heat pumps have a tendency to become dirty because they are exposed. The area around the unit should be clear, move garden furniture and other items to a different location. Trim back any plant growth and give the outside of the unit a clean. Use a garden hose to clean the fins to remove the dirt and debris. Cleaning the condenser will improve the efficiency of the HVAC system, which saves money.

If you want to schedule some essential HVAC maintenance, contact your local heating and cooling specialist today.