We rely on our HVAC systems to keep us cool in summer and warm in winter. A good HVAC system can even clean our indoor air to a basic standard and bring fresh air into our homes. But, heating and cooling systems are complex and they require regular maintenance to work at optimal efficiency. Poorly maintained have lower levels of performance, the energy efficiency is compromised and the systems are more prone to failure. Regular HVAC maintenance is a smart investment when you consider the alternative and we will explore this in more detail.
Why Do I Need Preventative HVAC Maintenance?
After a new HVAC system has been installed, it tends to lose efficiency every year. It is possible to maintain the energy efficiency for longer with regular maintenance. Another advantage is the early detection of faults that are easier and less expensive to fix. Over time, a smaller issue can develop into a larger problem that could be more expensive to repair. Well maintained equipment tends to last longer, which will negate the need for an earlier replacement. As you can see, regular maintenance can save you a lot of money over the entire lifespan of your HVAC system.
6 Key Benefits of HVAC Maintenance Explained
Let’s take a look at six key HVAC maintenance benefits in more detail, they are:
1. Improved Safety
Even a well maintained and energy efficient gas furnace will produce a tiny volume of carbon monoxide gas. This is a natural byproduct of a combustion process and this gas is safely vented away from the home. But, if the furnace is dirty or neglected it may produce higher volumes of carbon monoxide. This places the health and safety of everyone in that home at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous and odorless toxic gas that is known as “the silent killer”. For this reason, it’s important to install a carbon monoxide detector within a few feet of your gas furnace. A well maintained gas furnace is far less likely to produce carbon monoxide in dangerous concentrations.
2. Reduced Repair Costs
As we previously mentioned, detecting and fixing minor problems and an earlier stage is a great way to avoid major repairs that are expensive to fix. An HVAC system contains electronic, electrical and mechanical components that need to work in harmony together. When one part is failing, it can affect others and this can lead to a system failure. Well maintained heating and cooling systems are likely to last longer and the risks of an unexpected failure are mitigated.
3. Improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
The primary function of the air filters in your HVAC system is to prevent airborne particulates from damaging sensitive components. But, if the air filters are kept clean they can make a minor contribution to IAQ. The entire system relies on a supply of fresh air that’s circulated through the filter multiple times each day. When the airflow is compromised, it can lead to overheating and higher than expected energy bills. Changing the air filters is a simple task, the process should be detailed in the owner’s manual for your system. Just make sure you use the exact same filter size to ensure that it fits and that the airflow cannot bypass the filter. If you want to make major improvements to the IAQ, contact your local HVAC specialist and ask about air purifier systems.
4. Potential Energy Savings
A poorly maintained and dirty HVAC system tends to lose energy efficiency, which will translate into higher bills with no performance gains. The furnace may simply work harder than it needs to and the temperature inside the home may be unsatisfactory. During a maintenance check, the HVAC technician will inspect the furnace, carry out airflow testing, change or clean the filter, check the connections, lubricate moving parts, and more. Completing these tasks will reduce the energy required to run the system and this, in turn, will lower the energy bills.
5. Maintaining the Warranty
Most HVAC equipment manufacturers have a clear idea about what should happen during a maintenance service visit. This is usually an annual visit, with a log recorded by the contractor and client. A visual inspection alone is not sufficient and all recommended service tasks must be completed. Only a licensed and certified HVAC technician can perform a professional and recognized service visit. The technician must be bonded and have adequate insurance cover. If these or other specific requirements are not adhered to there is a risk of voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. This is less of an issue for older systems that may already be out of warranty anyway. But, if you have a newer system, this represents a loss of value and the lifespan of the system may be shortened. For this reason, we don’t recommend letting a “handyman” or DIY enthusiast work on your HVAC system. The heating and cooling equipment represents a significant investment and it should be protected from potential damage.
6. Maintaining Indoor Comfort Levels
When we invest in an HVAC system, the intention is to improve and maintain our indoor comfort levels no matter what the weather conditions are outside. When a system fails, it tends to happen at the most inopportune times and an emergency repair may be needed. But, when you adopt a proactive approach with preventative maintenance you can mitigate the risks of disruption. Well maintained equipment performs better and it’s less likely to break down when you need it most.
What is the Best Time for Maintenance?
We recommend that an HVAC system be checked before the start of each heating and cooling season. The demand for heating and cooling technicians rises when these seasons commence as people realize that their HVAC systems are not working. To avoid disappointment, schedule a tune-up earlier and your systems will be ready for the season ahead. If you’ve missed a maintenance period, you can still restore some lost performance and efficiency with a comprehensive tune-up. Check with your local HVAC company to see if they run a maintenance program to save money on servicing costs.