HVAC Maintenance | What It Involves and Why You Need It
February 25, 2021
When it’s not even spring and you can already tell that the summer is going to be boiling, you need to get HVAC maintenance on the schedule. Of course, it’s a sizeable checklist, and you can’t DIY most of it. The good news is that you’re thinking about it early.
Maintenance is the difference between a system that will stand up to the blazing Phoenix summer until the clock runs out and one that fouls out in the third quarter. When you schedule service with Precision Air & Plumbing, you get a head start that helps your AC keep its head in the game. Here’s what you can expect from the process and why it’s important, with a checklist of items you can do as a homeowner.
What’s Involved With AC Maintenance?
Maintaining your HVAC system takes knowledge, practice and time. For the most part, you need a technician to do the work. When you request service with Precision Air & Plumbing, we take your system through a 35-point checklist that includes:
- Testing temperatures
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Inspecting components for function and signs of excessive wear
- Testing the load
- Confirming the electrical system is in good condition
- Checking insulation
In many cases, we can go through our checklist and complete it in an hour or less.
Can I DIY HVAC Maintenance?
If you’re committed to the health of your HVAC system, you might wonder which of these maintenance tasks you can do on your own. We at Precision Air & Plumbing don’t recommend opening up your equipment, because some parts are easily damaged and you may void your warranty. That said, there are a few things you can do to help make our jobs easier and minimize problems with your AC. Go through the items on this checklist at least a few times a year:
- Keep grass and bushes at least a foot away from your AC unit.
- Brush leaves or debris off your AC unit’s exterior.
- Change your air filters at least once every three months, possibly more often if you have environmental allergies.
- Avoid stacking boxes or other things near your furnace or air handling unit.
- Confirm that vents are open and clear of debris.
With all these things under control, you can sit back, relax and let us do the technical work.
Why Is HVAC Maintenance Important?
When you have a billion tasks on your plate as a homeowner–in addition to your job and family–maintenance for a working machine might seem excessive. After all, if it’s still working great, why worry? The answer is simple: For much of the year, your AC system may feel like a member of the family. You want to be sure it’s happy to run 24/7.
Here in Phoenix, we don’t even have to go outside to understand how important HVAC is for our lives. Arizona ranks #1 for air conditioning costs. It’s so brutally hot here that Arizona homes spend about 50% more to cool their homes than the #2 state. Maintenance helps to keep your system efficient and, most importantly, running when you need it.
Our maintenance is about more than service… it’s about prevention. With Precision Air & Plumbing’s Maintenance Plan, you can prevent potential problems from happening in the first place, and save money in the process.
What Happens to HVAC Without Maintenance?
As much as you would love to have regular maintenance for your HVAC system, sometimes it’s difficult to find the time to get around to it. Here’s what happens if you don’t do anything and assume that a working AC will remain in good shape.
At the very least, your air filter gets clogged. A dirty filter makes the system work harder. Eventually, you may end up with dirt or debris inside your HVAC system. If you let it go too much longer, it can collect on your evaporator coil and start freezing up or short cycling. Let that continue for a while and you’ll have to call in AC repair for a system that isn’t working well or won’t turn on at all.
Of course, that assumes that your system was in great condition in the first place. If it has problems already, like a refrigerant leak or a compressor motor on its way out, you may not even realize there’s a problem until the system is dead.
When Should I Schedule HVAC Service?
The best time to request HVAC service comes before you plan to increase its use. Scheduling maintenance for your air conditioner works best in the spring before you start burning through thousands of kilowatts every month to keep your home cool. Spring maintenance shakes the dust off your system and confirms that it’s ready for another shocking summer. You’ll also want to schedule maintenance for your furnace in the fall before you need it.
Another reason to get in early is to beat the summer rush. HVAC companies like Precision Air & Plumbing spend much of the summer handling emergency repairs and replacements. If you put maintenance on your calendar before mid-spring, you’ll get to pick a time that works best for you and you’ll be less likely to wait.
How Much Does AC Maintenance Cost?
Like almost anything about your home, maintenance isn’t free. But when you decide to get it done every year, you’re protecting your investment. Think of preventative maintenance in the same way as preventative maintenance for your car. How long would you run your car without checking/changing your oil? If you could spend a few hundred dollars per year to keep your car running for five years longer, wouldn’t you consider it a wise investment?
Similarly, a small expense to ensure that your system is ready to go every summer can increase your output and efficiency and reduce the likelihood of a big breakdown on a hot day. Precision Air & Plumbing’s maintenance is low-cost compared to what you might spend on repairs for an expensive component, or replacement. By finding trouble indicators, you can pick up on emerging problems before they reach a crisis situation.
When you see all the benefits of maintaining your HVAC system, and all the risks you take if you don’t, you can understand how it’s an obvious choice. Schedule an appointment for prompt, courteous service from the experts at Precision Air & Plumbing.