08 Sep HVAC Winter Maintenance – Your Key to a Cozy Winter Season
An HVAC system is a significant investment. A properly functioning system makes a home cozy during winter and cool in summer. Like any system with many contributing parts, maintenance is essential to make sure that an HVAC system works efficiently and effectively as required. Every household with an HVAC system should never neglect scheduling an HVAC winter maintenance before the season officially begins.
• Lower energy bills. Keeping your HVAC system in good shape means you save money on repairs and replacement while at the same time ensuring that the unit is running at peak efficiency. Efficiency is vital so that your HVAC unit maximizes the energy it uses to produce heat.
• Better air quality. If you don’t schedule a regular HVAC winter maintenance, your HVAC system can become a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt which can be harmful to health. One of the main purposes of routine maintenance is to keep filters and coils clean so that it can remove particles circulating in the air.
• Increase system lifespan. Every HVAC system has an expected lifespan. However, without adequately maintaining the unit, the system may break down earlier than expected and you will have to pay for costly repairs or worse, replacement. Routine maintenance extends the lifespan of an HVAC system up to or even over the expected time frame.
• Less need for repairs. Realistically, every HVAC unit encounters problems from time to time, and you may need to have parts replaced. However, you can lessen the frequency of your HVAC system breaking down during critical months by scheduling maintenance before summer and HVAC winter maintenance before the cold weather sets in.
• Take advantage of the warranty. Regular maintenance is also essential so that you can keep track of parts that are still under warranty. If the part is still under warranty, you won’t have to pay for replacement in case there is a problem.
There is no need to stress the importance of routine HVAC maintenance further. If you take good care of your HVAC system, you’ll have less to worry about for years to come.
HVAC preventive maintenance you can do yourself
Some people think that keeping your HVAC system in tip-top shape should be left to the professionals. While it is true that there are certain aspects of maintenance only expert technicians are capable of, it does not mean that you can’t manage some preventive measures to help prolong the life of your HVAC system. Before a routine HVAC winter maintenance, here are a few tasks you can do yourself to keep your HVAC system working smoothly until the next scheduled professional visit:
• Change the air filter once every 90 days or every month during heavy use. In some units, there is an indicator light signalling you that airflow is blocked or clogged.
• Keep the outdoor unit clean and dry.
• When dirt begins to accumulate on the unit, clean it as much as you can without disturbing any of the internal parts.
• Keep the surrounding area around the HVAC unit free from any debris or objects that may cause accidents.
These simple tips are easy enough to do, and you should never neglect the importance of preventive measures that can ensure your HVAC system remains in excellent working condition.
Heating system maintenance you should leave to the professionals
A complete tune-up of your HVAC system is not something you can do yourself. Trained technicians have years of experience and training to know the ins and outs of an HVAC system. Right off the bat, they know what could potentially go wrong by observing how each part functions. When you do schedule an HVAC winter maintenance, here are a few of the maintenance tasks you can expect the technician to do:
• Check the thermostat. The first thing a technician checks is your thermostat. He will check the settings and ensure that it is properly calibrated. In most cases, a technician would recommend a homeowner to get a programmable thermostat which helps increase energy efficiency and savings.
• Check and tighten loose electrical connections. Loose electrical connections are dangerous and may end up causing accidents that could damage the entire HVAC system. The technician will check all connections and tighten them if necessary. In addition to this, he will also make sure that equipment is running on the right current and voltage.
• Lubricate moving parts. If there is too much friction in the system’s moving parts, it will cause wear and tear. Lubricating moving parts is vital to make sure that the system is working smoothly and decrease the effect of regular wear and tear.
• Inspect the condensate drain. If you have a condensing furnace, condensate should ideally collect in a pan and drain away from the equipment. Over time and through consistent use, algae and sludge will form in the drain pipe causing a blockage. If the pan overflows, it can lead to water damage. A technician inspects the drain pipe to ensure that there is no blockage preventing water from draining through properly.
• Check system controls. An HVAC system operates according to a particular sequence. The technician will check if the system starts, runs, and shuts off accordingly.
• Clean blowers. If there are problems with the fan, the systems efficiency decrease by 15%. During an HVAC winter maintenance check, the technician will make the necessary adjustments and clean the blower for optimum efficiency.
• Inspect fuel line connections. If your heating system is connected to a gas line, poor connections can be a fire hazard. Gas leaks can also cause significant health problems inside the home. The technician will make sure that all fuel connections are correctly tightened.
• Check the gas pressure, heat exchanger, and burner combustion. Problems with gas pressure, a faulty or cracked heat exchanger, and a dirty or clogged burner can cause significant problems in your heating system. Not only will the system operate below efficiency, but it is also not safe for a heating system to perform under these circumstances. The technician will have to adjust gas pressure and clean the burner to restore efficiency. However, in case the heat exchanger is cracked, you will likely have to end up replacing your furnace.
All of these maintenance tasks are part and parcel of a routine maintenance check if you schedule a professional heating service to perform your HVAC winter maintenance. Aside from these, you can also ask the technician for additional assistance if there are other problems you encounter with your heating system.
When is the best HVAC maintenance schedule?
Now that winter is approaching, is your HVAC system ready to serve your home through months of bitterly cold weather? Have you asked yourself how long it has been since the last time you scheduled a maintenance check? Experts in the field of heating and cooling cannot stress enough the importance of scheduling your HVAC winter maintenance not only for improved efficiency but to minimize the possibility of costly repairs and replacements.
You can schedule HVAC winter maintenance anytime you want, but Fischer Heating recommends that routine maintenance should be done at specific times of the year for maximum efficiency. A maintenance schedule also ensures that you won’t forget about calling the heating company and end up with a big problem later on. Your HVAC system is often used twice a year heavily. As such, the best time for routine maintenance is once during spring right in time before summer and another one during fall for HVAC winter maintenance.
If you have a bi-annual maintenance schedule, you can avoid the rush of having to call an HVAC contractor before the season begins. Before the summer and winter season starts, there is usually a large number of clients lining up to get their own HVAC systems checked; hence, you could end up waiting too long to have your own system serviced.
Another benefit of having a regular maintenance schedule is the peace of mind knowing that you have prepared well ahead of time and won’t have to worry about any issues as soon as you start using your HVAC system heavily.
Fischer Heating experts also recommend considering buying a maintenance plan at an affordable cost. You will have some additional benefits such as priority servicing. Aside from this, if you have a maintenance plan, you can include the cost in your monthly budget and avoid any surprises down the line. This is another way you can ensure that your heating system is properly maintained, and always in excellent working condition when you need it most.
Image Copyright: Alexander Rath / 123RF Stock Photo