HVAC tune-ups are an important part of your home maintenance plan. They may even be the most important home maintenance you can perform, since, in addition to the extra costs of operating a less-than-efficient HVAC system, you can also incur costs for repairs for breakdowns that occur in a poorly maintained unit. It is far better to pay a bit for preventative maintenance than to find yourself shelling out money for expensive repairs that you may have prevented.
If you’re looking for a new air conditioner, to avoid long-term maintenance issues entirely, check out the best AC units for Arizona 2022. But if you’d like to learn more about how HVAC tune-ups and maintenance can help reduce your energy consumption and save money, read on!
What Is An HVAC Tune-Up?
HVAC tune-ups are the routine maintenance you schedule for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They are conducted once or twice a year by a certified HVAC technician who will inspect, clean, and service your heating and air conditioning system. He will also make recommendations for repairs or replacements that may be needed immediately or at a future date.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, your HVAC systems account for more than half of the energy consumption in your home. With this in mind, is there any wonder that routine maintenance that keeps it running smoothly can greatly reduce your energy consumption?
There are many points to be checked during a heating tune-up. This service is usually done in the fall before starting our system up during the upcoming cold winter months. Some of the items checked during this service may include the following:
- Ventilation checks around components and within the ductwork
- Proper thermostat operation
- Checking for any damage to the wiring
- Drain lines inspected for obstructions
- Checking for pest infections that affect the system
- Inspecting heating elements or burners
- Testing computerized control boards
Air Conditioning Tune-Ups
Hot Arizona summers can put a heavy toll on air conditioning systems. Your air conditioner must be able to keep up the pace and remove any humidity that can make it seem warmer. There are many checkpoints in an AC tune-up, including checking the air handler, heat pump’s evaporator coil, and outdoor condenser unit. Your HVAC will check to make sure that all of the parts work together to keep you cool are doing their job properly.
Among the items checked, you may find the following up for inspection:
- Adequate levels of refrigerant
- Proper ventilation
- Clean filters
- Proper thermostat operation
- Pest damage or carcasses
- Damaged wiring
- Cleaning the condensate drain
- Checking for mold, mildew, or other signs of moisture build-up
- Cleaning the condenser unit
HVAC Energy Efficiency
Before your HVAC unit is shipped to you, it is tested for energy efficiency in a lab setting and rated accordingly. How close to that energy efficiency rating you will get once it is installed in your home depends on many factors. Proper installation, your home’s design, your care of the system, and routine maintenance are all huge parts of how efficiently the system operates.
While there are things you can do to maintain a high level of energy efficiency such as replacing your filters routinely and keeping areas around components clear of obstruction, other things are out of your control. However, an experienced HVAC technician from denver air conditioning repair can handle what you are unable to do yourself.
Once or twice per year, you should have your system inspected, cleaned, and serviced by a professional. Combined with monthly air filter changes that reduce energy consumption by as much as 15%, a multi-point checkup completed by an experienced HVAC expert can improve your system’s efficiency even further.
When your HVAC system runs smoothly, it is operating at the energy efficiency it was built to achieve. This is reflected in fewer repair costs and lower utility bills. Your unit will also experience less wear and tear, meaning it will last you far longer than a similar unit that is not well maintained.
Homeowners who have a newer unit may be tempted to skip the tune-up because they view their system as already being in tip-top operational shape. While any HVAC system will be at its very best when it is brand new, keeping it properly maintained from the beginning is how you set it up for many years of successful operation. Allowing your system to accumulate dust, debris, and other gunk will wear your system down much faster than if it’s kept in prime condition with regular maintenance.
In addition to just cleaning your HVAC system, your technician also performs the series of checks previously noted, allowing them to take note of problems early on and correct them before they become bigger issues. Something as simple as a loose screw can not only create noise but also cause a vibration that loosens or dislodges other parts, creating bigger problems for you even in a young HVAC system.
Twice-yearly tune-ups aren’t the only thing your HVAC unit needs to operate at peak efficiency. Between professional visits, you’ll need to do some of your own maintenance, as well. Air filters located inside your HVAC return will need to be replaced regularly. It is recommended that you switch these out at least quarterly, but during seasons like summer and winter, when you may be using your system heavily, it is usually better to replace the filter monthly.
You should also keep your HVAC components clean, inside and out. Wipe away any dust or debris that collects on your thermostat, registers, and returns. Keep your home clean to prevent heavy particles from settling in the air exchange and ducts. Outside your home, keep your condenser unit free of debris and dirt that can build up due to weather or wind. Turn the system off and hose off the unit after removing any potential obstructions. If you incorporate this into your monthly filter change routine, you’ll be well-positioned to keep your system in good shape.
In short, regular tune-ups and a bit of due diligence on your part will ensure that you get the most use at the least cost from your HVAC system and prevent unnecessary repair costs resulting from a neglected system.