What kind of heating and air conditioning service does your HVAC system need?
All HVAC systems need to be maintained. Some heating and cooling systems need more service than others. Kind of like the human body—your heating and air conditioning needs its regular checkups too.
Learning about the components that comprise your HVAC system will give you a basic understanding of where system malfunctions can occur and why heating and air conditioning service is so important to get the most out of your HVAC unit.
Generally, HVAC systems are made up of three principal parts:
- A source of warmed or cooled air.
- A way to distribute the air to the rooms being heated or cooled, like a home’s ductwork.
- A control system to regulate the heating and air conditioning units, like a thermostat.
It’s common for the furnace and air conditioner to share the same means of distribution as well as the same control system.
With the exception of the growingly popular ground-sourced geothermal heat pumps, the vast majority of heating and cooling units burn fuel—air conditioners use electricity to keep us cool, and most heating systems use gas or oil.
How your HVAC system works
If you have a very old home, clinging to a very old system, it will use a boiler to produce heat that heats water which then warms the air in your home. These systems use the boiler to store and heat the water supply, eventually circulating it as hot water through pipes inside your walls, floors, or ceiling.
When the A/C is switched on, warm air in your home is cooled through contact with the cooling coil. The cooled air is then sent throughout a home to its rooms via the ducts. Or, if it’s a single room unit, like a window air conditioner, the cool air comes directly from the unit itself.
One essential aspect of HVAC maintenance is ensuring there is unrestricted air flow. A system’s filters must stay clean, and the heat exchangers and coils should remain clear of clutter that could cause restrictions. Debris and dust is a heating and cooling system’s enemy.
It’s recommended that you schedule your heating and air conditioning service to your system twice a year — with both service tune-ups around daylight savings time.
Also, it is extremely important that you change your HVAC filter regularly. A clean filter can fix or even eliminate many common problems with your HVAC system, reducing the probability of failure.
Not only does replacing your HVAC system’s filter regularly keep your heating and air conditioning system running at top performance, it also improves the air quality within your home. Changing your HVAC system’s filter as often as recommended by the manufacturer will maintain proper airflow and keep your home free of dust, pathogens, and allergens. Check your owner’s manual for what your HVAC manufacturer suggests.
If your current HVAC unit is performing less than top notch, check out our post on the best heating and air conditioning repair near you.
Besides changing the filter, what other maintenance should I perform?
As a rule, heating and air conditioning service should be performed by a qualified contractor. However, there are certain things you can do to give your HVAC system an edge in performance:
- Keep the outdoor units clear brush, weeds, and any other debris that could reduce the airflow to the unit.
- Use care with lawn equipment around the unit so as not to cause any damage.
- Don’t let it become Fido’s favorite place — our pet’s urine can cause expensive damage to the unit.
Is there anything I need to do before I schedule my heating and air conditioning service?
Make sure the air conditioner or furnace is turned on. Also, check the breaker box and make sure no fuses are tripped. Be sure the thermostat is set correctly as well. Take note of any strange smells or noises, or if something doesn’t seem to be working the way it usually does.
How can I tell if my HVAC system is working properly?
If you schedule regular heating and air conditioning service, the chances are the HVAC tech will be able to give you a heads up before any major, expensive issues occur.
But, it’s still good to know what to look out for yourself, instead of letting what might be a minor problem turn into a large, costly one because it was unknowingly ignored. Here are four things to keep an eye on that could be signs of a broken HVAC system.
- It’s making strange noises.
- Areas of your home aren’t being cooled as efficiently as other areas.
- It takes longer than usual to cool down or heat up.
- Your utility bills have been rising for no apparent reason.
These are all signs you need heating and air conditioning service. A well-maintained HVAC system can last 20 years with good, regular maintenance. Always choose a qualified HVAC contractor to perform your furnace and A/C tune-ups. A pro can catch minor issues early before they become major, costly HVAC repairs.
If you want to get scheduled for heating and air conditioning service, connect with service.com today! Get a free quote and make sure your HVAC system is in top shape!