Benefits of Annual HVAC Maintenance
Ideally, you’ll have your home’s heating and cooling components inspected at least once a year. Doing so can help to ensure that they operate at peak efficiency for the entirety of their useful lives. It may also minimize the risk of voiding the warranty on a condenser unit, heat pump or furnace.
Catch Small Problems Early
Perhaps the best reason to have HVAC components inspected on a regular basis is that it allows you to catch small issues before they spiral out of control. For instance, an HVAC maintenance professional may be able to fix a refrigerant leak before the condenser unit overheats and seizes up.
If a heat pump or furnace isn’t working properly, it may be because the air filter is dirty. In most cases, it will only take a few minutes to replace it and prevent pollen and other debris from clogging internal components.
Clean HVAC Components Are More Efficient and Easier to Maintain
A fan or motor that is covered in a thick layer of pollen, dirt or dust will need to work harder to create or distribute air throughout your home. Fans or motors that work harder than they are designed to are also more likely to break or burn out. Ultimately, neglecting to clean an HVAC component can lead to higher utility costs as well as unnecessary furnace, heat pump or AC repair bills.
Don’t Void Your Warranty
Most HVAC components come with a promise from the manufacturer to fix any defects that occur within several months or years after they were purchased. However, homeowner negligence will likely void the warranty or significantly restrict your ability to make a warranty claim.
Failing to schedule regular HVAC maintenance appointments might be seen as negligence on your behalf. This may be especially true if there were clear signs of damage that you chose to ignore. Those signs may include fluid leaks, grinding noises when turning on an air conditioner or a heat pump that was clearly clogged with ice, leaves or other debris.
Prevent Exposure to Toxic Materials
The refrigerant inside of an air conditioner’s condenser unit are made from chemicals that can be hazardous to your health if ingested in any manner. Furthermore, they could cause harm to pets or other wildlife who come into contact with it. In some cases, failing to clean up a fluid leak in a timely manner could expose you to civil penalties. An AC repair service provider may be able to help clean up a refrigerant leak during an annual service call.
If there is an issue with a furnace vent, gases such as carbon monoxide could be trapped within the house. Long-term exposure to this gas could result in brain fog, changes in personality and other health ailments. Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous because you cannot see, smell or otherwise detect it on your own. Therefore, you might not even know that a problem exists before it is too late.
Prevent Water Damage to Your Home
Timely air conditioning maintenance could protect your home from experiencing water damage. If you notice a pool of clear liquid surrounding the condenser unit, there is a chance that it is caused by a blockage or some other issue that you should remedy right away.
The same might be true if you notice water dripping from the furnace or the gas line attached to it. This can occur if the condensation pan is too full and is forcing moisture to come into contact with the heating system.
Failing to diagnose and fix a water leak or drainage issue in a timely manner can result in mold growth, ruined insulation and damage to walls and floors. There is also a chance that water will make its way to the lowest levels of your home and cause a crack in the foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Components
Q. How Long Should I Expect a Furnace or Condenser Unit to Last?
Under normal conditions, a furnace that is properly maintained can last for up to 30 years. A condenser unit can last for up to 20 years assuming that you stick to a regular air conditioning maintenance schedule.
The lifespan of a heating or cooling component will also depend on where you live. For instance, if you live near the coast, an air conditioning system might only last for seven or eight years because of exposure to salt in the air.
Q. Should I Run My Air Conditioner When I’m Not Home?
Ideally, your air conditioner will be connected to a programmable thermostat that will keep your home at a consistent temperature throughout the day. This allows you to conserve energy without having to worry about returning to an extreme hot or extremely cold home or apartment.
Q. Why Won’t the Furnace or Air Conditioner Stop Running?
During periods of excessive heat and humidity, your home’s cooling system can struggle to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the day. Conversely, a furnace will likely need to work harder to keep your home warm when the temperature drops below 32 degrees.