How often should your HVAC be serviced?

hvac system

Keeping your system at its best

Your HVAC system is only as good as you maintain it. Meaning, if you take care of it, it will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. How do you do this? By following a regular HVAC maintenance schedule changing or cleaning the filter, the recommendation for this is every 30 days, and regular HVAC tune-up and duct cleaning every 90 days.

These guidelines aren’t a sales pitch either, or somebody trying to tell you what to do. You’ll enjoy many benefits by following these recommended HVAC maintenance schedules with a properly working HVAC system. When it works properly, it will lower your energy bills because the system isn’t working overtime, and that will extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

Does HVAC need maintenance? 

Your kitchen appliances need little maintenance. Both just need basic cleaning and wiping down. If you don’t get to these things on a monthly basis though, they keep working. Your HVAC system, though, and yes, it is considered an appliance, is different. HVAC maintenance is needed more frequently for cooling and heating to keep working at optimum capacity. 

Read on for a suggested HVAC maintenance checklist and tips on basic HVAC care and recommended HVAC maintenance tasks as recommended by HVAC experts. By following these recommendations and suggestions, your HVAC system will stay in efficiently working and providing you peak level of performance. 

What does HVAC tune-up include?     

There isn’t a basic HVAC tune-up checklist because there are four different seasons, each one requiring something more specific to it. All year long though, pay attention to your landscaping, making sure the area around the exterior component of your HVAC system is clear of any debris and grass. Keep plants, shrubs, and trees trimmed back a minimum of three feet. Brush away any leaves, tree beans, fruits, needles, etc.

Keep a visual watch over the exterior unit and when pollen coats the exterior equipment, gently brush it off. Keep other things away from the unit like bikes, gardening tools, lawn furniture, etc. Inspect the exterior unit periodically and if you see dirty condenser coils, evaporator, or the fins appear damaged or you notice ice on the coils, call your HVAC contractor. If you notice any strange noises or vibration, call your HVAC contractor. 

Following is a recommended basic HVAC maintenance checklist and seasonal maintenance schedule to follow:

Quarterly

  • Change or Clean Air Filters: Clean or replace the HVAC air filters every 3 months. If the weather has had numerous cold snaps or heat waves, you may need to clean or replace it on a monthly schedule.
  • Adjust the Thermostat: The temperatures change hourly. Adjust your thermostat accordingly so the HVAC system isn’t overloaded, and the system is cooling or heating needlessly, wasting energy. A programmable thermostat can help with this and could give you an ROI within the first 30 to 60 days of being installed.
  • Check Electrical Connections: Any electrical connections that are broken, disconnected, or loose compromise your HVAC system’s efficiency and safety. If a loose connection can’t be plugged back in easily, or there is a broken connection, call your HVAC contractor.

The Fall, The Winter

  • Professional HVAC maintenance: The start of the fall, and for an HVAC tune-up for winter, schedule your HVAC contractor for an HVAC maintenance checkup and inspection. This should include checking the electrical connections, voltage, checking the condensation drain and the exhaust outlets. The burners, fuel lines, and heat exchangers should be checked and grease of all moving parts. Any areas of concern found by the technician should be brought to your attention and a plan of action discussed.
  • A Carbon Monoxide Detector: Any home with natural gas or oil used for the heating system should have a working carbon monoxide detector. At the beginning of   fall, replace the batteries and test the unit. Every 5 years replace the unit.
  • The Furnace: The humidifier wick should be replaced at the start of fall.
  • Ice or Snow: Andy ice or snow should be removed from the HVAC outdoor unit. If you cannot remove it, call your HVAC contractor. Never try to melt the ice or snow.

The Spring, The Summer

  • Professional HVAC maintenance: Before the warmth of spring, schedule your HVAC contractor for A/C inspection. This should include an inspection of the coils, connections, fins, lines, pans, voltage and refrigerant levels and the components of the blower system. All moving parts should be greased, all components cleaned, and the blower calibrated.
  • A/C Lines Inspected: You should see two copper lines going into the A/C condenser. There should be a larger line with insulation on it. If the level of refrigerants is enough, the line should have condensation on it and feel cold to the touch. If none of this is in place, call an HVAC professional immediately. During the months you use you’re A/C, perform this HVAC maintenance step monthly.
  • The Furnace: When spring has arrived, turn any water supply off to the furnace if applicable. 

How long does an HVAC tune-up take? 

On average, if you’ve performed the HVAC maintenance steps that we’ve listed, an HVAC checkup and tune-up should only take an hour. If the system is low on refrigerant, it could take another 30 to 45 minutes. 

Is HVAC tune-up worth it?

Unfortunately, this question along with “The HVAC tune-up how often is that needed?” It can’t be stressed enough: YES! An HVAC tune-up is well worth the cost, and it is needed as much as your regular HVAC maintenance!  This allows an experienced HVAC contractor to check the normal wear and tear has created no other issues, and if there are any concerns, they are addressed and remedied. The expense of an HVAC tune-up will save you thousands of having to replace the unit!

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How do you clean HVAC coils? 

Check the evaporator coils as a part of your monthly HVAC maintenance schedule and clean them every three months. In some homes, the coils collect more dust and should be cleaned monthly. This is important to keep your HVAC system operating smoothly and will extend its lifespan and save on your energy bills.

Your home is an expensive investment that has several expensive components within it, such as the foundation, roofing, and HVAC system. After a storm, as you do a visual check of your roof for possible storm damage, check the exterior component of your HVAC system. Remove any leaves or limbs that have landed on it, check the lines are still connected and nothing has landed on them. When you need HVAC system maintenance in Charlotte, NC, call All Climate Heating and Cooling at 704-964-8375!