We spend a great deal of time indoors. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates Americans spend a whopping 90 percent of our time inside.
This reason is precisely why it’s essential to make sure your HVAC system is in working condition. By doing so, you can be confident that you’re breathing in clean air, and you’ll be comfortable year-round.
With the changing seasons, it should be a no-brainer to have your HVAC system looked at every few months, yet few people schedule regular tune-ups. Read on for more benefits of routine service and tasks you should be doing in between professional visits.
Benefits of Routine Maintenance
Avoid System Failure
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night shivering uncontrollably or sweating profusely. Eliminate the issue by scheduling routine service.
You wouldn’t expect your car to run at peak condition without regular oil changes and maintenance, would you? So, why do we expect the same from our HVAC systems? Routine service provides a thorough inspection to ensure the mechanics of your unit are running in tip-top shape.
2. Keep Repair Bills From Stacking Up
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Regular checkups can catch a small issue before it turns into a complicated and more costly repair or, worse, a total system replacement.
Depending on the problem, you could be looking at a $1,000-$3,000 bill! In contrast, preventative, routine maintenance only costs about $75-$100 every three months.
A professional HVAC technician will monitor your system for unusual sounds or odd odors, inspect parts for wear and tear, and check for leaks. Based on their findings, they’ll make repair recommendations and generally list some preventative measures you can take to keep your furnace and AC unit running optimally.
3. Add To The Longevity Of Your System
Routine maintenance means filters get changed, and any small particles are removed from the system. A clogged filter or system makes the machine work harder and therefore shortens its lifespan.
Regular maintenance can also save on your monthly heating and cooling bills because your system is performing at optimum levels. According to Energy.com, replacing a clogged air filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent.
4. Improves Indoor Air Quality
According to the EPA, indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. These pollutants come from our daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, and burning candles. In addition, humans shed one million skin cells and 50-100 hairs daily—and if we already know we’re spending 90 percent of our time inside, you can guess where all of those particles end up.
Multiply those numbers by people living in your home (and don’t forget about pets), and then it becomes obvious why you need a clean HVAC system. Poor ventilation prevents pollutants from being filtered out of the air. Unless you want to be breathing in all of that skin and hair-particulate, it’s essential to make sure your system is working correctly.
5. Avoid Property Damage From Temperature Swings
If you live up north, you know that temperature swings can happen swiftly. Have an HVAC technician do a once-over on your furnace so that when the temperatures drop, your heat is ready to kick on and keep your plumbing intact.
When to Service or Replace
Ideally, you should have your system looked at before the weather changes drastically—every three to four months is typical. With a service plan, your HVAC company can remind you of when your systems are due for service. Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a furnace and an air conditioning unit is 20 years with proper care.
What To Do In Between Appointments
In between visits, here are a few actionable items you can do to maximize the life span of your HVAC system:
- Change the filter in the furnace and air-conditioning unit monthly. Put a note on a calendar or set the alarm on your phone for reminders.
- Clean air registers of dust and debris. Don’t make your system work harder than it has to. When you let dust and debris build-up. The particulate blocks air registers, and your unit can’t operate optimally. Use a vacuum cleaner and a dust brush attachment to suck up dust particles. A microfiber cloth will work as well. Once or twice a year, wipe down your registers with water. If you have oil build-up, cut through the grime with rubbing alcohol. You’ll likely find oil build-up in registers in and near the kitchen or rooms in which you frequently burn candles,
- Keep outdoor exhaust pipes clear. For those living in snow-prone areas, make sure the exhaust pipe is clear from build-up. Undetected clogs from snow and ice build-up can lead to safety issues, uneven heating, and poor airflow. To avoid damage, remove snow by hand or with a brush. Similarly, keep your gas and electric meter clear of snow and ice build-up.
- Remove plant debris from around the outdoor air-conditioning unit. Stray weeds, flowers, and leaves can reduce your unit’s performance. Make plant debris removal part of your spring cleaning routine.
Don’t wait for the impending temperature change to make an appointment, or worse yet, when your system isn’t working. Opting into a service plan ensures your HVAC works smoothly, whether it’s 100° and humid or -4° and snowing.
Get your HVAC system on a routine maintenance schedule to enjoy comfort all year-round. You’ll also save money by taking care of simple issues before they become expensive repairs. Plus, with the regular removal of dust and debris, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re breathing clean air.
Give Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning a call or send us a message through our contact page to learn more about our service plans.