Your HVAC unit in your home is possibly one of the most important components that you have in your day to day life. Living in a climate-controlled environment where you as the homeowner get to control the temperature in your house just gives you that quality of life that is essential to living in a comfortable home. HVAC units are especially important when it gets hot during the summertime, as the heat in some areas can be really uncomfortable, frustrating and in some rare cases, even life-threatening.
If you have an old HVAC unit installed in your home, chances are you’ve had it for quite a while, or it was already installed prior to you moving into your house. Whatever the situation, there’s an old saying about HVAC units – there’s no better time than now to get it checked out. Why? Because you don’t want to risk your HVAC unit failing at the most critical times of the year, whether it is during the blistering cold of the wintertime or the blazing hot temperatures in the summer – and if we follow the age old rule of Murphy’s Law, whatever can go wrong, will go wrong indeed.
Why service your HVAC?
Your HVAC unit is a critical aspect of your home that provides a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family, so it is especially important to maintain the reliability of your HVAC systems no matter what time of the year it is.
Here are 5 reasons why you should service your HVAC unit frequently:
- Prolonged lifetime of HVAC unit
Your HVAC is a significant investment to your home, so it makes sense to keep it at 100% for as long as possible. Over time, the parts in the system, like coils, fins and condensers get coated with debris and traps dust whether it is being used or not. The accumulated dust and debris will cause impedance to the airflow, thus making your unit work a lot harder than it should. This causes wear and tear to happen much quicker. Regular servicing and maintenance ensures that your system is free of dust, debris or any particles.
- Energy efficiency
Because your unit is working efficiently, you save energy use in your home. By and large, HVAC systems that are poorly maintained use up to 20% more energy to operate as compared to clean, well-maintained ones. Close inspection is conducted during a professional servicing where the refrigerant levels and ignition systems are fully assessed and issues are resolved, if there are any, in order to avoid them becoming bigger problems in the future.
- Reduce bills
Energy efficiency leads to a significant chunk of savings in the form of electricity bills – meaning you have spare cash on hand that you can use to pay for other important things in your life, or save (or invest!) for the long term.
- Lower risk of breakdowns
An absolutely dirty filter will likely result in a complete shutdown of your HVAC system. This can be frustrating, especially if weather conditions are unbearable for you, and time-consuming if you can’t get an appointment to get it repaired as quickly as you would have hoped.
Regular servicing by qualified professional HVAC contractors will reveal any hidden small issues before they become worse in the long term. Things like electrical connectors and filters are fixed up and changed if necessary, and full diagnostic tests are run on the unit to ensure its longevity and working condition.
- Better quality of life
What’s worse than having a really humid home smack dab in the middle of summer, or having a freezing indoor temperature in the dead of winter? HVAC systems are designed to keep homeowners living in a comfortable house, and if they fail, it’s nothing short of a nasty surprise that will cause a reduction in the quality of life as a whole.
Keeping your HVAC system regularly serviced avoids these unfortunate situations from happening, especially during the worst of times.
What happens during a HVAC service?
During a HVAC service, the technician and crew (if required) will assess the project before running through a series of pre-checks to ensure what needs to be done for the service. During the servicing, the condenser and evaporator coil are cleaned and the ductwork and refrigerant lines inspected and fixed if necessary. Bear in mind that other issues may pop up during these inspections and may fall outside of the standard servicing costs quoted to you to repair.
How much does it cost to get your HVAC serviced?
The typical rates for regular HVAC maintenance vary from $75 to $200 for simple jobs, whereas a full, extended service runs from $150 to $500 for the entire HVAC heating and cooling system together.
If you have any repairs that are outside of the standard servicing rates, you’ll expect to shell out $50 to $150 per hour for the services of a qualified HVAC engineer.
Should I service my own HVAC?
Unless you’re a certified HVAC technician by trade – it is recommended not to do a full service yourself. Although small things like changing the air filter are simple enough to do on your own, inspecting and cleaning refrigerant lines, flushing the drain lines, testing and diagnosing the electronic systems and assessing the ductwork in a full HVAC system is best left to the professionals, who have specialized tools and skills that take years to learn and numerous apprenticeships to master.
It is recommended to have your HVAC system go through a full service at least once a year. This keeps your system running at the best efficiency levels and you can spot and fix up any small problems before they turn into irreversible, bigger issues in the future.