Do I Need To Have My HVAC Unit Serviced Before The Summer
April showers bring way more than May flowers. It's the unofficial month of spring cleaning?now that tax season is over?and that means exploring hard-to-access corners that get nothing but neglect during the rest of the year. HVAC units are a prime example, because who can remember to get around to those spring servicing the HVAC when they're hidden so far out of the way? Out of sight, out of mind.
A well looked after HVAC unit won't need too much attention. Let's just say that if having your unit serviced only crosses your mind twice per year that's plenty. An HVAC system should be inspected by a heating and air conditioning professional twice per year, even if it's not acting up. Ideally, you will have your HVAC systems inspected, serviced and cleaned out in the early spring, and then again before winter.
Why is twice yearly service necessary?
Think of twice yearly HVAC service as part of your spring cleaning and fall winterizing routine.
HVAC systems accumulate dust and debris in important parts (condensing coils, air filters, etc.), which slows down efficiency over time. This build-up could equal an annual drop in efficiency of up to 5 percent. And that's only when the HVAC sits idle during temperate autumns and winters. In climates with freezing winters, the HVAC system has a lot of pressure put on it all year long, heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. Two services per year ensures that the system has its components checked and replaced when necessary. Think of it as part of your spring cleaning routine and fall winterizing routine.
Secondly, a certified HVAC professional will know how to look for duct leaks in your system. Even one tiny leak could mean you lose up to 30 percent of the airflow through the ducts. Regular services will mean leaks are caught and fixed as early as possible.
HVAC pre-summer checks and services
Remember each spring to call your preferred licensed HVAC professional for an annual service and cleaning. A springtime HVAC maintenance service visit follows this checklist:
- Drain line
- Operating pressures and temperatures
- The return and supply lines
- Refrigerant levels
Your HVAC technician may also clean the air filter, or replace it according to the manufacturer's instructions. In between annual spring services, keep your filters clean by following these simple instructions for each type type of air conditioner. Non-washable filters should be changed once per month for optimal cooling efficiency.
Beyond choosing a licensed HVAC expert, we recommend that you only work with contractors who hold proof of workers' compensation and liability insurance. With yearly pre-summer maintenance, most air conditioners should last 15 years.