As much as we would love HVAC systems to be “set it and forget it” types of things, the truth is regular maintenance and even the occasional repair are essential when it comes to getting the maximum life out of your system. Ensuring a professional sets eyes on the system once a year, in addition to performing any heating and air conditioning repair that comes up before it balloons into a bigger problem, can actually save you money in the long run by extending your system’s life and preventing you from having to replace it too soon.
What kinds of heating and air conditioning repair might be needed over the life of your system? Here’s everything you need to know about HVAC maintenance and repair.
Even if your system is in good repair, you can keep it in even better shape by doing regular maintenance. Each system needs to be checked once a year, so ideally you should have your furnace checked in the fall and your air conditioner checked in the spring. Checking the systems before the demand on them ramps up will get any problems taken care of early and ensure you stay comfortable all season long.
Here are a few things that typically get checked during routine maintenance.
- Change air filters: Changing air filters regularly ensures clean, unblocked airflow.
- Clean and adjust blower: Cleaning the blower will ensure that the motor continues to operate efficiently for longer than if it were left to accumulate dirt.
- Clean indoor and outdoor coils: Clean coils facilitate the heat transfer that enables your cooling system to work, moving heat away from your home and blowing cold air in.
- Clear condensate drain: Your cooling system produces condensation that could cause water damage if it didn’t drain properly. Routine maintenance includes checking this drain to ensure the condensation continues to drain.
- Check refrigerant charge: If your air conditioning has become less effective, the system might need to be recharged. A professional can check refrigerant levels and recharge as needed.
- Visual inspection: Having a professional set eyes on your system once or twice a year is a good idea, as they can do a quick visual inspection of line connections, electrical connections and ductwork to ensure there are no problems developing.
If you neglect routine maintenance on your HVAC system, you’ll likely develop problems sooner, but even regularly maintenanced systems can require repairs throughout their lifespan. Sometimes doing a repair is considerably cheaper than replacing the entire system, and can enable you to get a few more years before having to do a complete overhaul. Here is some of the most common heating and air conditioning repair work that needs to be done as a system ages.
- Replace thermostat: Whether your thermostat isn’t working properly or is just outdated, an upgraded unit can maximize system efficiency.
- Ductwork leak detection and repair: If your system doesn’t appear to be operating as efficiently as it used to, you might have leaks in the ductwork, resulting in a loss of hot or cold air. Leaks can be identified and sealed as needed.
- Refrigerant leak detection and repair: Low refrigerant can rapidly result in a loss of cooling, making it important to find and repair any leak the system might have.
- Component replacement: Just because a motor or fan fails doesn’t mean you’ll have to replace everything. Replacing individual components can extend the life of your HVAC system and save you money.
Should You Repair or Replace?
Often heating and air conditioning repair requires only minor work, making it more cost effective than replacing everything, but at what point do you decide to replace? The general rule of thumb is to replace the system if the repairs are going to be 50 percent or more of the cost of a new system, but this answer may change depending on your situation. Your best bet for making a decision is having your system looked at by a professional. Whether you just need seasonal maintenance, suspect you need heating and air conditioning repair, or need to decide whether to replace your HVAC system, call Maeser today and we’ll help you every step of the way.