You likely have a heating and air conditioning system to keep your home comfortable throughout the year. Just like your car, getting your HVAC system maintained by a licensed professional is imperative to its overall longevity and efficiency. If you’re not sure how often to call your chosen HVAC technician for a tune-up, read on.

Consider Each System Separately

If you’re like most homeowners, you likely have both a cooling and a heating system. While you may hear them referred to jointly as an HVAC system, remember to treat them separately. Each system has its own maintenance requirements that should be followed at the right time.

When to Schedule HVAC Maintenance

It’s best to schedule service at least once a year for each system that you have. When it comes to your heating system, you should schedule service in the fall months. This will give you time to get your system checked out and running efficiently before you need to rely on it during those cold winter days.

The same holds true for your cooling system. It should receive maintenance by a licensed professional at least once a year, preferably in the early spring months. This will give you enough time to get your system assessed, repaired if needed, and running efficiently before the hot summer weather hits.

A Note About Heat Pumps

Many times, people get confused when it comes to scheduling service for their heat pump. Since there aren’t two different units, such as with a centralized air conditioning unit and a furnace, they think that they only need to schedule maintenance on an annual basis. This simply isn’t true. Some experts recommend that your heat pump should receive service from a licensed HVAC technician twice a year. This is once in the spring and once in the fall.

Why is Maintenance Service Necessary?

Getting your system serviced is necessary for several reasons. First and foremost, this service helps to ensure that your system is working as efficiently as possible. The more efficient your heating or cooling system is, the less money you’ll spend on operating costs throughout the year.

Second, most HVAC manufacturers require that your system receive service at least once a year. This must be performed by a licensed professional. If you lapse on getting annual service, you can end up voiding the remaining warranty on your system. This can leave you paying for future repairs out of pocket, which is a position that no one wants to be in.

Thirdly, getting regular HVAC system maintenance will allow your technician to alert you to any problems that your system may have. This way, you can get the problem fixed before you need to rely on your heating or cooling system consistently. Plus, any trained HVAC technician should be able to provide you with an estimated remaining lifespan on the unit. This can allow you to properly prepare your finances for when a new HVAC unit will need to be purchased.

Homeowner Maintenance Tasks

As a homeowner, there are some key maintenance tasks that you’ll need to perform to ensure that your heating and cooling systems stay functioning efficiently. One of the most important tasks is regularly checking and replacing dirty air filters. As air is sucked into your HVAC system, it’s forced through a filter. This filter collects unwanted airborne particles like dust, pollen, and even pet dander.

Over time, this HVAC filter will become dirty and need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to check your HVAC system’s air filter at least once a month. Hold it up to a light source and see if you can still see through the filter. If so, put it back in and check again next month. If you can’t see through the air filter, then it’s time to replace it with a new one. It’s best to always have a spare air filter on hand to keep your indoor air quality level high.

Homeowner Heating System Maintenance

In the fall months, it’s time to clean out the area around your furnace and get ready for the winter season. You’ll want to walk around to all the vents throughout your home and ensure that they’re not blocked by furniture. As you switch your thermostat over to heating mode and test-run your heating system, you should feel warm air coming out of all of your supply vents.

If you have a heating system that burns fuel, like heating oil, propane, or natural gas, it’s a good idea to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that you order fuel for any storage tank that you have so it’s ready to go when you need to start heating your home on those cold winter days.

Homeowner Cooling System Maintenance

When the spring season is upon you, it’s time to schedule that cooling system maintenance. Start by switching your thermostat back to cooling mode and give it a test run. You’ll want to check each supply vent and ensure that it’s producing cool air.

Head outside to your outdoor compressor unit. You want to ensure that there are no low-hanging branches or shrubs within a four-foot radius of the unit. Remove any debris, like leaves or twigs, that has blown up against the unit’s housing. Your outdoor compressor unit needs an open area surrounding it to allow for optimal free flow of air.

As you’re assessing your outdoor unit, see if any of the metal fins are bent. These fins are quite delicate and can bend when pushed against. If you notice any bent fins, be sure to ask your HVAC professional to take the time to force them back into their original position. They will typically do this with a specialized fin comb.

What Does Professional HVAC Service Entail?

When you have a trained HVAC technician come to perform service on your heating or cooling system, there are a few key things that they’ll do. They’ll check and tighten all of the electrical connections to ensure that they’re working properly. They’ll inspect and lubricate all of the system’s internal moving parts to ensure optimal movement.

Your HVAC technician will check your system’s controls, calibrate your thermostat, and adjust your blower components as needed. They’ll clean the condensate drain on your cooling system and check its refrigerant level. They’ll also inspect the exhaust vent, heat exchanger, fuel line connections, and burner on your heating system.

A maintenance visit will typically also include a filter change for each air intake vent in the home. They may also take the time to clean your outdoor unit if the components are dusty.

Call for HVAC Service Today

Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation offers top-quality HVAC maintenance services for Sacramento, CA and the surrounding areas. We can also assist with all of your heating, cooling, insulation, ducting, electrification, water heater, and whole-house fan needs. Contact our friendly staff today to schedule your next maintenance service appointment with one of our highly experienced HVAC technicians.

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