Fall HVAC Tune-up Time! Be Ready for Cooler Weather.
Beginning to feel that autumn air roll in? With the holidays approaching faster than you might like, it’s time to start thinking about your HVAC seasonal maintenance. Otherwise, your system might not perform as efficiently as it used to.
Energy costs in America double every twenty years. When we skip tune-ups, our HVAC systems demand more energy to work properly, which causes a jump in our energy bills.
So, are you ready for a fall tune-up? Below are some of the chief benefits of scheduling an appointment before the harsh winter weather hits. By taking time now for your HVAC maintenance, you can be assured your system is working at its best year-round.
Okay, before proceeding, we need to see what’s included in an HVAC fall tune-up. It’s a huge multi-point checklist that concentrates on the following main areas:
- Assuring your unit won’t overheat.
- Assuring proper ventilation (including filters)
- Inspecting the thermostat to ensure it’s working as it should
- Checking any loose, burned, or damaged wiring and connections
- Assessing drain lines for blockages
- Watching for any pest infestations that could hinder your system’s ability to heat
- Examining the heating element or gas burners to ensure they’re working properly
- Checking the sequence of operations of the computer board(s)
It’s not unusual for us to have our car checked prior to the onset of cold weather. Most homeowners in Pittsburgh and the surrounding regions know that preventative maintenance is pretty crucial to looking after not only your car but your home as well. Put simply, a fall tune-up for your HVAC unit is just as important as the winterizing you perform on your vehicle.
Look at it this way — a breakdown in the middle of winter calls for an emergency service which could have been prevented with a fall HVAC tune-up.
Improving your HVAC system’s workings can also offer these specific benefits.
Prevent winter heating breakdowns
The heating unit in your HVAC system sits mostly idle during the warmer months. It’s only during the colder periods that it comes into play that you’ll need it to perform reliably and well.
Just as with you’re A/C component in summer, a breakdown of your heating system in winter is a particularly robust headache. No one wants to be freezing in their own home and risk getting family members sick from the cold. It’s also unsafe to run space heaters for an extended time.
Let’s face it; winter is a peak season for HVAC techs. Unmaintained HVAC systems more often break down when they are working at peak demand. When the weather is severe — colder than normal — HVAC companies get plenty of calls which they have to prioritize. True, emergency service on nights, weekends, and holidays is usually available, but at peak times, can be delayed, and it nearly always costs more.
A tune-up now can effectively head off many of the issues behind a mid-winter HVAC breakdown. By getting the problem recognized and fixed in the fall, you’ll sleep peacefully, knowing your home is prepared for winter.
Reduce the cost of your energy bill
Your HVAC system uses anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of the energy in your home. An ignored and unclean system is an energy waster. A tune-up will improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, which can help slash the cost of those energy bills in the long run.
An outdated HVAC system can break down at any given point or eat away at your energy bill. With regularly scheduled HVAC tune-ups, a specialist can pinpoint different ways you can save money as well as prolong the life of your unit.
For example, varying temperatures can stress out your HVAC system. Routine maintenance provides HVAC technicians the opportunity to check for issues. Rather than dealing with major fixes, they can perform small tune-ups to keep your system running at its intended.
With a fall tune-up, your HVAC specialist can also validate your current or extended warranty. That’s simply another way you can extend the life of your system.
Keeps your air clean
When you schedule a tune-up, a professional technician performs a multi-point exam and safety check. One of the initial things they do is clean the dirt and dust both within and around your unit.
Dust and build-up are among your heater’s (and air conditioner’s) worst enemies, and the more you ignore it, the harder your system has to work to evenly heat (or cool) the home.
Working past all that dust and debris also boosts your energy bill. So, with routine tune-ups, you can be assured your system is as running as efficiently as can be.
EPA recommends it
No, routine HVAC maintenance isn’t just a sales pitch for HVAC contractors.
It’s actually something that the EPA and its program, Energy Star, recommends for homeowners across the country to both save energy and keep the indoor air quality clean. It’s the best way to ensure that your system runs smoothly and, as we’ve noted, increases the lifespan of your HVAC system.
For your safety
Firing up your HVAC system if it hasn’t been used in a while is the perfect time to ensure everything is working as it is designed and safely.
As we know, furnaces produce heat through burning fuel, and it’s important to ensure that the combustion process is efficient since a problem in the system can lead to a gas leak. We don’t have to remind you that such a leak is quite dangerous.
An unchecked HVAC system also runs the risk of carbon monoxide leaks. These are harder to detect because the gas is colorless and odorless. High carbon monoxide levels can result in headaches, nausea, and in some extreme cases, death. Having a maintenance tune-up will help catch any potential safety risks and give you peace of mind that your system is working properly and up to safety codes.
Also, regular wear and tear, the incursion of pests, power surges, and dust build-up can negatively affect electrical components in your HVAC system. These electrical malfunctions could very well lead to power outages, breakdowns, and although rarely, fires in severe cases.
For your comfort
If you find yourself having to adjust your thermostat because you’re just not comfortable, then your HVAC unit may not be doing its job. A tune-up will help you stay comfortable all year long by letting your system work at its best. In the end, not only will you and your family be comfortable, as we’ve noted, you’ll save money and extend the life of your system, too.
Maintain your warranty
If your HVAC system is still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, a repair claim may be denied if you’re unable to prove that you’ve had your system regularly maintained.
You read that correctly! You see, when your HVAC system was installed, it most likely came with a warranty. That’s usually a five-year warranty for an unregistered system which extends to 10 years if you register it promptly. That’s what you should expect with such a big investment in complex equipment that’s so critical to your home’s comfort and safety. A warranty gives you peace of mind knowing that if something does go amiss, the manufacturer will back up their equipment.
But wait a minute! What about that claim denial just mentioned? Consider how you would feel if you found out something is wrong with your HVAC system, but your warranty is invalid since you didn’t properly maintain your system. A warranty most often comes with obligations. To maintain your warranty, a regular tune-up by a professional is normally a requirement.
No one wants a huge, unexpected bill for repairs and parts. This is why it’s just plain smart to maintain your HVAC system on a regular schedule. Most HVAC contractors, including Phillips Heating & Cooling, offer a scheduled maintenance plan to make this easier to remember. And the best part is that it will help you preserve your warranty in case you ever need it.
Improve air quality
Yes, a fall tune-up will improve the air quality of your home. Over time, things such as dust, soot, and sediment will build up in your HVAC unit. By scheduling a tune-up, you can take a proactive approach against air contaminants to improve your indoor air quality.
It will also help ensure that your system is getting the airflow it requires to work efficiently.
Catch problems before they result in bigger issues
Preventative maintenance is critical because it gives techs the opportunity to spot underlying issues that might not be obvious to the homeowner. If the homeowner continually opts out of regular tune-ups, some issues could fester for several seasons before being discovered, which could result in the entire system having to be replaced.
Scheduling routine maintenance is a much more economical option than coming up with the necessary funds to replace an entire system. The fact is, nobody wants to deal with an emergency HVAC replacement in the best of weather, let alone the dead of winter.
What are the costs related to HVAC maintenance tune-ups?
Tune-ups are a very affordable investment toward the care of both your heating and cooling systems. Installation of a new unit will come at exponentially higher costs, which very well could have been put off for longer had you invested in routine maintenance services. Tune-ups can normally cost under $100 to a few hundred dollars, depending on the contractor you contact.
Through annual maintenance service agreements, however, Phillips Heating & Air Conditioning can uncover small problems before they become big problems.
We invite you to keep your heating and cooling systems functioning their best with regularly scheduled tune-ups fulfilled by Phillips’ professional technicians.
It’s easy to ignore your HVAC system when they’re working, but the moment something breaks, you’ll likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may very well be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than a simple maintenance tune-up.
The best time to think about doing your HVAC maintenance is before you turn on your heat. Don’t wait until that first cold morning when you go to turn on the heater and realize you haven’t had your system tuned yet. To catch problems before they become bigger during routine maintenance can save money on repairs for those larger components through simple preventative maintenance.
Don’t bet that your HVAC equipment will not let you down this winter. Take a few minutes to weigh the benefits of an HVAC tune-up mentioned above and decide if it can be a part of your home’s routine maintenance planning. Regular maintenance keeps system components operating at peak efficiency, helps to prevent breakdowns, and usually gives you more years of dependable service.
Not only that, but tune-ups help you save up to 30 percent on your energy bills each year.