HVAC preventative maintenance is the best way to minimize premature equipment failure and the costly repairs associated with insufficient maintenance. Aside from the financial benefits, a properly maintained system generates optimal energy efficiency and helps to improve your indoor air quality. This includes both scheduled service as well as the DIY maintenance every commercial building maintenance crew or homeowner must learn how to perform.
Scheduled HVAC Preventative Maintenance
First up, you should schedule maintenance for systems that heat and cool every six months—ideally in spring before it heats up, and fall just before the cooler winter months. If you only have AC, once a year in the spring. If you only have heat, in the fall before it starts to cool down. This will ensure that your system is ready to heat or cool, and that no damage has occurred during its high season. This service visit will inspect all internal and external components, and also perform the essential cleaning, lubrication, and general tune up. Add your scheduled service visits to your seasonal checklist so that you don’t forget. If it helps, set an automated reminder.
Changing Your Filters
Your air filters are tasked with keeping allergens and particles out of your air. This helps to improve the air quality in your home or building, but having a clean filter is also essential for energy efficiency. If your filter is dirty, your system will have to work harder to push heat or cool air into each room. Not just that, but your ducts will get dirtier faster—and your rooms will not heat and cool as quickly or as evenly. The size of your facility, type of work completed, local weather, and individual circumstances will determine how frequently you need to change your air filters. On average, every 3 to 6 months but check your filters once each month. For example, during the heart of the summer, your AC filter may need to be cleaned more frequently. Keep plenty of clean filters on hand so that you or your team can change them as needed. Also, check your options in reusable filters that just need to be washed and dried.
Cleaning The Coils
Keeping your coils clean will help to keep your filters clean, and your AC running with optimal efficiency. This will be included in your annual AC servicing, but if you live in a climate where you use your AC year-round—then have your coils cleaned at least every 6 months. You can learn to clean your coils yourself, but hire a pro instead because it will be included in your annual AC servicing.
What Happens If You Forget Or Ignore HVAC Problems?
If you forget your annual or bi-annual HVAC preventative maintenance, or ignore signs that something is wrong—you run the risk of an inconvenient breakdown. The costs of repairing a faulty system is always significantly higher than keeping your system properly maintained in the first place. In fact, performing scheduled maintenance on modern systems all but eliminates the risk of a breakdown. That being said, you must be mindful of signs that something is wrong in-between your service visits. This includes:
- Unusual odors
- Rattling or humming
- A decrease in efficiency
- Thermostat doesn’t seem to be working properly
- Or any change in standard behavior
Just like you take your car in for scheduled oil changes and tune-ups, you must invest in preventative maintenance for your HVAC system. During your service visit, inquire about the average lifecycle of your system, how much longer it is likely to run, if you require a custom service schedule, and what you can do to extend the lifecycle of your system.