Do I Really Need to Schedule HVAC Maintenance in the Autumn?
Fall is a beautiful time when the summer heat has backed off and the trees are starting to change color. It is also the time when the ads for fall furnace tune-ups and maintenance are prominent. You see them in your mailbox, all over the internet, and on billboards.
If you have never received a cheap discounted maintenance visit or had a tune-up, you are probably wondering what is it all about. After all, your furnace has run for years without any problems.
Scheduling a fall HVAC checkup is important to keep your system running optimally. Keep reading to find out what you should expect, and why you should schedule your maintenance today.
What Exactly Is Fall Maintenance?
Unfortunately, there is no specific standard for what is included in a fall maintenance package. However, you can be guaranteed that there is a significant difference between the cheap $20 options and the more substantial $200 service plan.
As you call numerous companies to get quotes, you want to get as much information as possible as to what is included. At a minimum, you want to be sure your plan includes:
- Checking electrical connections
- Tightening mounting screws and bolts
- Cleaning the heat exchanger and circulating fan
- Testing the primary components of the unit
- Lubricating system components
This is a bare minimum requirement. Many companies will offer a substantial list of exactly what is included. As you make your calls, compare the list to the price to find what is going to give you the most for the money you spend.
Keeping Down Repair Bills
One of the biggest benefits to having your HVAC system properly maintained is the reduced repair bills. Your system is based on being able to circulate air effectively. When there are restrictions anywhere in the system, it puts a strain on the entire system, causing the components to wear more quickly. Minimizing that strain allows the entire system to last longer.
One of the goals of maintenance is to identify possible problems early. If you wait until a component completely fails, you may be looking at an emergency visit to get it fixed. That means you are paying premium prices to ensure you have heat when you need it most. Identifying the problem early allows you to plan for its repair in terms of both time and expense.
Reduce Your Energy Bills
As mentioned above, airflow restrictions cause the entire system to bog down. Not only does this cause your system to wear more quickly, but it also drastically increases your energy bills. In fact, some estimates suggest you can save about 20% when your furnace is properly maintained.
There are several areas where the restrictions happen, some of which you want a professional to clean. These places include:
- Furnace filters
- Registers and return vents
- Heat exchanger
- Circulating fan
Any of the internal components to the furnace should be maintained by a licensed HVAC technician. Trying to do this work yourself is not only dangerous but may also void your warranty.
What Maintenance Can You Perform on Your Own?
There is some simple maintenance you can do yourself to help extend the life of your furnace.
First, check your air filters regularly. The common recommendation is to change them every 30-90 days, depending on your home. For best results, check them every 30 days, and replace them when you notice they are starting to collect dirt and dust.
Next, keep your air vents clear, both the registers and the return vents. For these to work effectively, you really want to keep about six inches clear around the register.
Finally, be sure to vacuum and dust regularly. This has an incredible effect on reducing the air restrictions in your HVAC system. As you vacuum and dust, you remove the possible particulates that will settle in and gum up your system.
Dependable Heating Maintenace for the Northwest Chicago Suburbs
One of the biggest challenges to hiring a home service professional is knowing they are dependable. After all, the last thing you want to do is move your schedule around to be home for an appointment, and then the technicians don’t show.
IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. has been serving the northwest Chicago suburbs since 1946. Our customers have consistently rated us highly, earning our team the 2019 Angie’s List Super Service award. Our NATE certified team provides expert service in heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance. We also provide expert air quality improvement strategies. Call IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. to schedule your maintenance visit today. We look forward to serving all of your indoor home climate comfort needs.