Summer is here, and your air conditioning is working to help you beat the heat, whether that be at your home or your place of business, or both. Knowing just how important your system is to the comfort of you and your family or your business, we want to answer a few of the common questions we hear when it comes to a why preventative maintenance is so important for your heating and cooling system. Let’s dig deeper.
What is preventative maintenance for your HVAC?
Quite simply, preventative maintenance keeps your equipment in its ideal condition, and that means it can perform to the best of its ability.
When people (and even animals!) are living or working in space, preventative maintenance is critical not just for comfort, but for helping your indoor air quality, for maximum efficiency, and for extending the life of your system. There are 3 other major reasons why a preventative maintenance program is important:
- It drastically reduces the likelihood for emergency calls for broken equipment and AC repairs. No one wants their AC to suddenly stop working or have problems, and maintenance is one of the ways you are ensuring your system is proactively being monitored and cleaned over time.
- To save you money. Systems that aren’t properly maintained have to work harder for the same comfort levels (if they can even reach optimal comfort levels), and so if you don’t maintain your system, you really will end up paying more. If you want optimal airflow and efficiency, the place to start is with ongoing, proactive maintenance.
- For improved safety. Clogged filters or dirty mechanical parts isn’t just harder on your system (which costs you more), but it’s also something that isn’t as safe for you and your family, since a HVAC system that isn’t working properly can emit harmful by-products. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are one step, but ongoing prevenative maintenance is what you really need to protect the health and safety of your family or tenants.
- It gives you a service record you should be keeping for your HVAC. Some, if not most, warrantees will even require to see your service record if you ever have issues. At the very least, you want your system to be properly maintained so you can share these records if and when you ever go to sell your home or property. Buyers will feel confident—and you will be able to show how consistent maintenance over the years has kept your system in top working condition.
Are AC preventative maintenance plans worth it?
AC preventative maintenance plans are absolutely worth the investment. You’ll save in many ways, but primarily you will save because of minimizing the need for costly repairs (or detecting and diagnosing issues BEFORE they become more costly or damaging); helping your system perform optimally, which impacts your monthly bills; extending the life of your system by helping it perform at its peak; and last, we also offer those enrolled in our maintenance plan 10% off if you do ever need repairs and service.
With commercial units, the potential for savings can also be substantial. Just how great can the savings be when your system is properly maintained?
One recent study showed that across 10 units, when coils were cleaned on-time, the units showed an average of 47 percent reduction electricity usage required to run (1). The study also showed the energy savings from proper coil cleaning was about 17 percent on average (1). It’s not necessarily a surprise to many facility managers, but it shows just how major the savings can be, and how your preventative maintenance is in fact worth the small investment.
Is it really necessary to service your HVAC system twice a year?
With a spring tune-up for your AC and a fall tune-up for your furnace, this ensures everything is working as it should for the next season, regardless of the space size or your HVAC size. That means, yes, it is necessary to have your maintenance performed twice a year total, at minimum, and for commercial units, it’s likely even more often.
Just remember how your system is typically working everyday. Your AC collects dust, pollen, and other pollutants and debris also collect over time.
Will preventative maintenance help my commercial system perform more optimally?
The short answer is yes. The reason you may not be seeing the same performance as you once did, in short, is likely because the equipment isn’t properly maintained. If it’s not properly maintained, the efficiency majorly suffers due to what’s often called “white fuzz”—or the electrolysis that happens as a result of weather, climate conditions, leaves, and visible white fuzz from trees and surrounding landscaping, too (1).
In many cases, building owners think that two tune-ups a year are enough to combat all these sources of white fuzz, but the reality is that often times, more preventative maintenance visits are needed. The consequences of ignoring this advice: equipment that doesn’t run well or even worse—a system that breaks down due to the lack of equipment maintenance (1).
The same can happen with homeowners, that’s why we’ll work with you to determine the ideal number of tune-ups per year. Typically, as we’ve described, that’s two, but if not, we’ll be sure to tell you what’s best for the longevity of your system and for the health of those using the space.
What are the items included in a spring/summer AC tune-up?
- Filters replaced
- Replacing any worn belts or pulleys
- Inspection of any mold, debris, dust and removal of those particles, where applicable
- Evaporator coils and condensers cleaned
- Clogs and drain lines cleared
- Removal of an any standing water from drain pans
- Check refrigerant
- Check thermostat and other controls
- Change batteries when necessary
- Check electrical system
- Ensure fan motor is working
- Inspection of blades and blowers
- Lubricate any parts that need it
- Ensure no leaks are occurring
- Removing all debris and cleaning unit outdoors
- Test shut-offs
- Inspection safety controls and ensure CO levels are safe
Preventative Maintenance for Your Heating and Cooling Equipment Is Essential
Greater Comfort is your go-to resource for dependable HVAC services, support, and regular maintenance. From install to repair—and from maintenance to innovative solutions—we’re here to help you with all your heating and cooling needs. Enroll in our Preventative Maintenance Program and you’ll save—plus you won’t have to worry that your regular, ongoing maintenance gets done, and you’ll have priority scheduling.