The Importance of Pre-Summer HVAC Maintenance

As the weather turns warmer across the country, many homeowners are thinking about firing up the HVAC system and blowing cool, refreshing air into their home to keep things comfortable for the first time this season. While this is a great way to stay cool and comfortable, regardless of how hot it gets outside, there’s something to consider.

Before relying on a home AC system to properly and efficiently cool a home this summer, maintenance is needed. Not only is maintenance needed, but it needs to be done long before the hottest days of summer arrive.

By investing in professional pre-season maintenance, it is possible to get your AC ready for extreme temperatures and ensure that small repairs are made now before they have a chance to turn into more serious and costly repairs. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of regular AC maintenance and air conditioning repair services here.

Improved System Performance

As soon as an AC system is turned on for the first time, it is going to begin to experience wear and tear. As time passes, the moving parts may break, and the belts may begin to crack. Sometimes, bearings in the system must be lubricated again.

A professional AC technician can check all these possible problems and ensure the system is functioning properly. Having to deal with frail parts before summertime arrives can help a homeowner save frustration, along with the possibility of a midsummer breakdown.

There are several problems that may cause issues for an AC system’s compressor. Dirty coils along with low refrigerant levels may cause the coils to freeze. If this problem is not handled properly and quickly, permanent damage may occur. Also, these problems can result in improper cooling during the summer along with higher bills. Regular, professional maintenance will help a homeowner save quite a bit of money, all while ensuring a comfortable home environment, regardless of how hot it becomes outside.

An Improvement in Overall Indoor Air Quality

If a system’s coils or ducts are dirty, this can result in serious air quality issues in a home. Mold can also become a problem, especially if humidity levels rise. With regular, professional preventative maintenance of an HVAC system, any mold problems in the coils, ducts, or condensate pans can be handled. Also, the system may require additional, in-depth cleaning services to eliminate the mold problem altogether.

The professionals will also be able to provide an air quality evaluation for a home. This will let a homeowner know if mold is a problem and to what extent it is present. They can also check for other pollutants that may affect the home’s indoor environment. There are several equipment options for finding, controlling, and handling certain indoor air conditions.

Some of the methods that the professionals may recommend include an air purification system, which will provide quality filtration of germs, volatile compounds, and more spores. Another option is dehumidifiers. These help to control the moisture in a home. The last option being mentioned here is the installation of a UV lamp. This will help to kill any mold or bacteria that has begun to develop on the system’s coils.

Addressing Energy Usage Concerns

During a tune-up and maintenance services, a homeowner can ask the technician about energy costs. While a maintenance service can improve the system’s overall performance, there are some issues that may result in higher bills and subpar comfort levels. The professional technicians are going to be able to bring some attention to the main issues and help them come up with viable solutions to reduce consumption.

For example, if a homeowner has a multi-level home, keeping all areas properly cooled can be especially problematic. If the wrong system has been installed for the home’s load, it will create serious problems. The professionals who come to the property can provide homeowner’s an overview of these issues and recommend the best solution.

What Is Included with a Typical Pre-Season HVAC Inspection Service?

As mentioned above and as illustrated by all the benefits mentioned above, investing in HVAC system maintenance is something that just makes sense. However, most people want to know what should be included in this maintenance call. After all, knowing what to expect and what to look for can help ensure a homeowner is getting a good deal on the services they need.

Inspection and Cleaning of the System’s Filters

It is pretty easy for a system’s filters to get dirty. This is especially true for areas that are particularly dusty. The HVAC system is designed to filter and trap all types of germs, dust, and debris, while “scrubbing” the air. The filters are also responsible for maintaining overall indoor air quality.

If the filters are not performing as expected, the cooling in the home will be inefficient. The air quality inside a home is also going to go down. By having the filters inspected and changed regularly, it is possible to make sure that an HVAC system is operating properly and not contributing to even more air pollution inside the home.

A Visual Inspection of the Whole System

It is important to get an HVAC system inspected visually at least one time per year to ensure that the systems are working properly and efficiently. This is a crucial part of any HVAC system maintenance. If a system is not inspected, then the homeowner is not going to know there is a problem until it stops working in the middle of the season. This is the last thing that most people want because things are going to heat up and rather quickly. Also, getting an HVAC company to provide emergency services in the middle of the summer is going to be extremely challenging. All this is going to be avoidable by investing in pre-season maintenance.

The Cleaning and the Removal of Debris

Dirt, dust, debris, and other particles will not just settle into the system’s filters. They may also collect on the moving parts in the system, the condensing units, the blowers, and other important components of the HVAC system. While a light layer of dust can’t really be avoided, but if too many debris is allowed to build it, it can cause serious damage to the HVAC system. With professional service providers, a homeowner can have all the dirt, dust, and debris cleaned away. The technicians will also inspect the parts to ensure there is no type of corrosive damage to the system’s internal parts.

A Condensate Drain Check

The condensate drain that is in an air conditioner and the heat pump needs to remain free of debris and clogs. If clogs are present, they can obstruct the flow of condensed water, which may result in the accumulation of moisture in the system. If too much moisture is present, it may cause issues like water damage, mold, or higher-than-normal humidity levels in the property. It may also lead to other problems, such as an uneven regulation of temperatures, the spread of bacteria and even compromised air quality.

When professionals are called to maintain the system, they will flush out and clean the condensate drain to make sure that all of the excess moisture will flow away from the system, which will prevent all the issues moved above. If there is a problem, the technician can make the needed repairs or replace the drain, if needed.

Check the Settings on the Thermostat

Today, modern HVAC systems are designed with programmable thermostats. This allows a homeowner to control the temperature and to ensure it is set based on their schedule. For example, during the day when no one is home, setting the temperature a bit higher is suggested. Since no one is at home to be uncomfortable, a homeowner can save money. The programmable thermostat can also be programmed to start reducing the temperature when people are headed home. This will ensure that the property reaches a comfortable temperature before anyone gets there.

However, in addition to the benefits offered by a programmable thermostat, issues may arise. The technician that is hired for maintenance can check out the thermostat during their maintenance to make sure that the actual temperature and the temperature that is on the thermostat actually matches. If there is a difference in these two temperatures, then the technician will have to check the performance of the thermostat or they will have to assess the entire system.

Check the Voltage and Electrical Connections

There are many people who do not realize that HVAC systems and connections may break or become loose as time passes. In fact, these issues may actually compromise the overall performance of the system, which will eventually cause enough damage that AC or furnace replacement will be necessary.

A maintenance technician will be able to exam the connections while evaluating the overall performance of a homeowner’s system. They will search for damaged or frayed wires and make sure these are replaced to help reduce the risk of a fire or the failure of important components.

Lubrication of the Moving Parts

An HVAC system has several moving parts, including the circulation units, compressors, or furnaces. All these moving parts have to be lubricated to help reduce friction and to prevent cases of wear and tear. A technician will be able to carefully clean and remove all debris out of the moving parts and apply the needed amount of lubricant to help control cases of friction. This is a process that needs to be done regularly to protect the HVAC system from experiencing too much damage that may result in a malfunction or failure.

The Inspection of Exhaust Outlets

It is the responsibility of the exhaust outlets to allow all the dangerous gases to escape the property so that there is no potential buildup of carbon monoxide or other gases. If there is a clog in the exhaust outlets, it may result in the dangerous build-up which will compromise a person’s safety. The technician will work to assess all of these parts of the system and to check the vent stack and the chimney well. They will also look for any possible signs of backdraft, leaks, or corrosion, and then repair the issue during the regularly scheduled maintenance.

Checks of the Connections and Fuel Lines

The fuel lines are the ones that supply gas to the furnace. These have to be inspected on a regular basis. If fuel or gas starts to leak, it may become a fire hazard. Also, if the fuel lines are disconnected, it can compromise the efficiency of the system. Soot may begin to accumulate in the burners and if the heat exchangers are cracked, they can also impact the overall efficiency of the system. A maintenance technician will assess all these parts and components and remove anything that should not be there.

Checking the Levels of Refrigerant 

An air conditioner needs the proper level of refrigerant to cool the air in a home effectively. If there is not enough of this refrigerant present, then the compressor will have to start working harder to get the home to the desired temperature. Over time, this is going to result in more wear and tear to the system, which will eventually cause the entire AC to have to be replaced. With regular maintenance, it is possible to avoid this and feel confident that the AC system is operating properly and efficiently.

Getting an AC System Maintained Before Summer

Regardless of where a person lives or what the temperature is outside right now, the dog days of summer are coming. The last thing a person wants to have to deal with is an AC system that is not able to operate properly. A professional HVAC technician can assess what is wrong and make the needed repairs in a timely and affordable manner. Be sure to keep all the information here in mind to see why this maintenance is so important and what it has to offer a homeowner’s air conditioner now and throughout the warmer months of the year.