Your home’s HVAC unit is designed to provide for your heating and cooling needs. These systems perform simple tasks and are often out of sight, so they remain out of mind. They are complex systems with numerous electrical and mechanical components that require servicing to operate efficiently. With time, these components will wear down and possibly break down if not properly serviced and maintained.
What Is HVAC?
So, what is an HVAC system, and what does HVAC stand for? The term HVAC is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. An HVAC system is responsible for regulating the temperature of a building. Some like it hot, and some like it cold. An HVAC system also provides a facility with proper ventilation, allowing excess moisture to escape. Depending on their design and the space they are being used for, these units come in different shapes and sizes. They may also serve other functions, including a combination of boilers, AC units, ducts, and moisture vents.
Signs That Your HVAC System Requires Servicing
A sure sign that your HVAC system may need servicing can be as simple as a rise in your monthly bill. You typically expect a rise in your bill once the hot summer months hit and your AC unit runs almost continuously. However, if you see significant or unexplained increases in your bill, you should schedule an appointment to check it. An HVAC expert like ours can fix your issues quickly so you don’t suffer in the heat or cold for longer than necessary.
If your unit runs longer and cycles more than usual, it might be time to have it serviced. This could mean that your system is suffering from lower energy efficiency, which will also cause your bill to rise.
Loud or odd noises (anything out of the norm) may indicate the need to schedule a service. Another thing to consider is that if your system hasn’t been serviced in over a year, you may want to schedule maintenance. This will allow your system to be checked out by a professional who can alert you to any issues you may or may not already be aware of.
What Is Included In HVAC Repair And Maintenance?
When you schedule an HVAC service, a technician will clean filters, coils, and other components. This ensures that the major parts of the component can perform at peak levels without issue. Depending on the type of equipment you are having serviced, maintenance tasks may include:
Air Conditioner and Heating Pump
These are the things that are generally checked on your AC and heat pump during maintenance service:
- Testing for proper temp differential between supply and return vents
- Checking refrigerant levels and ensuring there are no leaks
- Check fuel line connections
- Tighten electrical connections if needed
- Verify blower and compressor functioning
- Checking to ensure adequate airflow
- Clean condenser and evaporator coils
- Check belts
- Oil any moving parts
- Test thermal expansion valve
- If checking a heat pump, ensure reversing valve responds
Your service technician will also note any items that require immediate repair or may require repair in the near future. AC maintenance most commonly occurs between the months of April and May. Heat pumps are best serviced in September or October.
If you have a furnace, these are the things that our HVAC technician may look at during a service check:
- Verify adequate airflow
- Verify supply temp
- Ensure thermostat control
- Inspect and clean the flame sensor
- Inspect the burner and pilot light
- Clean the filter and ensure the correct orientation
- Check the flue
- Test solenoids and pressure switches
- Check and lubricate the blower motor
- If applicable, inspect the humidifier
The technician will thoroughly inspect the flue and test for carbon monoxide (CO) to ensure that there are no gas leaks. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas. It can be extremely dangerous (and potentially lethal) if allowed to accumulate in an enclosed area.
If you ever believe your furnace has a leak, turn it off immediately and exit the home. Regularly maintaining and servicing your furnace is the best method for preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
HVAC Maintenance Tasks You Can Do On Your Own
A simple task you can perform on your own to ensure the health and lifespan of your HVAC system are changing the filter. Simply locate the filter slot and replace the old one with the new one. To ensure you place the right side out, check your unit’s manufacturer’s manual for the correct size and process. Outside, ensure the unit is clear of debris such as wigs, dust, leaves, etc. There should be a minimum of 2 feet of free space around the entire unit. Your unit must also be kept level. It should never be left crooked or tilted to one side.
Monthly checking of your unit’s refrigerant lines will ensure that they do not develop leaks or become detached. Fan blades should also be checked monthly to ensure they are operating optimally. Check them both while they are in motion and stopped. Listen for any loud or unusual noises from your unit while it operates. All of these minor tasks can help ensure that your unit remains functioning properly for a long time.
How Often And When Should You Schedule HVAC Service?
To maximize efficiency and reduces the risk of breakdown, scheduling an HVAC service in the spring and again in the fall is usually the best time. This ensures that your system is primed and ready for the coming temperatures, hot or cold.
Scheduling as early as possible also helps with beating the seasonal rush. Scheduling early also helps ensure you do not experience any issues or unexpected failures that may result in costly emergency services. Having peace of mind for the coming temps is something you cannot put a price on. Your system will operate at optimal levels with a reduced risk of breakdowns for the coming season.
Contact Us For Your HVAC Needs
At Mission Comfort, our technicians follow a comprehensive list to ensure your system operates efficiently because your comfort is our business! We pride ourselves in providing quality HVAC services to the good people of Waldorf, MD, and many surrounding areas. Don’t let your system fail before you decide it is time to call us. We’ll ensure your HVAC stays running stronger and longer through the coming seasons and years. Schedule your appointment today!