Anyone who has a home HVAC system knows there is a brief respite every spring and fall between extremes, and then the system shifts from running the A/C from days on end to running the heater. These two annual windows are also the ideal times to go through a check both system for any maintenance issues. Why? Well, unfortunately, when an HVAC system does fail it tends to do so when people need in the most, either in the dead of cold winter or the high point of summer’s heat. And it only takes a few days for a home to become as cold as a refrigerator or as hot as a sauna inside.
A Laundry List of Risks Exist
Season maintenance isn’t a simple process of just flipping the switch and making sure everything turns on. There’s a lot of different aspects that get checked to insure the entire HVAC system is working properly as well as not showing signs of fatigue or pending failure. And the older a HVAC system is, the more important those maintenance checks can be.
The performance tests focus on air flow and delivery. Your best internal home temperature is a balance of the internal air as well as the cooling or heating process keeping it within an optimal designated range. That means both the vent system, air blowing, and temperature sensors all need to be in working order to produce properly.
At the same time, there are various side functions that help the system work correctly as well. For instance, your air conditioning works by pulling moisture out of the indoor air. But that moisture has to go somewhere. A typical A/C unit has a catch unit that redirects that moisture and drains it out of the house. However, if that system blocks up, it can spell trouble, especially in a two-story house attic.
Additionally, rust can be a big problem. HVAC systems have metal components that eventually begin to rust. A common problem can be the blower which actually is installed in a suspended design. However, when the blower supports rust they can also eventually break. The blower will collapse and fail, and the system will shut down.
Pests can also trigger difficulties; rodents and some insects like fire ants are notorious for chewing wiring. If a pest gets into the attic, even if removed or terminated, the damage done to wiring can eventually cause a system failure as wiring starts to short out. And finally, corroded electrical contacts or a heat pump failure due to age also can create headaches.
A Needed Service Everyone Should Schedule
Seasonal maintenance service checks look for all the above problems and a lot more, including refrigerant checks on the A/C, and potential cracking in the heat flue that could allow carbon monoxide to escape and harm inside, and duct blockages or rips causing air delivery to be hampered or lost. A solid technician check will also confirm connections are tight, A/C coils have been cleaned out, parts at risk for failure have been replaced, filters are changed and cleaned, system pressures are within expected ranges, and fans and blowers are cleaned out from dust and debris.
Don’t downplay the seasonal maintenance opportunity for your HVAC. It’s a low cost way to prevent HVAC problems before they become big headaches at the worst possible time for your home.