Routine HVAC Maintenance: Small Investment, Big Savings
A small investment in routine HVAC maintenance helps your system run efficiently, keeps your indoor air clean and safe, and saves you money!
Turning on the air conditioner for the first time is a rite of spring in Charlottesville. You know our afternoons get hot enough by April or May to close the windows and crank up the AC. But did you know that routine HVAC maintenance lowers your electric bills, minimizes repair costs, and extends the life of your heating and cooling system?
How Your HVAC System Works
There are many types of home heating and air conditioning systems. Despite the variety, most home air conditioners do the same job by drawing the heat out of your indoor air and circulating cool air through ducts in your walls. In a split system, one of the most common types of Charlottesville residential HVAC, coolant gets pumped through the condenser outside, where it changes from gas to a liquid. This liquid pumps back into an evaporation unit, where it turns back into a gas, drawing heat energy out of the air around it. The newly cooled air is then blown back through your ducts and into every room of your house.
Why Do HVAC Systems Need Routine Maintenance?
If you go more than a few weeks without running the AC, it’s a good idea to get the system checked out and maintained before starting it up again. That’s because several AC components can build up dust and mold over time, which lowers efficiency and can introduce harmful allergens into your home’s indoor air.
During a routine HVAC maintenance visit, our technicians clean out the accumulated contaminants in your system’s machinery and check it for safety and function. We flush condensate lines to check for leaks and eliminate mold, and we test the proper operation of the condenser and evaporation system.
Even if your system hasn’t been idle for long, periodic HVAC maintenance saves you money. Moving parts inside the condenser can wear down and start to work less efficiently than before. Getting your system checked out after a bout of heavy use can catch these issues before they become major problems requiring costly repairs.
Problems Prevented by Routine HVAC Maintenance
Clogging and wear are not just bad for your HVAC system. They can be bad for your indoor air and household energy budget. A clogged or dirty system breeds bacteria and harmful mold spores that can worsen allergies for your family members. Going too long without replacing the filter or cleaning the indoor unit allows minute particles to seep back into circulating air.
Even if your indoor air remains clean, skipping scheduled HVAC maintenance increases your energy costs and can create safety. Dust on the evaporators, for example, reduces the AC’s heat transfer efficiency. Inefficiencies force your system to work harder, reduce the system’s life expectancy, and use more energy, increasing your power bills. Dust buildup and cobwebs inside the condenser can also occasionally cause electrical shorts and other safety issues. If you used your HVAC heavily during the last Charlottesville summer, the system’s condensate lines might have dried out during the winter months and developed cracks that will leak and clog when it’s time to rerun the AC.
Routine HVAC Maintenance Work
A thorough HVAC maintenance visit will prevent many problems. A lot of the work happens outside at the condenser unit. During your appointment, your technician works through a list of standard checks and repairs. Your HVAC tech will:
- Check to make sure you have the right amount of coolant in the system and that you have no apparent leaks.
- Clean the indoor and outdoor units of normal dust accumulation.
- Check the duct seals for stiffness, cracking, and other signs of age.
- Measure the airflow through the whole system to make sure it’s working efficiently.
- Test the control system at the thermostat and diagnose any problems with the electrical components.
- Ensure the heater and air conditioner can’t run simultaneously, which may happen with old or damaged thermostats.
- Inspect and repair electric wires, terminals, and other connection points.
- Lubricate the system’s moving parts with fresh oil.
- Check the belts and replace or re-tension them if they’ve stretched or gone slack.
- Verify that the thermostat displays the right temperature and can maintain a constant setting.
Charlottesville HVAC Maintenance from Experienced Professionals
No matter what model of AC you have installed, the licensed pros at Fitch Services can perform routine maintenance on it and help keep your system up and running throughout our hot Charlottesville summer. Our techs are all licensed, bonded, and insured, and we provide full-service HVAC maintenance in the Charlottesville area. We back our work with one of the industry’s best warranties for both parts and labor. Call us today at 434-296-9980 for a free consultation about routine maintenance on your HVAC system and to schedule an in-person visit to help keep your HVAC system running well all year long.
Photo by Alexander Schimmeck