Picture this: you go to turn on the AC after a muggy summer day and are greeted with hot air coming from your vents. It’s a painstakingly common occurrence that HVAC specialists deal with every day. The number one piece of advice they give: have your system maintained regularly.
But, how often should you have an HVAC service check your system? Will a yearly service be enough to keep all the components operational? We’ve got all this information and more. Read on.
Are you looking for quality services for heating and cooling in Alexandria, VA? Cardinal Plumbing, Cooling and Heating offers full HVAC services, from repairs to maintenance. Call us today at 703-645-4527.
Lack of Proper HVAC Maintenance Can Cause Issues Down the Road
For most homeowners, HVAC systems are almost an afterthought. Sure, your AC and heating system keep your home comfortable. But it’s out of sight, so for most of us, it’s out of mind.
Additionally, HVAC systems can last upward of ten years. This longevity makes forgetting maintenance a fairly common issue.
Before you write off maintenance as another superfluous home errand, here are some potential consequences:
- Leaks — Your HVAC system can leak. If that moisture stays put, it can cause mold growth and bacterial infestations. Mold is the last scenario you want to tangle with; it’s stubborn, hard to manage and stinks up your home.
- Broken parts — Many components make up your HVAC system. A broken fan, AC compressor or cracked coils can mean your unit performs poorly.
- High utility bills — If your system isn’t performing as it should, it means you’ll be wasting more power when cooling or heating your home.
- Fire hazard — Since your HVAC unit operates using electricity, faulty wiring and broken parts pose a fire risk. If you are constantly tripping breakers, it could mean faulty parts, frayed wires or overloaded components.
With a proper maintenance plan, you and your local HVAC technician can stop these problems before they arise. But, how often should you be checking on your system? And how often do you need to enlist the help of professional heating and air conditioning services in Alexandria, VA?
How Often Should You Have Your System Maintenanced?
When it comes to professional maintenance, you should be calling your local HVAC specialist at least once a year. During this inspection, the technician will move through a checklist of items to inspect, test and clean.
The maintenance often goes far beyond what you can accomplish by yourself. While you can do things like change out a filter, understanding when a component needs replacing might require knowledge you don’t have. It’s imperative to get the help of professionals when necessary.
Annual inspections aren’t only about broken parts. They’re about efficiency and safety too.
During an inspection, an HVAC technician will:
- Check voltage and amperage of components
- Test capacitors
- Clean and inspect evaporator coils
- Inspect safety controls
- Check for frayed or damaged wiring
- Lubricate moving parts
As you can see, an annual inspection is much more than changing a filter. Having one done yearly is standard practice. Catching problems before they occur and ensuring parts are in working order can help maintain the lifespan of your HVAC system.
HVAC Maintenance You can do Yourself
HVAC systems can be tricky. But with a bit of knowledge, you can accomplish some basic maintenance tasks. While you can certainly enlist the help of professionals like the team at Cardinal Plumbing, Cooling and Heating, there are some everyday tasks you can do yourself.
Yearly maintenance is the key to healthy HVAC systems, but so are regular check-ins. When it comes to DIY HVAC maintenance, you should:
- Change your filters — One of the most important things you can do to maintain the health of your HVAC system is routinely replacing your air filters. Clogged filters can impede airflow and trap nasty allergens and dust in your system.
- Clear debris — You should know the location of your outside unit. Making sure all the fans and components are free from yard debris is an easy way to prevent possible mishaps.
- Clean your registers — Another easy task to help your system is to keep your registers cleared of dust.
- Listen for odd noises — You should know what your system sounds like when things are running correctly. Understanding this can help you catch problems as they arise.
While you can accomplish many maintenance tasks on your own, you should be aware of your limitations. Understanding when you need to call a professional can be the difference between a routine maintenance call and a costly repair.
When Should You Call an HVAC Professional?
If something seems too challenging or you don’t fully grasp the task at hand, reach out to the professionals for help. Not only will they handle the issue quickly and efficiently, but components are expensive. Breaking a small part while you maintain your own unit can mean thousands of dollars in potential repairs. Generally speaking, you should have an HVAC service do an annual maintenance checkup and service any repairs. Most of the maintenance you should do is preventive. Clearing yard debris from your outside unit, changing filters and dusting vents is what homeowners should accomplish themselves.
Looking for Heating and Air Conditioning in Alexandria, VA?
If you’re on the hunt for quality services for heating and cooling in Alexandria, VA, Cardinal Plumbing, Cooling and Heating has the helpful professionals you need to get the job done.
Our qualified team provides homeowners in the Alexandria area with same-day services and exceptional work. Contact us online to schedule an appointment today.