Importance of Preventative Maintenance for Your HVAC Equipment
Your home’s comfort depends in large part on your HVAC system. When your HVAC works as it should, it efficiently keeps your home warm when it is cold outside and cool when the outside temperatures are hot. When you first install your home’s heating and cooling equipment, it will function at its peak. Over time, wear-and-tear on the equipment and dust and debris build-up will make it work less effectively. HVAC maintenance can help restore your system to like-new condition. The benefits of HVAC preventative maintenance go beyond restoring your home’s heating and cooling system. Learn more about the importance of maintaining your HVAC equipment.
1. Improved Indoor Air Quality
Few things are as important as the air you breathe. Although many people express concern about the quality of the air outside, indoor air quality is also something to consider. If a home has poor indoor air quality, the people who live there might experience irritation of the respiratory system, feelings of fatigue and headaches. The Environmental Protection Agency also notes that long-term health effects can be the result of poor indoor air quality, such as heart disease, respiratory disease and some types of cancer.
Since you most likely spend more time indoors than out, you want to make sure the air around you is clean and safe to breathe. The condition of your home’s ventilation and HVAC system plays a big role when it comes to affecting the air quality.
When a system is not regularly cleaned or maintained, it is possible for dust to build up in the ductwork. The dust can then circulate through the home when the HVAC system operates. A poorly-maintained HVAC system might also struggle to properly control humidity levels in your home, which can affect indoor air quality as well.
An HVAC system that uses gas or oil as its source of fuel can also produce high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) if it is not regularly inspected and tuned-up. CO has no odor and is invisible. It is also potentially fatal to people and pets if they are exposed to it long enough. Installing CO alarms in your home is one safety precaution to take against the gas. Having your HVAC system maintained regularly is another.
2. Fewer Repairs and Complications
The better care you take of the items you own, the less likely they are to break down or need extensive repairs. Owning a vehicle can be a good example of this rule. If you do not change the oil in your car as recommended, for instance, sludge build-up can affect the engine’s ability to operate. The car is likely to burn through fuel faster and will eventually break down due to engine problems.
Scheduling annual tune-ups for your HVAC equipment works in a similar way. During the tune-up, a certified technician will carefully inspect the equipment. They will clean it and change air filters as needed. An annual tune-up gives a technician an opportunity to detect any issues with your HVAC system before the system starts to malfunction or break down. In some cases, cleaning the unit might be all that is needed to prevent a larger problem from developing. In other situations, the system might need a small repair or adjustment to keep it working. Either way, catching a problem early keeps it from progressing and can save you from having to schedule a complicated repair down the line.
3. A Safer Home
Safety is another reason why HVAC maintenance matters. Regular tune-ups help your system continue to burn fuel efficiently and properly and ensure that vents are open, reducing the chance that CO will buildup indoors. A system that is regularly maintained is also less likely to break down or stop working unexpectedly.
Depending on when a breakdown occurs, it can create a dangerous situation for your home. For example, if the heater stops working on a night when the temperatures dip well below freezing, you will need to call for an emergency repair. Scheduling an emergency repair usually means an additional fee. It also inconveniences you, as you need to wake up in the middle of the night to fix your heater.
If you are away from home when your HVAC system fails, the issue can be more serious. If it is freezing outside, water pipes might burst, causing damage to your home. If the air conditioner fails in the middle of a heatwave, or when humidity is high, increased moisture levels can lead to mold growth, which can trigger asthma and allergies.
A well-cared-for HVAC system is likely to keep humming along and is less likely to let you down when you need it most, helping to protect the safety and well-being of everyone in your home.
4. Reduced Eco Footprint
Many homes in Southern Maryland use oil, propane or natural gas as their source of heating fuel. Some electricity in the state is produced by coal. Gas, oil and coal are all examples of non-renewable fuel sources. It took millions of years for the fuels to be created. Once they are gone, they cannot be easily replaced.
Fossil fuels are also responsible for the production of carbon emissions. The burning of fossil fuel for energy use is responsible for 76% of human-caused carbon emissions in the U.S. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is responsible for helping to trap heat. Some amount of CO2 is needed to keep the Earth warm and make it habitable. When levels of carbon rise, however, the Earth begins to become too warm.
In recent years, many people have become concerned about the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and the things they can do to reduce those levels or to reduce their production of carbon emissions. Maintaining your home’s HVAC equipment can help to lower the amount of fuel it burns, reducing your home’s overall eco or carbon footprint.
It is very likely that your home’s heating and cooling system accounts for a significant portion of your energy use. In the average home, nearly half of the energy used goes toward heating and cooling. When you schedule an annual tune-up of your HVAC system, the work a certified technician performs on the equipment will help to improve its energy efficiency. Cleaning the ducts, changing the filters and fixing any leaks will allow your system to burn less fuel as it keeps your home at a comfortable temperature. You will enjoy lower energy costs as well as the knowledge that you are helping to protect the planet.
5. Fulfill Warranty Requirements
Your HVAC system might have included a warranty when you had it installed. For the most part, HVAC warranties require and expect homeowners to maintain their systems. If your HVAC should need repair while under warranty, you will most likely need to provide proof of annual maintenance, such as the receipt from its most recent tune-up, when you submit your warranty claim.
In this case, HVAC maintenance is a two-way street. It does reduce the likelihood that you need to use your system’s warranty coverage by reducing the chance of your system breaking down. However, in the event that you do need to use the warranty, having proof of maintenance means you can do so.
6. Cost-Saving Benefits
Spending a little bit of money to maintain your HVAC system can help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run. Annual maintenance is money-saving in several ways. First, regular tune-ups and inspections of your HVAC system will help to increase its energy efficiency, so that you end up spending less on fuel. With lower home energy bills, you can use your money elsewhere.
Another financial benefit of annual maintenance is that it helps to keep your system up and running. While you might pay a small amount for the tune-up, it is usually a fraction of the cost of a more extensive repair. You also do not have to scramble to come up with alternative heating or cooling options to use in the event of a breakdown. If you sign up for a service agreement for your equipment, you can benefit from an annual tune-up and inspection, as well as the peace of mind that some parts and labor are covered by the agreement.
Maintaining your system also helps you save money by extending the life of your equipment. An HVAC system that is inspected each year is likely to last longer than one that is neglected. Annual maintenance lets you catch issues and fix them as needed, keeping your HVAC humming along for as long as possible.
One last financial benefit of maintaining your HVAC system: Doing so keeps you under warranty. When you have a warranty, parts and repairs are likely to be covered, meaning you do not have to pay out of pocket if there is a problem with the equipment.
7. Increased Home Comfort
When an HVAC system does not work as well as it could, you are likely to feel it in your home. Certain rooms might be very cold or very hot. You might only feel comfortable when you are sitting directly next to a register or vent. In some homes, a poorly functioning HVAC system is not able to distribute heat or cold to all areas. It might also struggle to properly regulate moisture levels, leading to a house that is too humid or too dry.
Your home can be more comfortable all around thanks to regular HVAC tune-ups. If you do notice any issues with your home’s temperature or humidity levels, a trained technician can diagnose the problem while performing an inspection and tune-up. They can let you know if the issue is a quick fix, such as replacing an air filter, or if it will require a more in-depth repair. When you have someone who can keep your HVAC system in good working order, you will not have to shiver through the winter or sweat through the summer.
HVAC maintenance also improves your home comfort levels by improving indoor air quality. When it is easier to breathe easily at home, you and your family members can feel more relaxed and at ease.
How to Ensure Proper HVAC Maintenance
You want to keep your HVAC system operating in peak condition, and you definitely want to make sure you keep your equipment covered under the warranty for as long as possible. Scheduling a tune-up for your system once per year is key to keeping it maintained. For added peace-of-mind, some homeowners sign up for a service agreement, which includes a free annual tune-up and also provides coverage in case something goes wrong with the system.
When you sign up for HVAC maintenance from SMO Energy, a certified technician will visit your home and take a look at your equipment. Here are a few things that are typically done during HVAC maintenance:
- Confirm that the HVAC system is getting the right amount of airflow
- Clean the unit to help improve its efficiency
- Detect and alert you to any potential issues with the equipment that needs attention
Contact SMO Energy for HVAC Maintenance and Repairs
Is your HVAC system due for a tune-up and inspection? SMO Energy provides HVAC maintenance, repairs and replacement to households across Southern Maryland. If it is time to schedule an annual tune-up for your system, contact us to schedule an appointment. We also offer service agreements for all types of HVAC equipment to help protect your system and your budget. Should your system develop a problem, we will help you decide the best way to move forward, whether it is to repair the issue or invest in a new system. We aim to be Southern Maryland’s total home comfort provider. If you have any questions about your home’s heating or cooling needs, do not hesitate to contact us and ask.