Confession time: I didn't get my HVAC system serviced at all last year. Naturally, I paid the price when the first cold snap hit and my furnace failed to turn on. (Can we say brrrrrrrr!)
Whether we like it or not, scheduling a professional inspection is one of the absolutely-do-it items on HVAC maintenance lists. (Let’s just say I’ve learned my lesson.)
Here's when and why you should plan for an HVAC system tune-up:
If you live in a climate with four seasons, the general rule of thumb for professional HVAC tune-ups is scheduling two of them every year. While a check-up can happen at any time, the experts at Home Depot recommend setting them up at the beginning of each heating and cooling season. So that means scheduling one in the early spring (before the hot weather sets in) and another in fall (before the temps drop to winter lows.) This way, you can ensure your systems are up and running before you rely on them when the temps drastically rise and fall.
If you're wondering if an HVAC tune-up is worth it, let's talk benefits. For starters, a professional can find and fix minor problems from normal wear and tear before they become serious issues, saving you from costly repair bills and unfortunate system breakdowns later down the line. Getting your HVAC systems in tip-top shape can also help ensure your units run with the utmost efficiency.
The Home Depot notes that regular HVAC system services are a requirement of many manufacturer warranties for heating and cooling units. Of course, this is in part because a well-maintained HVAC system yields several more years of service.
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The HVAC tune-up checklist
So you're scheduling a tune-up and you’re wondering what to expect when the HVAC service professional arrives. Your technician will run down a checklist of tests and inspections to ensure all elements of your heating and cooling systems are up to par. This may include:
- Cleaning or replacing the air filter.
- Testing the thermostat and recalibrating if need be.
- Checking all system controls for proper performance.
- Inspecting electrical wiring, fan blades, coils, capacitors, valves and ductwork.
- Cleaning the condensate drain.
- Monitoring the compressor.
- Measuring refrigerant levels.
- Analyzing blower motor performance and making necessary adjustments.
- Lubricating moving parts where needed.
When all is said and done, the tune-up will typically cost between $100 and $200, as noted by HVAC.com.
Being prepared for unexpected home repairs (like HVAC system breakdowns) is always a good idea. See how plans from HomeServe can help with the costs of covered repairs.