If you’ve followed our blog for even just a few months, then you know we think maintenance is pretty important. After all, it’s the only way to make sure that your HVAC system runs as efficiently and effectively as possible for as long as possible. But, it’s one thing to be told you need HVAC maintenance every year. It’s another thing to be told why. And that’s what we’re here to do!
It does bear mentioning that there are some very basic heating maintenance tasks that homeowners can and should do on their own. One of them is to change the air filter as needed. The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC systems is in place not to protect your indoor air quality, but rather the system itself. If it gets too clogged up, it will restrict airflow and cause a host of problems. You should be changing out (or cleaning if it’s a permanent filter) the air filter every 1-3 months. Another maintenance task you can do is check to make sure there’s no debris around your system—dust, dirt, and any type of clutter can impact airflow and efficacy.
Do I Really Need Maintenance?
Annual heating tune-ups are essential to making sure that your system stands the test of time, and that it provides you with the most powerful and efficient service available. As your furnace, heat pump, or boiler works hard to keep your home warm and comfortable all season long, it will accumulate wear and tear. This isn’t avoidable, but it doesn’t have to be a major detriment to your comfort or your budget. Maintenance helps ensure that the wear and tear doesn’t go unchecked, helping you avoid potentially serious issues.
Your heater simply cannot work as well as you’d expect if it’s not properly tuned-up, meaning you’ll pay more for a system that’s wasting energy. You’ll have a heater that can’t function reliably, and will require frequent repairs. You might even find it breaking down completely far sooner than it should, leaving you in need of premature replacement.
“Okay, I’m Convinced! Now What Happens During Maintenance?”
Quite a lot!
Yes, the air filter is something we check. Even though this is something you should be changing on your own, we’ll make sure it’s clean, when we clean your entire system inside and out.
We also lubricate all the moving parts, and check for proper functionality of every component, such as the system controls and thermostat. Electrical connections will be tightened as needed, and voltage and amperage will be checked for safe levels.
Your safety benefits from all of this! While gas-powered heaters are not inherently dangerous, they can become so if not properly cared for. Things like gas line tears or cracked heat exchangers can lead to harmful CO exposure within your home. This is very rare, but a bit more common in a system that’s aging—the average well-maintained heater can last about 10-15 years.