Modern heating and air conditioning equipment is designed to withstand the effects of extreme weather conditions while providing many years of reliable service. In severe temperatures, moving parts and electrical components are repeatedly placed under extreme heat stress, which can ultimately create performance issues if left unaddressed. In order to reduce the frequency of heating and AC repairs, regular preventative maintenance is a necessity.
HVAC Maintenance Programs
Maintenance programs vary widely among different HVAC contractors working in the same community. When comparing costs and services, consumers should identify the scope of the provider's program options during the evaluation process.
Many of the professional HVAC contractors found on Comfort24-7.com offer a variety of plans tailored to meet the customer's budget and performance expectations. Heating and AC systems are categorized by configuration, capacity and condition. An initial consultation helps provide important information that can be used when developing a personalized preventative maintenance program.
Consultation services include:
- Equipment Survey: Service techs examine the equipment and record the age, condition and repair history of each component. By including the cost of fuel and AC repairs in the calculation, an equipment survey will help determine the true annual operating expense of the system.
- Building Survey: A thorough examination of the windows, ductwork, insulation and the building envelope can identify certain construction related deficits that degrade system efficiency. In most cases, inexpensive upgrades can dramatically improve overall performance and save money.
- Final Recommendations: After the data is collected and analyzed, the service tech will develop a complete maintenance strategy tailored to meet the unique requirements of the customer's equipment.
When the survey process is complete, the contractor will offer several maintenance options. Once a plan has been selected, appointments will be arranged to conduct a variety of tests, inspections and other critical services.
Automobile maintenance is an accepted part of vehicle ownership, but homeowners with high-tech heating and air conditioning systems usually ignore the most basic service requirements. Neglecting regular maintenance can degrade equipment performance, raise operating costs and allow contaminants to accumulate in the living area. Units that fail unexpectedly during extreme weather can create a health emergency, especially in the elderly and young children.
Customers who purchase a maintenance agreement receive a comprehensive system tune-up prior to the beginning of every cooling and heating season. Qualified HVAC contractors send factory trained and NATE certified technicians with the knowledge and experience required to service virtually every major brand of equipment. Each tech is outfitted with the latest diagnostic tools in order to locate hidden problems that can affect system performance and lead to an eventual breakdown.
Air Conditioning Services
- Clean the outdoor condensing unit and remove debris from the grille
- Inspect refrigeration lines and replace insulation where required
- Calibrate mechanical thermostats and update programs on setback thermostats
- Check the system charge and add additional refrigerant when necessary
- Inspect the condensate drains and pan for cracks
- Inspect the condensate lines and clear clogs
- Air balance the registers for optimal air flow
- Clean the condensing and evaporator coils and treat with an antimicrobial
- Straighten coil fins where necessary
- Test the compressor
- Lubricate all appropriate moving parts
- Tighten loose electrical connections
- Inspect and test the defrost controls, belts, contactors and fan motor
- Record the temperature drop from the coil to the registers
- Inspect the heat exchanger and identify any cracks
- Adjust the burners for efficient combustion
- Replace disposables filters and clean permanent filters
- Test and recalibrate the blower
- Test and adjust the ignition system
- Inspect the venting assembly for proper exhausting
- Adjust the gas pressure to the unit
The Advantages of Regular System Maintenance
HVAC maintenance agreements provide numerous benefits when performed by a qualified heating and cooling contractor.
- Superior Indoor Comfort: Even minor performance issues can degrade indoor comfort. Ductwork obstructions, low refrigerant and dirty filters can negatively impact BTU capacity and compromise humidity control.
- Reduced Repair Costs: Regular heating and cooling maintenance is designed to locate worn components before they affect equipment performance. A small problem can develop into a complete system failure if not corrected. An unexpected AC repair can be costly and disruptive, especially during extreme temperatures when many contractors already have a heavy backlog.
- Reduced Energy Costs: During every maintenance appointment, technicians calibrate the system back to the manufacturer's original operating specifications. Improved performance increases efficiency and helps save money. Techs also look for other energy deficits including duct leaks, perimeter gaps and inadequate levels of insulation.
- Better Safety: A compromised flue pipe system or a cracked furnace heat exchanger is inefficient and can be deadly. During each visit, technicians inspect and test the safety controls to verify that all critical components are operating correctly.
- Extend Equipment Life: Over time, properly maintained HVAC equipment will accumulate fewer runtime cycles when compared to neglected systems. Internal parts that are clogged, dirty or worn must work harder and longer to meet the building's load requirements. Routine maintenance reduces stress on motors and other moving parts, which can substantially extend the lifecycle of the equipment.
Better Performance and Lower Costs
Regular preseason tune-ups play a critical role in maintaining peak performance, lowering fuel costs and preventing system breakdowns. For customers in Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan, contractors on the Comfort24-7 website provide comprehensive HVAC maintenance services.