When we have kids, we take them to the doctor for regular check-ups. As adults, we call this our annual physical. The concept is simple: make sure everything is still working properly and look for any signs indicating that the body may have a problem. The idea is to catch problems in their infancy stage before they grow into major complications.
Your heating and air conditioning systems are not much different. Many people ignore them until there is a major problem. When that problem does arise, the price tag that accompanies it can be enough to make a strong heart skip a beat. Just like your doctor keeps an eye out for problems in your body during regular check-ups, a regular maintenance visit from a qualified HVAC professional does the same for your AC and heating systems.
The Stuff You Cannot See Makes a Big Difference
Most of your heating and AC systems are invisible on a day-to-day basis. Okay, they are not technically invisible, but rather, they go unnoticed. Most of the components are tucked away and you do not see them unless you specifically go looking for them.
This is the way it should be, in part due to safety. However, just because they are unseen, does not mean they can be ignored. In fact, it is some of the buried parts of these systems that need the most attention to prevent breakdowns and extra repair costs.
For instance, your furnace filters are completely hidden from plain sight. However, letting them get clogged means reduced airflow and extra strain throughout the entire system. This is how the system operates. When one part malfunctions, it causes a ripple effect that will eventually wear other components.
When you schedule regular maintenance visits, a technician looks for all the parts that are hard to see. In fact, some of the things included in maintenance require either special training or special evaluation tools. Just like a doctor interpreting test results looking for signs of trouble, NATE-certified technicians know the signs and symptoms of minor problems before they compound. So, let us explore how giving your system regular check-ups will help you save money.
Slashing Energy Bills
You reduce your health care bills when your body works properly. However, let something chronic develop, and you have on-going bills to deal with. The same thing is true for your heating and AC system.
When you ignore your system, it stops operating efficiently. When efficiency drops, your energy bills go up. To understand why, means understanding some of how the system works.
At a high level, your heating and air conditioning systems do the same thing and share some common components. First, they move air. The air is moved throughout your home and eventually back into the system.
Second, the systems transfer heat in the air. The air conditioner removes heat from the air inside to the air outside. The heating system transfers heat to the air inside from a heating source, such as your furnace or heat pump.
When you conduct regular maintenance, you clean parts of the system that clog from the contaminants in the air. Those contaminants could be dust, mold, and even chemicals from your cleaners and air fresheners. All of these settle onto parts like the heat exchanger, the circulating fan, the evaporator coil, and even ductwork.
When air is restricted, it forces the system to work harder. Part of what that means is every cycle will run longer to bring your space to the right temperature. It also likely means those cycles will run closer together. That extra time running is additional energy you are paying trying to heat or cool your home.
Reducing Emergency Repair Calls
The goal of any maintenance program should be to help the system run at peak efficiency and reduce the risk of emergency breakdowns. Here is how that happens:
The maintenance program should involve both a visual inspection as well as component testing.
A technician will inspect parts such as the condenser and evaporator coils, the heat exchanger, and electrical connections. This is to find any leaks that may have developed due to wear or damage from debris. The technician will also look for signs of unusual activity such as electrical shorts that could pose serious safety hazards if left unchecked.
Components are also checked. This includes activating both the air conditioning and the heating system to ensure everything engages properly. It also means testing capacitors and relays to ensure signals are getting where they are intended to go and with the correct strength.
For air conditioning maintenance, it means testing the refrigerant level in the system. In addition to being a health concern, leaking refrigerant puts a tremendous amount of stress on the system. This can cause various parts to freeze and form frost and ice. These parts eventually thaw, only to freeze again the next time the system runs. This weakens those components, causing them to fail early.
Finally, the inspection should look for gas leaks near the furnace and carbon monoxide in your home. Both of these are serious safety hazards and are signs something in the system is not working properly.
The goal in doing all of this is to identify problems when they are small and get them fixed. This saves you the premium charge of an emergency repair call, as well as the cost of replacing other affected components due to additional strain on the system.
Extending Heating and AC Service Life
Replacing your air conditioning or heating system is expensive. Most systems will last at least 15 years when properly maintained. Neglect the system, however, and you begin to cut that life dramatically shorter.
When faulty components are ignored, they strain the entire system as it continues to try to run. Eventually, the system will suffer a catastrophic failure. This is when you will need to replace entire systems early, rather than just repairing parts.
When you work with a properly trained HVAC technician to maintain your system, you ensure that it will reach its intended service life and continue performing efficiently for years. This reduces your energy bill and your average repair bills and lowers the average annual cost of replacing the system. You can see why it makes sound financial sense to invest in regular maintenance and inspection.
Trusted AC and Heating Services
Ryan Refrigeration Heating Air and Solar is a trusted heating and cooling provider serving the greater San Diego area for nearly 30 years. Started because of a fascination with giant ice cream coolers, Ryan Refrigeration Heating Air and Solar has brought that same sense of awe to each customer’s situation. We are both ENERGY STAR and EPA certified and are a proud member of the ACCA.
Our NATE-certified team does not work on commission, so you know when they make a recommendation, it is in your best interest. Not only do we provide a comprehensive 30-point inspection for regular maintenance calls, but we also provide heating and cooling system installation. We have commercial services as well. We even provide solar installation and service as well as air quality assessments and ductwork support. Give Ryan Refrigeration Heating Air and Solar a call to schedule your system’s check-up today.