Knowing how often to service your HVAC depends on what type of unit you have at home and how much they get used. But as a rule of thumb, HVAC systems should undergo inspections at least once a year.
Air conditioners are best serviced before summer starts, since they’ll get used more often during the warmer season. Likewise, heating systems like furnaces should get serviced before winter. However, if you use a heat pump, which can both cool and heat your home, then you’ll need to have it serviced twice a year—before summer and winter.
Besides learning how often to service your air conditioner and heating systems, here are a few more things to know about servicing them.
What’s the Difference between HVAC Maintenance and Servicing?
HVAC maintenance refers to the inspection that the HVAC technician conducts on the system. They’ll check the components for issues and advise you if you need to schedule a repair or replacement service appointment at a later date.
Meanwhile, HVAC servicing is the actual repair or replacement work done on the HVAC system.
How to Protect Your HVAC System between Yearly Appointments
Annual maintenance helps prolong your HVAC system’s life, but there are a few measures you can take to reduce the strain on your units year-round, such as:
- Have the air filters replaced regularly. The HVAC’s air filters keep dust and other pollutants out of the system, preventing them from contaminating the parts and blowing unclean air into the room.
- Clean the ductworks to ensure that no contaminants circulate throughout the home.
- Clear obstructions like branches away from the outdoor unit. This lets the heat escape and keeps the unit from overheating from the trapped hot air.
- Change the thermostat batteries regularly. When a thermostat’s battery turns low, it can mess up the settings. For instance, it could turn the HVAC on when it shouldn’t.
How Long Does HVAC Servicing Take?
A regular HVAC servicing session typically lasts around 1-2 hours if there aren’t any major issues with your system. However, if the technician does discover other problems, they can schedule more servicing appointments for you.
Signs That It’s Time to Service Your HVAC
Do you have any of the issues below? If so, it’s time to call an HVAC specialist for service.
1. Warm Air Blowing Out of the AC
There could be a number of reasons why your air conditioner is blowing warm air. For example, you might have a refrigerant leak. If refrigerant levels are too low, the AC won’t be able to absorb indoor heat as effectively, which means the indoor air stays warm. The compressor may also be damaged and unable to pump the refrigerant through your AC.
2. Thermostat Isn’t Working
Incorrect temperature readings might occur if the thermostat is defective. It may also change the settings even when it doesn’t need to. Even if you make adjustments, the system may not respond.
3. Reduced Air Flow
If there isn’t enough air flowing through the vents, the ducts might be filled with debris that obstructs the airflow. You might also have a duct leak that is allowing air to escape. Clogged air filters also prevent air from passing through your HVAC unit, resulting in less air blowing out.
4. Irregular Noises
Grinding, clanking, and other strange noises in the AC unit often mean that parts are loose or about to fail. For instance, the compressor’s belt might be cracked or about to snap, making it squeal as it runs.
5. Strange Odors When AC Is Turned On
The type of bad odor emanating from the air conditioner varies according to the problem. Typically, a burning odor implies an electrical problem. Meanwhile, a musty odor frequently indicates that mold and mildew have spread throughout the AC as a result of a clogged drain line creating moisture buildup.
6. AC Unit Is Leaking
If the AC is leaking water, you likely have a clogged drain line. As a result, the condensation created by the AC can back up and start leaking indoors instead of outside where it’s supposed to go.
7. Frequent AC Problems
If you constantly have all of the above problems with your HVAC, you might need to schedule your service appointment even if a year hasn’t passed yet.
8. Electric Bill Is Increasing
Another sign you need servicing is if your energy bills keep rising. Your HVAC system might already be worn out and working extra hard to cool or heat your home.
9. HVAC Is Past Its Lifespan
If the HVAC system is past its expected lifespan, which is usually around 15-20 years, it’ll need regular servicing to ensure that it stays in good condition. The technician can also check if it’s time for a replacement instead.
What’s the Best Time to Buy an HVAC System?
If you need to replace your HVAC system, buying during the cooling or heating unit’s off-season can save you money. You can purchase air conditioners during the colder seasons when heating systems are in high demand. You can purchase furnaces during the summer months since HVAC suppliers hike the prices of air conditioners instead.
We Are Here for Your HVAC Needs
Superior Water & Air has a team you can rely on for all your HVAC servicing needs in Utah. We’ve provided HVAC and plumbing services to homeowners for over 65 years. To make an appointment, please contact us online or by phone at (801) 559-7381. Also, take some time to peruse our service areas.