Central HVAC systems face year-round demand. As such, they require year-round maintenance. From regularly checking and changing HVAC air filters to creating adequate clearance around outside condensers and exhaust vents, there are many ongoing tasks that homeowners must complete. However, pre-season preparation is among the most important HVAC care you can provide. The following are nine benefits of priming the heating and cooling equipment in your Tampa, Florida home just before winter and summer arrives.
1. Avoid Unpleasant Surprises
If you wait until outside temperatures are downright intolerable before turning your heater or air conditioner on, you may find that the unit doesn’t work at all. For instance, after months of sitting dormant, air conditioners can have build-ups of bacteria, algae, and other debris in their condensate drains that inhibit normal functioning and cause leaks. It may be that, when you last turned your air conditioner off, it was already on its last leg. Aging, progressive wear, and unchecked problems with the airflow are all things that can lead to total equipment stoppage.
During their dormant months, heaters and air conditioners can also become home to pests. Insects, rodents, and other unwanted guests can find their way into AC condensers, HVAC ducting, and other components. In addition to leaving feces, fur, exoskeletons, and other detritus behind, pests can also chew through hoses and tubing, damage electrical wiring, and cause many other structural and functional problems. Scheduling tune-up services in advance of seasonally high demand gives HVAC technicians the opportunity to identify issues like these before they impact your access to reliable heating and cooling.
2. Catch and Correct Minor Problems Early
Even catching minor and seemingly unimportant issues during pre-season HVAC care can have a major impact on your home comfort, your spending, and the reliability of your equipment. Identifying developing issues before they’ve spiraled out of control will limit the amount of labor that’s needed to resolve them. It can also mean having to replace fewer parts. A single, worn component can be quickly swapped out before any nearby or connected components are subjected to excess stress and fail too.
3. Optimize Airflow
Pre-season HVAC preparation improves airflow. By checking and changing your HVAC air filter, clearing blockages at the outside condenser, and removing build-ups of debris at your air vents and grilles, you can limit stress on the entire system. You won’t have to contend with hot and cold spots throughout the building and can instead enjoy consistent temperatures in every room.
Balanced HVAC airflow is essential for protecting the overall health and functionality of HVAC systems. When airflow is inhibited by blockages and other problems resulting from insufficient maintenance, humidity regulation decreases, indoor moisture rises, and problems with mold and mildew proliferate. When subjected to the added stress of compromised airflow, heaters and air conditioners also age faster and use a lot more energy.
4. Prevent or Eliminate Unpleasant HVAC Odors
If you’re greeted by a burnt, dusty smell each time you turn your furnace on at the start of the winter season, this is a good sign that you’ve skipped pre-season maintenance. This is also true if your air conditioner emits a dank, moldering smell during its first-of-the-season run. The removal of built-up debris, improved airflow, and the replacement of worn or damaged components all contribute to fresher-smelling indoor air. With pre-season maintenance, you can rest assured that using your heater or air conditioner won’t leave you pinching your nose.
5. Lower Your Home Heating and Cooling Costs
HVAC system use can account for as much as 50% of the typical household’s monthly energy bill. As such, one of the best ways to control this portion of your overhead costs is by optimizing the efficiency of your heater and air conditioner. Any measures taken to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner will provide the best returns when performed ahead of the cooling season. This is likewise true of furnace tune-ups that are performed before cooler temperatures set in.
6. Stay on Track With Warranty Requirements
If your heater or air conditioner is still under its manufacturer warranty, you’re likely required to schedule an annual tune-up service at least once each year. These warranties also necessitate regular HVAC air filter maintenance, clearing blockages from outside condensers, and making sure that air vents are clean. Taking care of all these things before the heating and cooling seasons arrive will ensure that your warranties aren’t voided due to oversight or outright negligence on your part. This is also true of the HVAC protections supplied by your home insurance plan and any home warranty or home service agreement that you’ve purchased.
7. Identify Potential Hazards and Resolve Them
Negligence can leave residents of your household vulnerable to a variety of common heating and cooling system hazards. This is especially true for fuel-burning appliances such as gas-fired or oil-fired furnaces that constantly produce carbon monoxide during operation. However, even air conditioners are prone to developing electrical problems and harmful build-ups of mold and other pathogens when given insufficient service. Practicing diligent pre-season maintenance is an easy and effective way to lower the risk of having these or other issues fester unchecked.
8. Enhance Your Heating and Cooling Plan Ahead of Seasonal Demand
Pre-season maintenance is also an opportunity to address both minor and severe deficiencies in your current heating or cooling plan. For instance, if you neglected to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans last summer, you may have had all your chilled air drawn up toward the ceiling. Taking a minute to switch your fans’ blade rotation to counterclockwise will instead force a cooling breeze down.
It may be that using your air conditioner or heater in past seasons had a negative impact on your indoor air quality (IAQ) because your HVAC air ducts were in desperate need of cleaning. Pre-season preparation can include HVAC air duct maintenance, the maintenance of ceiling fans and other supplementary heating and cooling sources, and the addition of integrated IAQ accessories. Your pre-season HVAC preparation can even address deficiencies in your home’s envelope by giving you the chance to add more insulation, weather-strip your windows, and seal up air leaks.
9. Save Money and Establish a Solid Relationship With Your HVAC Company
Even with HVAC companies that consistently maintain competitive pricing, increased seasonal demand can cause overall service costs to rise. Essential materials and components tend to be pricier when everyone needs them, and they’re usually more difficult to source during peak demand.
There are few things worse than needing urgent AC replacement or repairs when every other homeowner in your neighborhood is attempting to schedule service too. Not only will taking care of heater and air conditioner tune-ups early spare you increased costs and unfortunate surprises, but it will also make it easier to nab a timely appointment.
Your preseason HVAC system maintenance should include all the tasks that you can tackle on your own as well as professional tune-up service and a professional ductwork inspection. If you haven’t done so already, this is your chance to find a reputable and trustworthy HVAC service provider. You can also review your options in preventative HVAC maintenance plans, shop for seasonal discounts, and research your options in IAQ accessories or other important system upgrades.
We proudly serve Tampa, Florida, and the surrounding communities. Our clients can turn to us for first-rate heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. We also offer cutting-edge indoor air quality solutions, ductless systems, and preventative maintenance agreements. To get your heater or air conditioner ready for what lies ahead, contact Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating now.