Regular maintenance is important for any type of equipment, but it is especially essential for HVAC systems. Without maintenance, the effectiveness of any HVAC unit will continue to decrease. This can lead to issues keeping your home at a comfortable temperature and also greatly increase how much energy your HVAC system uses. Maintenance can also help to prevent repairs and protect the lifespan of your HVAC units. If you never have the system maintained, it can also lead to your units failing and needing to be replaced far sooner than you should. If you’ve never had your HVAC system maintained, here are all the things that you can expect the technician to do.

Complete Inspection of All System Components

One of the most important parts of maintaining any HVAC system is inspecting the various components to ensure they are free of issues and the system doesn’t need any repairs. This is important both to ensure that everything is working correctly and also to prevent any potential safety hazards.

During the inspection, the technician will check all of the electrical wiring in the furnace, heat pump, or AC unit, as well as the blower fan wiring. Specifically, they’ll look for any damaged or frayed wires or where the insulation around the wire has started to degrade. Damaged wiring can cause a short circuit that leads to the system continually tripping the circuit breaker, and it also has the potential to cause a fire. If any electrical connections are loose, the technician will also tighten them, as this could prevent the system from working.

If your home has a gas furnace, the technician will also make sure that there are no gas leaks. They will also check the condition of the heat exchanger to ensure it isn’t cracked or clogged, and then test to make sure the system is venting properly. These last two things are extremely important, as a cracked heat exchanger or any issues with the exhaust system could cause carbon monoxide to start backing up and leaking into the home.

They will also ensure that the condensate drain system on your AC system or condensing furnace isn’t clogged or leaking. This is also important to ensure that the water drains correctly, as otherwise, you could have major water damage and mold issues.

If you have a heat pump or central AC, the technician will ensure the system has a sufficient refrigerant charge. If the system is low on refrigerant, they will need to inspect the refrigerant lines and the indoor and outdoor coils as low refrigerant almost always indicates a leak somewhere in the system.

After inspecting the HVAC units themselves, the technician will then move on to inspecting the entire ductwork system to ensure it isn’t damaged or leaking air. This is important as leaky ductwork will limit the effectiveness of the system and could increase your energy bills by 30% or more.

If the inspection does find any problems, the technician can then repair or replace whatever is needed. This is not only important for ensuring that the heating or cooling system is functioning at its peak efficiency but also for preventing other issues that could arise and lead to even more costly repairs or cause the unit to break down and need to be replaced.

The worst thing that can happen is for your heating or air conditioning system to suddenly fail in the middle of winter or the hottest part of the summer. This is one of the main reasons we always recommend scheduling the maintenance service during the early spring or fall before you turn your AC or heat on for the first time.

Cleaning and Lubricating Components as Needed

HVAC maintenance also involves thoroughly cleaning all important components. This includes the evaporator coil inside the home and the condenser coil in your AC unit or heat pump as well as the sides and exterior of the outdoor unit. Cleaning the evaporator coil is important, as a dirty coil will often freeze up. If the outdoor unit or its coil is dirty, the unit may start to overheat as these issues can prevent the fan from circulating enough air through the unit so it won’t disperse heat as well.

On a gas furnace, the most important things are cleaning the flame sensor and the burner ports. A dirty flame sensor often won’t be able to detect when the furnace lights, which will lead to the unit constantly shutting down after only a few seconds. If the burners are dirty, the furnace may not light immediately or may fail to light at all. Dirty burners can also prevent the gas from fully combusting, which will cause the furnace to produce far less heat and use more energy.

Cleaning the entire blower housing is also important for maintaining proper airflow. The fan blades need to be cleaned to ensure they can spin freely. If the blades can’t spin properly, the blower motor will experience greater strain and potentially start overheating. Any debris on the squirrel cage that surrounds the blower also needs to be cleaned, or else the blower won’t draw much air in, and the system won’t cool or heat very effectively.

If your HVAC units are older, the technician will also lubricate the bearings in both the blower motor and the fan motor in your outdoor unit. This typically doesn’t need to be done on newer systems as most of these have sealed, self-lubricating bearings.

Finally, the technician will replace your air filter if needed. Replacing the air filter is generally the only part of HVAC maintenance you can do on your own, and you should always do it at least once every one to three months.

Calibrating and Testing the System

The final step is to turn your system back on and test to make sure everything runs as it should, and the system is putting out the required amount of hot or cool air. Specifically, the technician will make sure there is sufficient airflow coming out of your vents and also measure the temperature of the air to ensure it is heating or cooling as it should.

Testing the system is also vital as it helps to make sure your thermostat is properly calibrated and working correctly. There are many potential thermostat issues that can prevent the unit from signaling your heating or air conditioning to turn on when needed or potentially make it run longer than necessary. In this case, the technician may need to recalibrate the thermostat or possibly move it to a new location if it is somewhere that is warmer or cooler than the rest of the home.

At Air 24/7 Air Conditioning & Heating, we specialize in annual inspections and all types of HVAC maintenance. Our team works on all brands and types of HVAC equipment, and we have what it takes to fully meet your needs. We have more than 30 years of experience providing exceptional HVAC services throughout the Tampa Bay area, and we can also assist if your system needs any repairs or you need a new HVAC unit installed. Give us a call today to schedule your annual maintenance service or if you need any other help with your heating or cooling system.

company icon