Heating & Air Conditioning

Whenever you run into a problem with your HVAC system, you need to call in the professionals to help you.

Heating and Air conditioning Contractors- advantages of hiring.

The air conditioner is considered as the most important home appliance especially during the summer months because it helps in making the temperature of your home cool and comfortable. Hence, it is important that you get your ac unit inspected on a regular basis so that it will continue functioning efficiently throughout the year. Moreover, with continuous usage, the ac might get subjected to wear and tear as well as damage and hence it is very important that you hire experienced and trained heating and Airconditioning contractors. These professionals will inspect your unit regularly for making sure that any minor issues will be identified early and it does cause major damages to the unit. Having issues with the air conditioner can cause a lot of discomforts as you will have to spend sleepless nights during hot and humid summer. Therefore, it is very important that you seek the assistance of the right kind of professionals who will repair the ac so that you will enjoy a comfortable and pleasant stay. Timely inspection and maintenance of the ac unit will eliminate the need of replacing the entire unit. This will help you save a large amount of money because air conditioners are very expensive home appliances that require significant investment.

There are many advantages of hiring heating and Airconditioning contractors like Southern Seasons and the most important advantage is that they are experienced and skilled in offering a wide variety of ac services. Whether your ac unit needs inspection, maintenance, repairs or replacement, you can always call these professionals who will arrive at your property within a short span of time. They are highly qualified professionals who will offer you services when you find any issues with the functioning of the air conditioner unit. The HVAC system of your home needs to be in working condition so that you and your family will enjoy its benefits for a longer period of time. Additionally, the HVAC contractors will look for any issues with the parts of the HVAC system so that they will remove the dirt, dust, and debris that are affecting its functioning or efficiency. They will also offer valuable advice and suggestions with regard to the maintenance and upkeep of the unit so that it does not face any issues in the near future. As these units have many delicate components, it is important that you get it maintained on a regular basis so that the need for major repairs will be eliminated. This will allow the HVAC system to work efficiently for an extended period of time as these knowledgeable and skilled professionals have the expertise and experience in carrying on the repairs of the unit. Even if there are any requirements for installing a new unit in your home, you should entrust this task to professional contractors as this is the best way of getting the job done efficiently.

The HVAC system needs to be taken care of on a regular basis so that you and your family will keep on enjoying its benefits for a longer period of time. Hence, the contractors that you hire should be certified and licensed in offering a wide variety of services according to your requirements. But before you hire a professional, it is important that you do proper research so that there will not be any mistake with regards to the hiring process. You should look for documents of these HVAC contractors for making sure that their claims for being licensed, insured and certified is true. Look for someone who will offer a guarantee for their service so that you will not face any issues after the HVAC system has been repaired by these professionals. Thus, you should make sure that you call these professionals as soon as you notice that the unit is not working in the desired manner. They will arrive at your property for the inspection so that the issues will be resolved without further damage to the unit. This is the best way of improving the indoor air quality as these professionals will eliminate any harmful from the components of the HVAC unit so that it does not cause any health issues. Proper and timely reapers of the HVAC system will also enhance the lifespan of the unit so that you will not have to spend money on its replacements.

Heating & Air Conditioning

Whenever you run into a problem with your HVAC system, you need to call in the professionals to help you. But you don’t just want anyone to come to help you. You want the best in heating and air conditioning in your area. In order to find the best contractors for the job, you should look for a company with the following qualities.

Great Reputation

Reputation is important when it comes to hiring contractors. You can talk to friends, family, and neighbors about contractors that they’ve hired in the past. Find out what they liked about certain contractors and things that they didn’t like. Ask them whether or not they would use them again. You can also take to the Internet to scope out contractors that are highly rated by past clients.

Licensed and Certified

It’s important to hire someone who is licensed and certified in the state in which you live. Choosing a licensed and certified contractor protects you when hiring someone. You know that the contractor comes highly qualified and you can file a complaint against them should something go wrong with the work they perform.

Quality Equipment

If you’re looking to replace your HVAC system with a new one, it’s important to find out what equipment the contractor recommends for your home. You want someone who pushes you to get energy efficient equipment and not just the one that fits your budget.

Professional Association Membership

There are several professional associations that HVAC contractors can become members of, such as the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. When a contractor takes the time to join these groups, it shows you that they take their work seriously. They want to continue to learn and improve themselves in order to stay ahead in their industry. You can be assured that you’re working with a professional.

Knowledgeable

There are lots of things that could go wrong with your HVAC system, which is why it’s important to hire a knowledgeable and experienced contractor. They need to be able to diagnose the problem and determine the best way to fix it as soon as possible. They also need to know how to determine the correct size of equipment that you should purchase. If the contractor asks for the size of the equipment that you currently have in place, you should consider selecting a different person to hire. The equipment may not be the right option for your home, so it’s important to know how to select the right size that will be able to handle the size of the home in which you live.

Competitive Rates

The cheapest HVAC contractor may deliver the cheapest work, but the most expensive contractor may not offer the best work either. You need to compare quotes and determine who is offering the best value for the money. The contractor can throw out an estimate over the phone, but they really need to come to your home and survey the job before giving you the final quote. It’s important to see your equipment and determine the cause of the problem before coming up with a personalized quote for each customer.

On top of all of the other qualities that are important to have in the HVAC contractor that you hire, it’s also important to hire someone who lives relatively close to where you’re located. 

Benefits of heating and air conditioning appliances.

A heating appliance in the home is very important when outside weather is cold such that it causes discomfort to the human body. Heating appliances, therefore, elevate room temperatures and bring comfort to the human body. Household heating appliances are not only good for providing heat but they also help prevent diseases that can be caused by low temperatures. Since household heating systems are very important, you have to make sure they are always functioning properly. If they are not functioning properly, you can get in touch with a heater repair Durham NC Company or a furnace repair Durham NC Company to help you bring back the comfort in your home during the cold season.

Air conditioning appliances also have great advantages in the home. For instance, an air conditioner reduces humidity making a room more comfortable to live in. Air conditioners can also humidify, purify and ventilate the air inside a room. This has many advantages because it eliminates dust particles and dust mites which can cause respiratory diseases. Air conditioners also help filter out allergens like pollen which can cause serious allergic reactions and provoke diseases such as asthma. Air conditioners also help keep humidity on a low. Rooms that have high humidity often promote the propagation of harmful bacteria which can cause serious respiratory diseases.

Modern air conditioners have great advantages because you can adjust them by the touch of a button to the exact temperature range you feel comfortable in. Modern air conditioners have a remote control with a digital display which shows you the temperature setting thus making it easier for you to determine whether to adjust the temperature by increasing it or decreasing it. Modern air conditioners have thermostats which automatically switch off the appliance when the set temperature has been achieved. This helps save energy thus cutting down the money you use on paying electrical bills.

TOP TEN THINGS CONSUMERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AIR CONDITIONING

What is Air Conditioning?

Can Air Conditioning Transmit the Coronavirus? | Wirecutter

The first functional definition of air-conditioning was created in 1908 and is credited to G. B. Wilson. It is the definition that Willis Carrier, the “father of air conditioning” subscribed to:

  • Maintain suitable humidity in all parts of a building
  • Free the air from excessive humidity during certain seasons
  • Supply a constant and adequate supply of ventilation
  • Efficiently remove from the air micro-organisms, dust, soot, and other foreign bodies
  • Efficiently cool room air during certain seasons
  • Heat or help heat the rooms in winter
  • An apparatus that is not cost-prohibitive in purchase or maintenance

HOW AN AIR CONDITIONER WORKS

A Homeowner's Guide to Air Conditioner Repairs - Modern Diplomacy

The job of your home air conditioner is move heat from inside your home to the outside, thereby cooling you and your home. Air conditioners blow cool air into your home by pulling the heat out of that air. The air is cooled by blowing it over a set of cold pipes called an evaporator coil. This works just like the cooling that happens when water evaporates from your skin. The evaporator coil is filled with a special liquid called a refrigerant, which changes from a liquid to a gas as it absorbs heat from the air. The refrigerant is pumped outside the house to another coil where it gives up its heat and changes back into a liquid. This outside coil is called the condenser because the refrigerant is condensing from a gas back to a fluid just like moisture on a cold window. A pump, called a compressor, is used to move the refrigerant between the two coils and to change the pressure of the refrigerant so that all the refrigerant evaporates or condenses in the appropriate coils.

The energy to do all of this is used by the motor that runs the compressor. The entire system will normally give about three times the cooling energy that the compressor uses. This odd fact happens because the changing of refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and back again lets the system move much more energy than the compressor uses.


WHAT A ‘TON’ OF COOLING IS

Before refrigeration air conditioning was invented, cooling was done by saving big blocks of ice. When cooling machines started to get used, they rated their capacity by the equivalent amount of ice melted in a day, which is where the term “ton” came from sizing air conditioning.

A ton of cooling is now defined as delivering 12,000 BTU/hour of cooling. BTU is short for British Thermal Unit (and is a unit that the British do not use) The BTU is a unit of heating – or in this case, cooling – energy. It’s more important, however, to keep in perspective that a window air conditioner is usually less than one ton. A small home central air conditioner would be about two tons and a large one about five tons.


WHAT GOES WRONG

Unlike most furnaces, air conditioners are complex mechanical systems that depend on a wide variety of conditions to work correctly. They are sized to meet a certain “load” on the house. They are designed to have certain amount of refrigerant, known as the “charge”. They are designed to have a certain amount of air flow across the coils. When any of these things changes, the system will have problems.

If you produce more heat indoors either from having more people or appliances or because of changes in the house, the air conditioning may not be able to keep up.

If the refrigerant charge on the system leaks out, it lowers the capacity of the system. You will simply get less cooling and system will not be able to keep up when the load gets high.

If airflow across the outdoor (condenser) coil is reduced, the ability to reject heat outdoors is reduced and the again the capacity of the system may go down, especially at higher outdoor temperatures.<

In dry climates such as the Southwest United States, the same issues happen with regard to the indoor (evaporator) coil: higher airflow helps, lower airflow hurts. In humid climates, the situation is more complex. At higher airflows, there will be less dehumidification, leading to high indoor humidities. If the airflow gets too low, however, the evaporator coil may freeze. This makes performance worse and can damage the compressor until it fails – leaving you with an expensive repair bill and no cooling!


WHAT THOSE FILTERS DO

Why It&#39;s So Important to Change Your Air Filter Regularly

Almost every air conditioning system has a filter upstream of the evaporator coil. This can be in the return grille or in special slots in the duct system and can be a fuzzy-looking or a folded paper filter. This filter removes particles from the air stream to both keep the air conditioning system clean and to remove particles from the air.

As the filter does its job, it gets loaded with more and more particles. This actually has the effect of making it more efficient, but it also increases resistance and reducing airflow. When this happens, it is time to change the filter. How long it will take to happen depends on how dirty the air is and how big the filter is.

If you don’t change the filter, the air flow will go down, and the system will not perform well. Not only that, but if the filter is too dirty, it starts to become a source or air pollution itself.

If you take the filter out completely, you would solve the low air flow problem, but this victory would be short lived. The particles that the filter would have taken out will now build up on your evaporator coil and eventually cause it to fail. A new filter is a lot cheaper.

When you do buy a new filter, ASHRAE recommends getting one with a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value of MERV 6 or higher.


MAINTAIN THE SYSTEM

Routine maintenance such as changing filters can be handled by most consumers, but others require professional service.

It’s a good idea to brush dirt and obstructions from the coils and the drains at the start of each cooling season. Depending on the system and the consumer, this may require a service call from a professional.

If the system is not producing as much cold air as is normal, it could also be an indication of a refrigerant charge or airflow problems. These problems may require servicing.


DUCTS MATTER – A LOT

Another reason systems may appear not to be producing enough cold air is because of duct leakage. Duct leakage can sap 20 to 40% of the energy out of even a well-operating air conditioner, if the ducts pass outside the cooled space (this includes attics, crawlspaces and garages). Ducts outside need to be well insulated. Various products exist specifically for insulating ducts that can be installed by a keen home owner or a professional contractor.

You might be able to get an extra half ton of air conditioner capacity for free, if you seal your leaky ducts. If the ducts are accessible, handy consumers can seal ducts with mastic—that white sticky stuff you can paint on the ducts. Otherwise you would need a professional to seal the ducts.


HOW TO INCREASE ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Sealing leaky ducts may be the biggest single thing you can do to improve efficiency, but a lot of the issues mentioned above will help as well: replace dirty filters, keep the right charge and airflow, clean the coils.

Another thing to do is to make sure the outdoor (condenser) unit is not so hidden from sight that its air flow is blocked or that leaves or other matter are not clogging it.

If you are replacing the air conditioner, look to buy high efficiency equipment. The most generally known efficiency rating is Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER). SEER 13 is the minimum efficiency you should consider, but higher efficiencies are likely to be quite cost effective.

Depending on your climate, you may wish to consider other efficiency numbers as well. For example, in hot, dry climates you should look at the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) which says how well the system will work at peak conditions. If you live in a hot, humid climate you need to consider how well the unit can dehumidify.<


LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD

You can make your air conditioner work better by reducing the size of the job it has to do. You can do this by improving the building or reducing the internally generated loads that your air conditioner must deal with.

Improving the building “envelope” includes things such increasing insulation levels or shading windows or reducing air leakage. Such improvements will reduce energy spent on heating and cooling, but may require substantial time or investment. When putting in a new roof or new windows, it is usually cost effective to use high-efficiency products. “Cool” roofing, for example, can save half a ton of cooling and a lot of energy over the year.

Reducing internal loads can be simpler. Shut off unneeded electrical appliances, lights and equipment. Shift appliance use (such as washers and dryers) to cooler times of the day. Use local exhaust fans to remove heat and humidity from kitchens and baths. Buying Energy Star or similarly efficiency appliances helps as well.

In some climates other techniques can be used to reduce the load on the air conditioner. In dry climates evaporative air conditions (the modern version of what used to be called “swamp coolers”) can provide substantial cooling. In climates with large temperature swings, such as the hot, dry climates, you can reduce the load by bringing in large amounts of cool outdoor air. Such systems can be called “night cooling” “ventilative cooling” or “residential economizers”.


VENTILATE

The previous points have focused on cooling, but the original definition of air conditioning contains more than that; an ideal air conditioner should heat, cool, clean, ventilate, humidify and dehumidify as needed to provide health and comfort. In fact the second most important objective of the original definition is to provide ventilation. Whether or not the piece of equipment we call an air conditioner provides it, ventilation is needed.

Without adequate ventilation, contaminants generated indoors will can lead to significant health and comfort problems. ASHRAE recommends that there be at least enough ventilation to exchange the air inside house once every four hours, depending on house design.
Older homes tend to have leakier walls and leakier ducts and mostly get sufficient ventilation through such leakage. Such leakage and infiltration may not be the most energy efficient approach to ventilation and is an opportunity for savings.

Most new homes and some existing homes are relatively tight and thus require mechanical ventilation to meet minimum ventilation requirements.


IT’S NOT THE HEAT, IT’S THE HUMIDITY

Humidity control was the problem that originally spurred the need for air conditioning. Lack of humidity control in hot, humid climates, in particular, can lead to mold growth and other moisture-related problems. High indoor humidities can lead to health and comfort problems.

Modern air conditioners dehumidify as they cool; you can see that by the water that drains away, but this dehumidification is incidental to their main job of controlling temperature. They cannot independently control both temperature and humidity.

In hot, humid climates the incidental dehumidification that occurs may not always be enough to keep the indoor humidity conditions acceptable. (ASHRAE recommends roughly a 60% relative humidity maximum at 78F.) The maximum dehumidification happens not at the hot times of the year—when the air conditioner is running a lot—but at mild times of the year when the air conditioner runs very little.

Although there are some leading edge air conditioning systems that promise to independently control humidity, conventional systems may not be able to sufficiently control the problem and can cause comfort or mold problems in certain situations. Some current high-end systems have enhanced dehumidification, but when the existing system cannot sufficiently dehumidify, it may be necessary to buy a stand-alone dehumidifier. ... Read More

Air Conditioning Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide (2021 Update)

Air Conditioning Maintenance_ The Ultimate Guide

You rely on your air conditioning system to keep your home cool and comfortable, but your A/C system requires regular maintenance to function efficiently for that to happen.

Just like any other home appliance, it’s normal for your air conditioning unit to experience some wear and tear from regular use and develop mechanical problems at some point during its lifetime.

Keeping your system up and running smoothly requires proper attention to its maintenance and service needs. System maintenance can also save you money and headaches from unexpected breakdowns that can leave you sweaty and fuming!

If you are looking to keep your home comfortable (and who isn’t?), then keeping your A/C running is a must.

Let’s take a look at what you can do and when you need to call in the pros when it comes to air conditioner maintenance…

air-conditioning-maintenance

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Chapter 1

How Your Air Conditioner Works

If you recently moved from a home where you mostly used fans, window-mounted air conditioners or are thinking of installing a central air unit, you may not be too familiar with the central A/C system. Don’t worry… we can help.

Central air conditioning units operate in the same way that your refrigerator does, but on a larger scale. Essentially, your air conditioner quickly converts gas to liquid and back again using chemicals that move the heat in the air from inside your home to outside.

For a more in-depth look at how your A/C unit works, check out these resources.

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Chapter 2

Why Does My A/C Need Maintenance?

Just as your car requires regular maintenance to run smoothly and properly, your A/C also requires regular care. Proactively taking care of your air conditioner not only extends the life of your unit but can also save you a substantial amount of money on repair and replacement costs. Something as simple as changing the air filter in your unit can prolong its efficiency and improve the air quality in your home.

What other steps can you take to keep your unit running like new? Check out these resources to find out:

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Chapter 3

How to Shut Off Your A/C Power

When repairing or installing your A/C unit, it is essential to turn off the power to your unit. Turning off your air conditioner’s power not only protects your equipment and the unit itself but also protects you from getting an electrical shock. Always check to see if you’ve successfully turned off your system by attempting to turn heating and cooling on from your existing thermostat.

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Chapter 4

How to Clean Your Outdoor A/C Condenser Unit

Cleaning your condenser unit outside yearly will increase the efficiency of your air conditioner and protect your investment. This is an easy DIY cleaning project, but you can also hire a professional to clean your unit for you if you don’t have time. Cleaning the condenser is especially important if dandelions grow around your unit or an abundance of leaves or grass clippings.

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Chapter 5

How to Level Your Outdoor A/C Condenser Unit

Moving your air conditioning unit can be a daunting task, but if the unit is not leveled correctly, it may fail to function properly and could cause refrigerant leaks. Be sure to use a level to check your unit at least once a year, as the earth under your unit is constantly changing and settling.

Below are a few resources on how to level your unit:

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Chapter 6

How to Clean Your Evaporator Coil

The Evaporator coils in your A/C unit are essential in cooling your home. Not only do they help cool things off, but they also remove the moisture in the air that causes that sticky humidity. Since these coils are typically moist from the condensation, they can easily collect dust and dirt and become dirty. Dirty coils prevent your central A/C unit from functioning efficiently, but they are also easy to clean.

Here are some helpful resources:

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Chapter 7

What if Your Condensate Drain Line is Clogged?

Remember that evaporator coil we talked about? To prevent all the moisture in that coil from living in your A/C unit, the condensate drain line removes that moisture from the unit. Since this drain line is almost always moist, it’s a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can cause the drain line to get clogged. This is one of the most common reasons a pro is called in to fix an air conditioner, which means cash out of your pocket.

Luckily, this can be prevented with some simple maintenance once or twice a year:

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Chapter 8

Changing Your Blower Filter

Just as your dressers and countertops collect dust, so does the air filter in your air conditioner. Imagine if you never dusted inside your home; it would get pretty stuffy and hard to breathe after a while, right? Well, that’s what’s happening inside your air conditioner if you don’t replace the filters regularly. You’d be surprised how much gunk and dust gets collected in a relatively short time. Fortunately, cleaning your air filter is an easy task and helps your unit run efficiently while also improving your air quality.

thermostat

Chapter 9

Why Use Programmable Thermostats to Adjust Home Temperature

When installed correctly and configured properly, a programmable thermostat will help maintain a comfortable home and adjust the home temperature automatically throughout the day. It can help save money and manage to cool your home without hovering over the older dial models.

Here are some helpful resources:

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Chapter 10

When You Should Call a Pro

As we mentioned, keeping your air conditioning system running smoothly and efficiently requires proper, consistent maintenance and service needs. While most of the problems we discussed can be easily fixed at home, some issues require the attention of a certified technician. They have the knowledge and experience to diagnose the problem quickly and get your system up and running safely.

Here are some tips on contacting a pro…

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Chapter 11

Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips You Can Do Yourself (Checklist)

Is your air conditioner ready for summer? There is nothing worse than feeling hot and sticky.

Use these quick tips to have your A/C running smooth. And it will help prolong the life of your air conditioner and help it run more efficiently.

AC Maintenance Tips Checklist

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Outdoor unit…

1. Keep it Clean

Check and clean the unit of any debris. Over time dirt, grass, leaves, and more can surround your unit, reducing airflow. Clean the area before turning the A/C on for the summer and trim any shrubs to keep the air flowing.

2. Level the Air Conditioner Unit

Make sure your air conditioner pad is in a stable position. Compressors on concrete pads can settle over time. This places strain on the coolant lines.

Level the condenser for better performance.

3. Fix Your Fins

Fins on an A/C unit are fragile. When the fins are bent, heat can get trapped within the unit. This can lead to performance issues and controlling temperatures in your home. Bent fins can be fixed in a few simple steps.

HVAC gives you the steps to carefully fix bent fins. “What do I do if my outside air conditioner has bent fins?

4. Unclog the condensate drain tube

The condensate drain removes the condensation produced by your air conditioner’s evaporator coils.

If the line is not cleaned, mold can grow inside, clogging the drain.

5. Clean the air conditioner coils

If your coils are blocked, it will decrease airflow and the efficiency of your unit.

5. Check the insulation

Check the insulation around the line to make sure everything still looks good.

Indoor unit…

6. Check the air filter

The most critical maintenance task that will improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace or clean the air filters routinely.

You should be able to see the light through the filter.

7. Clean the drain line

Make sure the drain line is not clogged.

Part of your summer ritual should be to have your system checked by a trained technician. Once a year, have a Certified HVAC technician tune-up and inspect your A/C unit.

The Homeowner’s Guide to HVAC Maintenance

Homeownership comes with a lot of responsibility. In addition to making sure that you pay your mortgage on time every month, you also have to oversee the functions of your home and make sure that everything is working efficiently. Things like HVAC maintenance might not be particularly glamorous, but they’re part and parcel of keeping your home running right.

HVAC, which stands for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” is the system responsible for helping you maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. It is also partially responsible for maintaining optimal air quality and energy efficiency.

Most of the HVAC maintenance that you undertake as a homeowner is proactive and preventative, meaning you’re doing work that will help future problems from occurring. There is a lot that can go wrong with your HVAC, including leaks, corrosion, and issues with distributing hot or cold air. And everything from clogged filters to dirty coils can lead to a problem, so it’s important that you stay on top of your maintenance tasks year after year.

The best way to go about maintaining an HVAC system is to have a set plan that you follow every year. In this guide to HVAC maintenance, we’ll go over the basics that you need to know in order to put a plan into place, including what goes into proper maintenance, how often you should do it, and how much it costs.

Common HVAC problems

As mentioned above, there are a lot of problems that can occur with your HVAC system—some of the more common than others. And it helps to know what these problems are. Here are three HVAC problems to keep top of mind as you work out your maintenance schedule and options.

  1. Leaks
    All HVAC connector and drain lines have the ability to develop leaks. These leaks force your system to run harder than it should, and could ultimately lead to you having to replace one or more components. Keep an eye out for leaks from refrigerant lines (more on those under monthly HVAC maintenance tasks), as well as leaks from the AC condensate line and heat exchanger.
  2. Corrosion
    Whenever you combine wiring with moisture you have the potential for corrosion. This corrosion, which can happen on any wires or terminals related to your HVAC system, will generally cause your heating or cooling system to turn on and off on its own. Like leaks, it will also force your system to work harder, and may lead to a complete break over time.
  3. Dirt and debris
    All components of your HVAC system—from filters to the electric panel, and everything in between—need to be free of debris. In addition to causing your system to work inefficiently, things like dirty air filters will pump dust and allergens into your home, reducing the air quality and flow and potentially clogging the system.

Types of HVAC maintenance tasks

You can’t put together an HVAC to-do list if you don’t know what you have to do in the first place. Barring any unforeseen issues, these are the standard HVAC maintenance tasks that you’ll want to undergo each year. We’ve broken them into specific timelines so that you can easily differentiate between what needs to get done right now and what needs to get done just once a year.

Following this list will help you keep your HVAC in strong working order, and will also ensure that, if there is a problem, you find out about it sooner rather than later.

Right now

Make sure that these tasks are always ticked off to mitigate the potential for avoidable issues with your HVAC system:

  • Check that the area around the visible indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system (think AC units and heating units) are free of debris, including boxes, grass, leaves, and furniture.
  • Ensure that there are two feet of cleared space around all HVAC system components.
  • If you haven’t already, buy high-efficiency air filters so that you have them ready to go. If you don’t have a high-efficiency filter in place already, swap one in.

Once a month

  • Inspect your air conditioner refrigerant lines for leaks. These two lines, which are typically copper, connect your outdoor air conditioner to your system’s indoor evaporator coil. Here’s where—and what—to look for.

Once a season

  • Replace the air filter every 90 days.
  • Turn off water to the furnace humidifier in the summer.
  • Replace the humidifier filter and turn the water back on in the fall.

Once a year

  • Go through your home and replace the batteries in all of your carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Lubricate your HVAC motor and replace the fan belt if it’s not running efficiently.
  • Clean your AC condensation drain line with bleach. Directions on how to do that here.
  • Take a look at your outdoor AC unit and ensure that, in addition to being free of debris, the unit is standing on level ground.

If you follow this list and make sure to do the right tasks at the right times, your HVAC system should run well for a long time. The life expectancy of an HVAC system is about 10 to 25 years—and with preventative maintenance, you can expect yours to last closer to 25 than 10.

What about hiring an HVAC technician to come in?

Even though you can handle most of the standard HVAC maintenance tasks on your own, your heating and cooling system is rather complex, and some issues might not be apparent to you. In the same vein, there are more nuanced checks that need to be done occasionally, such as checking for the proper functioning of electric components and ductwork.

It’s a good idea to occasionally bring in a pro for HVAC maintenance. If your system is new you can probably get away with having someone come just once a year or every other year. For older systems, plan to have professional maintenance performed twice a year—in the spring and then again in the fall.

HVAC maintenance and repair costs

Your HVAC system isn’t going to cost you too much if you stay on top of preventative maintenance. Costs to budget for include high-efficiency air filters, which are about $20 apiece (you’ll need four per year), and a bottle of bleach for cleaning drain lines—about $5.

If you hire a technician to come in and perform maintenance, expect to spend about $70 to $100 per visit. Ask about any discounts that might be available. Some HVAC maintenance companies also offer annual contracts, where you pay a set fee to have someone come out once a year.