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Heating & Air News

Can Regular HVAC Tune Ups Really Extend the Life of the System?

Posted by Howell's Heating & Air on August 31, 2017

Heating and cooling systems have lots of moving, mechanical parts. Keeping them cleaned, oiled and tuned-up allows your HVAC to work more efficiently - and it keeps it running far longer than it would otherwise. This is why regular HVAC tune ups are so important when it comes to saving money and extending the life of your system.

Bi-annual tuneups are are the industry standards, so we encourage clients to schedule them in the fall and the spring. That way we can address any latent repair issues, clean things up and make sure your unit operates smoothly before you're in the midst of peak heating and cooling seasons.

Changing Seasons.jpg

Regular Tune Ups Improve the Life of Your HVAC System

Here are a few of the ways regular tune ups will improve the life of your HVAC system and save you money, to boot.

Increase Energy Efficiency

HVAC  System Tune Up.jpgWhen heating and cooling systems get sluggish or run under sub-par  conditions, they have to work harder. This "working harder" shows up in multiple ways, one of the most important of which is reduced energy efficiency.

When you're HVAC system works harder, it takes more energy to run it; the system has to run more often, and for longer, in order to accommodate your household's desired thermostat settings. This isn't good for the planet, and it's isn't good for the pocketbook - showing up via higher, annual utility bills. If you use your unit faithfully in the winter and summer months, failure to maintain the unit as directed will cost you hundreds of dollars each year in energy spending alone.

Read, 15 Secrets to Cutting Down Energy Usage in a Home, for more information on improving whole-home energy efficiency.

Reduce the Frequency (and Expense) of Breakdowns

HVAC technicians have a routine maintenance and tune-up list they follow each visit. This includes things like ensuring the unit is communicating with the thermostat, lubricating all moving parts, checking electrical components, fan and blower parts, changing the HVAC filter(s), etc.

While performing these checks, the HVAC technician may notice a red flag item that needs to be addressed. By repairing and/or replacing these red flags now, it protects homeowners from unnecessary breakdowns, and also prevents them from paying more for emergency repair charges. Often, a simple repair now saves a more complicated and expensive repair down the road.

Bonus Note: Most HVAC manufacturers make routine maintenance from a licensed HVAC technician part of their warranty requirements. Failure to do so could void the warranty on parts or replacements that would have been FREE otherwise.

Facilitate Smoother and Quieter Operation

Person Holding Cup in Winter Weather.jpgA harder-working heating and cooling system makes more noise than its efficiently working counterpart. Because the operational noise level tends to increase over a period of time, clients are often shocked at how much quieter their home is once their tuneup, and any necessary repairs, are complete.

Regular tune ups keep HVAC systems running smoothly and quietly, with less noticeable transitions between "on" and "off" settings.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is a serious issue. While most Americans worry about outdoor air pollution, the EPA tells us, "...a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities...for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors."

A well-functioning HVAC system that contains relevant air purification features and systematic air filter changes is integral to maintaining healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). Regular HVAC maintenance appointments ensure the system is helping, rather than hurting, your IAQ. Your technicians will change the air filters for you - making recommendations as they see fit based on your household's pets, moisture control, occupancy, history of allergies, etc.

Prevent Unnecessary, Expensive HVAC Replacement

Unnecessary HVAC Expenses.jpgNew HVAC systems cost thousands of dollars. While high-quality systems pay for themselves in terms of energy efficiency (assuming they're tuned-up regularly), you should get a good 15- to 20-years out of a reputable HVAC unit. However, take that same system and deprive it of routine service appointments, and it may only last 10-years or less.

As we mentioned above, routine maintenance means more efficient parts operation. If these appointments are skipped, and parts experience heavier than normal wear-and-tear, repairs can wind up costing 50% or more of a new system, at which point we'll recommend replacing the unit.

Benefit from Honest, Professional Recommendations

When we go into your home to inspect and maintain your current HVAC system, we'll offer professional recommendations on ways to improve HVAC and whole-home comfort.

For example, if your home was built 10-years ago or more, your HVAC might be the wrong size or design for your home. Heating and cooling systems and duct design were sized and laid out according to the home's square footage and convenience, respectively.

Calculating HVAC Needs.jpgToday, professional HVAC contractors use specific calculations from Manual J (for sizing) and Manual D (for duct design), based on a wide range of factors - including;

  • Square footage
  • Lot and house orientation
  • Window specification
  • Appliances
  • Occupancy
  • Perimeter shading
  • Zones
  • Usage

If we notice your HVAC is sized incorrectly, meaning it's operating inefficiently, or that your duct design is similarly lacking, we'll work with you to find solutions.

In some cases, we may recommend zoning your home to improve heating and cooling system performance, give you greater control over which areas of the home are heated/cooled and/or to eliminate irritating cold and hot pockets that indicate the current system isn't designed correctly. We might also recommend redesigning your duct system, which will pay for itself via comfort and energy savings.

Comfort Club Members Experience Bi-Annual Tune Ups and Serious Savings

Most HVAC companies offer some sort of maintenance membership to encourage regular tune ups. Our Comfort Club is a prime example. In addition to regularly scheduled, bi-annual maintenance visits, you'll also receive:

  • 10% off service repairs
  • Free reminders (we do the calendaring so you're off the hook)
  • Priority scheduling (especially handy if your HVAC stops working in high-demand, peak seasons)
  • $50-worth of "Bonus Bucks" for every year you're enrolled - the total of which can be used towards a future replacement system
  • Peace of mind, knowing your system's running efficiently all year-round

Here's What the Howell's Comfort Club Program Includes:

 

 

How Much Do Routine HVAC Tune Ups Cost?

The average cost for an HVAC tune up is between $100 and $200. While we understand this is a broad range, there is no "one-size-fits-all" tune-up. If your system hasn't been tuned up in a while, the first appointment may take a little longer and cost more. Routine maintenance for larger or more complicated systems costs more than tune ups for smaller, simpler systems, and so on.

What we can tell you is that you'll save money in both tune-up and repair costs, as well as energy efficiency and replacement costs, when your HVAC system is maintained bi-annually.

Interested in learning more about HVAC tune up appointments or our Comfort Club? Contact the team here at Howell's Heating & Air. We've provided trustworthy and reliable HVAC service to Central Virginia homeowners for 48 years and counting!

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Topics: HVAC Maintenance, HVAC Tune Ups