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Originally Posted On: What Happens During HVAC Service and Maintenance Calls? – Best Advice Zone
Homeowners spend at least 90 minutes every day maintaining their property.
However, many of us are guilty of waiting until the last minute to service our HVAC systems. Putting off HVAC service and maintenance may seem innocent, but did you know it can lead to serious safety concerns and higher energy bills?
If the outside temperature rises, your air conditioning system has to run for longer periods of time. Overworking your unit can result in a power outage, which is not only annoying but also very dangerous (think about how hot it will be when your power goes out!).
To protect your household, you’ll want to learn the ins and outs of what goes into HVAC maintenance. What are the most common HVAC services, and when should you get a system check-up? Read on to find out!
Common Types of HVAC Service
First, let’s review some of the most common types of HVAC service, like annual checkups. This is the most common type of service all HVAC systems are supposed to have. Maintenance professionals will perform a full inspection of your air conditioner, furnace, heat pump, and other components that affect indoor climate control.
They’ll clean the external surfaces of these units as well as test their airflow levels to check for proper functioning at every point. While they’re checking the system over, they can replace any filters that need it (these may be located in a backyard storage shed or basement).
Clean and Replace Sensors
Technicians will also help keep your sensors clean. Sensors help ensure that your HVAC unit functions properly and safely by regulating temperatures within your household.
If any of them are damaged, dirty or malfunctioning, you may wind up with a potentially dangerous on-and-off cycle of heat and cold. It’s best to have a professional service check for these issues and replace them if need be.
Finding Out About Duct Cleaning
Another important type of HVAC service is duct cleaning, which is crucial for protecting your family from unwanted airborne contaminants. Are you experiencing unexplained respiratory problems?
One reason could be the accumulation of dust and debris in the air supply system throughout your home. By thoroughly inspecting your ductwork (the metal piping that carries air between the HVAC unit and vents) technicians can find any areas that are harboring crud.
Next, they’ll scrape it away, removing the crud using high-powered vacuums or wet/dry vacuum systems. This will help ensure that you are breathing clean air in your home! You may need duct cleaning if your system is producing less than expected airflow. If so, you might have internal clogs that need to be cleared.
The type of filter that’s being used is not effective enough. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase the energy needed for your unit to keep cool.
Reasons for Extra Maintenance
Earlier, we mentioned that annual checkups are a must-have for any HVAC system. However, when else should you schedule a checkup? For one, you should get a check-up when the weather is changing.
Extreme weather changes, like sudden heat waves, are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Also, during the colder months, it’s important for your HVAC system to be able to keep up with demand.
Now that you’ve had some time to settle into your new space and take on the task of furnishing it, you’ll need to pay closer attention than ever as temperatures drop. Also, if your home is not properly heated or cooled within a reasonable amount of time upon activation, take action.
Call a technician to check things out, rather than waiting for things to get better. Does your heating or cooling system seem to be failing intermittently? Again, call in the pros. Finally, if you notice unusual sounds coming from inside your unit when it’s in use (strange noises can sometimes signal issues like leaks), you might need to call for help.
DIY HVAC Maintenace
Sometimes strange noises and other small issues are things you can fix yourself. When you hear unfamiliar sounds coming from your HVAC system, it can be difficult to know where they’re coming from.
Remember that some sounds are normal and don’t require any attention, such as those associated with turning on and off or the circulation of air. Other sounds may not be normal, including:
Clicking noises or other noises that might signal a problem with your blower fan. Churning or crunching noise that indicates a possible blockage in your system. Rattling noise that might indicate a loose part or component that should be tightened. Thumping noise that may mean something is caught in the fan blades.
If you notice that the temperature inside your home is not to your liking, but only tends to happen when a specific appliance in use is at fault (such as an overactive space heater), you can often fix the problem by simply turning off power to the device.
Likewise, if there are no signs of damage or blockages within your ductwork and you’re just experiencing one-off problems with changing weather patterns, you might be able to solve the problem yourself. Simply changing the air filter, or weather sealing your doors and windows could do the trick!
How to Find a Good HVAC Team
Now that you know when to get an annual HVAC service check-up and what the process entails, how do you find a reliable team?
When you’re looking to hire reliable contractors for AC Repair And Installation, or maintenance, do your research. To start, most technicians will offer some kind of service guarantee at the time of your appointment. Once you’ve got their word that they stand behind their work, it’s best to shop by price. Then consider:
Do they have experience with your brand of unit (or units made by your manufacturer)? Do they have testimonials from other satisfied customers? What certifications or licenses do they have?
We suggest getting referrals from friends, family, and neighbors. Word of mouth is a great way to find the HVAC team you need and put your mind at ease.
When it comes down to selecting an HVAC contractor, you may rely on online reviews, but it’s just as important to check for possible red flags.
For instance: Are contractors working with untrained or unlicensed employees? Some states require contractors to be licensed, others don’t. Next, do prices seem too good to be true? If so, scheduling appointments may be difficult or impossible. Next, fake reviews are another sign that should make you wise up and walk away immediately!
If you’re searching online, browse testimonials from other customers. If they list their names and towns in their write-ups, they will likely have gotten the job done without incident.
Once you find a company you’re interested in hiring, take a moment to explore their website. You can use this cybersecurity checklist to see if the website is secure. Next, assess the quality of the site.
The best HVAC companies will have customer-friendly websites that are easy to navigate. You’ll also get a chance to review all of the services available. If you can’t tell who the main contacts are, or if it’s difficult to find a phone number or physical address, that’s another red flag!
Preparing for HVAC Technician
After scheduling an air conditioner maintenance or checkup call with an HVAC tech, it’s time to prepare for their arrival. If you have any pets, it’s a good idea to put them in a safe place. Instead of having your loving dog steal attention, let the professionals focus on getting the job done right.
Consider scheduling your maintenance appointment in the late afternoon or early evening. If you’re getting a full service done, it’s also possible that they’ll have to disconnect your unit from its power source for a short period of time. That means everything is running off a generator until they can get everything hooked back up again!
Before you leave, make sure outdoor items such as garbage cans and garden tools are moved out of the way. This should help ensure no one trips while carrying heavy equipment around your home. You may also want to pull vehicles into the garage if possible.
Doing this will give them more room to work indoors. While on-site, HVAC techs usually prefer staying inside your house versus working outside in hot weather! As long as you’re hosting, they may even enjoy an extra glass of ice water!
To stay COVID cautious, we suggest wearing a mask. Your technician will likely be wearing a mask themselves. It’s also wise to disinfect after the technician leaves.
Using antibacterial wipes, clean doorknobs, and any other surfaces they touched. If you did give them a glass of water, clean the glass thoroughly. Or better yet, use a plastic cup!
HVAC Maintenance Checklist
What else happens when the technician arrives for a checkup? The first thing they’ll do is examine your unit. They’ll ask some questions about your system (such as how long you’ve had it in place), and then go over what has been done since the last inspection.
Next, they will collect a small sample of refrigerant from your unit. In many cases, there’s just enough residual leakage in older systems to make up for the small amount needed to conduct a test.
During the test, the technician will determine how much gas is in your system. If it’s too low, they’ll add more. Mixing refrigerants in-house can be dangerous. That’s why it’s a good idea to contact a professional HVAC team as soon as you notice something strange about your unit.
After the next few steps are completed by your technician, he or she may perform one last test—the pressure test! This verifies that the amount of refrigerant added was enough to get your air conditioning back up and running smoothly again. If everything checks out during this final inspection, you’re ready for trouble-free cooling until next year!
Typical Service Costs
What can you expect to pay for an HVAC tech to perform an HVAC yearly service? The cost is going to vary based on your city and who you choose to hire. Depending on the age of the equipment, other components could be replaced for an additional cost. If repairs are made, it’s likely that some parts will need immediate replacement by the technician, while others can wait until they become necessary.
Emergency HVAC Repairs
Regularly maintaining your HVAC system will help you avoid the high cost of emergency HVAC service calls. Hopefully, you’ll take all of the steps necessary to avoid a breakdown. However, sometimes equipment failure is out of your control. That’s why it’s a good idea to know what to do if your air conditioning suddenly stops working.
If you experience a sudden loss of air conditioning while the temperature is above 80 degrees, it’s best to keep your home closed up. If you have an opener installed inside your home (to cool down a room quickly), please refrain from using them! The additional strain on your system may cause it to break completely and require emergency HVAC repair or replacement.
if you wind up having to stay at a hotel, get ready to pay big time. Hotel rates have skyrocketed over the last few months, and $200 would be considered a good deal for a mediocre place.
Getting Rid Of a Bad HVAC Company
What if you find yourself stuck with a dishonest HVAC contractor? After scheduling multiple appointments, you keep getting get “no-shows”. Or worse, they show up and act unprofessionally. What should you do?
First, don’t bother working with a no-show contractor. The HVAC industry is competitive, and there are many other companies in your area who would love to do the work for you.
Second, give a call to any of the providers recommended by customer referral sites. Lastly, be sure to leave an honest review if you receive unprofessional service.
Research and Schedule Today
It’s clear to see you do some research before hiring a contractor. Remember, one of the most crucial things to look for is customer-friendly websites with all the necessary contact information and easy navigation.
You should also verify what services are offered on these sites as well. If the prices are ridiculously low, it’ll probably be hard to get an appointment. Instead, look for reasonable prices, from stellar HVAC contracts.
Make it a point to schedule your HVAC service check-up today. For more helpful tips, read another article.