Just like getting an annual physical is the best way to keep your body healthy and catch any issues before they progress, getting your HVAC system inspected routinely is the best way to keep it running optimally.
Regular HVAC maintenance will help you troubleshoot any problems your heating or cooling system may have before they arise, and are an especially good idea before you enter into an extra high demand season, like winter and summer.
If you’re unsure if it’s time for your system to get a tune up, here’s a quick checklist that can act as your guide.
The Quality Of Your Air Has Declined
If you’ve noticed an increase in your indoor allergies and asthma, or you just feel your home is extra stuffy or smelly, you’re probably experiencing air quality issues.
“Dust and other fine particles from vehicle exhaust, boilers, construction and other outdoor activities can find their way indoors through windows, doors, and other openings.
This so-called fine particulate matter can also get drawn indoors through a building’s HVAC system.
In addition, mold, pet hair, dander, and dust mites can build up over time — contributing to indoor air pollution that can make it hard for people with allergies or chronic illnesses to breathe.
A lack of proper ventilation also contributes to IAQ issues.
It allows the buildup of hazardous pollutants including cigarette smoke and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted from sources such as paint products, synthetic building materials, carpeting and furniture, personal care products, pesticides, cleaning solvents, air fresheners, and dry-cleaned clothing.”
Good ventilation is the key to improving indoor air quality.
Ventilation systems – like exhaust fans, proper ductwork set up, and strategically located intakes – provide fresh air, and help to control contaminants in your home.
If you feel your indoor air quality has declined, contact a professional for an HVAC tune up, and see what they would suggest at the time of inspection.
Your Warm Or Cool Air Flow Has Reduced
Even if your home feels like it’s an appropriate temperature, if you notice that your air flow isn’t spreading like usual, that’s another indicator of a problem.
If the air flow in your HVAC system is reduced for any reason, this can cause the system to overheat overtime and lead to a total breakdown, which can be incredibly costly.
Any time you notice a reduction in air, it’s critical you get a technician to look into the cause before it gets out of hand.
Your HVAC System Is Making Noises
If you hear whistling, rattling, banging, or squeaking coming from your HVAC system, it’s an obvious time for a tune up.
Furnace noises can happen for a wide variety of reasons. You may be experiencing loose ducts, bad motor bearings, gaps in the duct work, clogged filters, or ignition roll out.
These issues can range from a very minor problem with an easy fix, to a quite serious and even hazardous issue that needs a professional to address it ASAP.
If you have any doubts about the cause of your furnace noises, call a technician to come give your system a thorough evaluation.
Your Utilities Bills Have Increased
Both seasonal changes and appliance failure can be causes of a sudden utility spike.
A large or sudden spike in your monthly bill could be an indicator of HVAC failure, and should always be the cause for a professional evaluation.
But if your HVAC system seems to be working well enough, you may want to consider a programmable thermostat.
“With programmable thermostats, you can adjust the temperature to the exact point of your own personal comfort.
For every degree you raise or lower the temperature in your home during the heat of the summer or the cold of winter, you can save up to 2 percent on your utility bill. You don’t have to keep your air conditioning or heat on high while you’re away from home.
You can create a schedule that follows your family’s routine, and keeps the temperature cool or warm while you’re there, but eases up on the energy usage when you’re not home.”
While these are some common signs that it’s time to get your HVAC system checked, they aren’t all inclusive.
And even if you haven’t noticed any changes in your heat or air quality, if you haven’t had a tune up in over a year, it’s always a good idea to get one scheduled with a certified technician as part of your regular maintenance.