Most homeowners know regular maintenance of HVAC systems can avoid an unexpected breakdown, and Murphy’s Law says it will be on a cold Friday night. We’ve all been there, wishing we had been more proactive. Like oral hygiene, car tune-ups, and date night with the spouse, minor maintenance efforts can prevent major issues when it comes to our health, relationships, vehicles, and home. Waiting for signs of a problem can abet problems.
Avoid Costly Repairs and Lower Your Energy Bills
Trying to save money by skipping HVAC maintenance often costs more in the long run. A small part being replaced or fixed in a timely fashion can potentially forestall substantial and potentially costly repairs. For example, a blower motor might just need a little tightening, but left loose it can severely damage other parts of the furnace, requiring more expensive repair services.
If your HVAC system isn’t working at maximum capacity, you end up paying for it in other ways, including higher utility bills and possibly having to replace the unit altogether. If you are looking for ways to lower your home’s energy costs, consider Hage’s Energy Audit and maintenance services.
Maintain Your Warranty
HVAC system and furnace warranties often offer reduced-rate repairs and parts at low cost or even free. However, most will specify that regular, professional maintenance is required for the warranty to be fulfilled. Without proof of proper maintenance, the manufacturer may void the warranty, so be sure to keep receipts for both taxes and warranty purposes.
Extend the Lifespan of Your HVAC System
Most HVAC systems can last anywhere from 15 to 25 years with routine maintenance. Furnaces that receive regular maintenance can work years longer than poorly maintained units. Far from being an unnecessary expenditure, annual check-ups are an investment that will prolong the lifespan of your HVAC system, delaying eventual pricey replacement.
Beat the Humidity
The excessive humidity in the Houston area, especially on summer mornings, puts extra stress on A/C units. Spring Texas’ muggiest season is slightly shorter than areas more south, such as Sugar Land and Missouri City, but not enough to change the toll it takes on HVAC systems. Signs your HVAC system is being challenged by the high humidity are easy to notice, such as foggy windows, feeling clammy, a damp smell, or condensation forming on cold surfaces such as drinks or ductwork.
70° in high humidity will feel hotter than 70° with low humidity, so you may find yourself turning down your thermostat to colder temperatures to try to feel more comfortable. This can cause additional wear on your A/C, and reduce efficiency which leads to higher operating costs.
Many HVAC systems have humidifiers and dehumidifiers that address these issues, but if not, consider adding these humidity-controlling features to your system so that you and your family stay comfortable while saving on your energy bill.
Protect Against Extreme Weather & Water Damage
Here in Texas, we are well aware of the dire effects of natural disasters and power outages. With local hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, freezing temperatures, and power outages that the Houston area experiences, annual HVAC and furnace check-ups are even more important.
Cold, snowy, and icy conditions are tough on aging or poorly maintained heat pumps. Snow and ice can build up to the point of blocking intake and more commonly the exhaust ports, restricting airflow and increasing the energy used to operate. This will be reflected on your energy bill as well.
Even during winters where there is less snowfall in Houston, other sources of moisture can pose various risks. If temperatures drop below freezing, water will expand as it freezes, potentially causing damage such as stress cracks. Water can also rust metal parts year-round, so annual HVAC maintenance checks will detect any existing damage and mitigate further exposure to moisture.
Cleaner Air and Reliable Comfort
A well-maintained HVAC system delivers better results, so you can enjoy cleaner air and keep consistently comfortable throughout your home and the changing seasons.
- Avoid dusty, musty smells that can linger in your air ducts and filtering mechanisms caused by the humidity of summer. Routine duct cleaning reduces air contaminants that compromise the quality of the air and can cause respiratory issues, allergies, and the spread of viruses such as the common cold, flu, and COVID-19. In addition to professional duct cleanings, frequently replacing your air filters protects various components of your HVAC system and improves the air quality in your home.
- A clean HVAC system will also provide a more consistent temperature throughout your home and throughout the year. A vent system with built-up dirt, dust, and other contaminants will fail to distribute air evenly, resulting in noticeably different temperatures from room to room.
- Regular tune-ups can also prevent that common “old furnace rattle” (that naggingly reminds us we have been meaning to call an HVAC technician before something stops working.) A quiet furnace makes for a happier homeowner and a healthier heating system
First thing last, safety. Diligent upkeep of a furnace protects you, your family, and your property.
Worn or damaged gas valves, oil leaks, cracks in heat exchangers, and loose electrical connections, are just a handful of the dangers of unmaintained HVAC systems. Some serious safety concerns that are addressed during annual inspections are:
- Dirty flame sensor. A flame sensor is an important safety feature that confirms there is a flame when the gas is open. If a flame is not detected, it will turn off the furnace, avoiding gas leaks and potential explosions. If the sensor is not kept clean, oxidation or carbon buildup can restrict proper function, which can lead to entire system malfunction.
- Frayed, exposed wires and old, loose electrical connections. These can potentially spark a fire.
- Faulty gas connections. High gas pressure can cause the heat exchanger to overheat, while low gas pressure can cause condensation, both increasing the risk of fire and reducing air quality.
- Damage to the heat exchanger. Heat stress cracks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as fire.
- Furnace flues are another component that can be dangerous if neglected. If cracked, blocked, or damaged by buildup, harmful gases can leak into your home. This can affect your furnace operating efficiently, but more importantly, it can be a serious hazard to your family’s health. If you smell gas or otherwise suspect a leak, immediately leave your home and contact your gas company.
Regular checks for potential problems with your heating and cooling system can save more than money, it can save homes and lives.
“A stitch in time saves nine”
Routine maintenance can find issues that a timely fix can solve, and prevent a bigger problem down the line. Don’t wait for a rattling noise or worse a furnace ignitor failing to fire up to call Hage Energy. We are dedicated to keeping your family comfortable and safe, and your heating and cooling system running efficiently and effectively, year after year.
Ask us about our preventative maintenance membership program. It can save you money while effortlessly keeping your HVAC check-ups on schedule, plus receive priority service when you need it the most.