Spring is right around the corner, and that means everyone is thinking about spring cleaning. It is also the time when HVAC professionals are thinking about spring maintenance. Unfortunately, too many people fail to realize how important it is to maintain their HVAC system properly.
Like a car, an HVAC system works best when properly maintained. Even when it is neglected, it will continue to run, but it will slowly lose efficiency until it eventually experiences a catastrophic failure.
Just like any other mechanical addition to your life, maintaining efficient operation of your HVAC system will save you money. The three areas you will see these savings are in your energy costs, the repair costs over the life of your system, and how long your system will last.
Reduced Energy Costs
Like a car, your HVAC system will run, even if not doing so optimally. When a vehicle has an underlying problem, you may notice a reduction in your gas mileage, extra wear on your tires, or increased fluid usage. Your heating and cooling system is very similar.
This system relies on the ability to move air through, transferring heat either into the air or out of it. When something does not work properly, it causes each cycle to run longer, which ultimately increases your energy usage.
This is especially important over the summer months when you are running your air conditioner. For instance, if your air conditioning system is low on refrigerant, it will not transfer as much heat out of the house as it should. This causes your system to run for longer periods to achieve your desired temperature.
In addition to running longer, having low refrigerant may cause various components of the system to form frost and ice. This restricts airflow around that component, causing further strain on the system, and making it continue to run longer.
When your unit is running efficiently, it can achieve your desired temperature more quickly. This means that your system does not have to run as long or as often, reducing the cost of running the unit over the season.
Reduced Repair Costs
In addition to reducing your energy consumption, you also reduce repair costs. Consider the example of low refrigerant. One component that commonly freezes in a system that is low on refrigerant is the exposed portions of refrigerant lines as well as the condenser itself. In both cases, that freezing, and subsequent thawing, stresses the material, which is usually copper or some other metal. This additional stress causes those components to break down more quickly, crack, or break, and may lead to additional repairs that could have been headed off with proper maintenance.
There is also the additional wear from the system running for longer periods more often. This is extra wear on the electrical components like the capacitor as well as the motors. When you run your air conditioner, you are running the circulating fan motor as well as the condenser fan motor. The longer these run at each cycle, the more quickly they will wear out.
The last consideration is the actual cost of bringing a repair technician out to investigate the problem and offer a solution. When you plan regular maintenance, you do not have to pay for a separate service call. With the maintenance agreements at Primary Service Group, you also receive a member discount on repairs, and you will not pay for premium after-hours charges either.
All the way around, you will save money throughout the life of your system.
Extended System Service Life
Most people jump at the chance to extend their system’s service life. After all, no one really wants the headache of replacing an air conditioner or a furnace. By reducing the overall strain on the system while running, along with decreasing how long it needs to run during each cycle, you will extend the life of the system itself.
Some systems experience catastrophic failure simply due to multiple components failing. This is often caused by extra stress and strain due to the system not running efficiently. Restricted airflow causes some of this stress. When the air cannot move freely, the fan motors have to work harder to get it moving. This stresses not only the fan motor but also the electrical components that control the fan.
We have already discussed the stress of frozen components in the air conditioning system. This freezing is a major factor that reduces the service life of any air conditioning system.
You can extend the service life of your HVAC system when you take the time and effort to care for it properly. Ensuring that refrigerant levels are optimal will make sure your system will continue to serve you well into the future.
All of this makes having an HVAC technician tune-up your system sound good in theory, but what does he or she do during a maintenance visit? There are a number of things that a qualified technician will inspect and do during a maintenance check to keep your system working well and put money back into your pocket.
General System Cleaning
There are components of a forced-air system that notoriously collect dust and other contaminants, and these are difficult for untrained hands to clean properly. This includes the heat exchanger on the furnace, the evaporation coils for the air conditioner, and the blower motor fan, also known as the circulating fan. If done incorrectly, attempting to clean these can cause damage to the system as well as bodily harm.
Keeping the refrigerant at the right level is an important step to reduce the wear on your entire cooling system. If the level is low, the tech should check for a leak before adding more refrigerant to ensure that further repairs are not needed. It is important not to run a system that is low on refrigerant, as that adds unnecessary strain to the system, leading to damage and more repairs.
Inspecting every component regularly helps to identify early signs of wear and can head off emergency calls during peak service times. These components include electrical connections, capacitors, the condenser itself, the circulating fan motor, and more. Technicians will look for signs of a component going bad as well as normal wear that should be repaired.
This inspection is especially important for the outside components of the air conditioning system being they are subject to the elements. It is very possible some of these components were worn over the winter months while they were not in use.
Reliable Heating and Cooling Specialists
Primary Service Group proudly serves central and northern New Jersey. Our technicians are experts in all components of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality. We pride ourselves on helping our clients to maintain efficient HVAC systems while also providing repairs when needed.
Many clients enjoy our Primary Care Plans, only available with Primary Service Group. These ensure you receive priority scheduling and discounted services plus live technical assistance, not to mention the needed system maintenance. It is like having a certified HVAC technician as part of the family!
Call Primary Service Group today to get more information about our Primary Care Plans and to schedule your spring maintenance in New Jersey.