What does a “tune up” on my HVAC system consist of?
Tuning up your HVAC system is a diagnostic checkup in which a certified technician checks and adjusts the various components of the system to ensure that it is performing optimally. It includes important things such as: check unit for optimal performance (and adjust if necessary), inspection of carbon monoxide emissions, inspection of ignition system, inspection of gas lines and valves for leaks, inspection of ductwork for leaks, calibration of thermostat, and much more.
A tune up is important 2 reasons: It ensures that your home is heated/cooled properly. It also ensures that your HVAC unit will have the longest life possible before it is necessary to replace the entire system.
Is it time to replace my HVAC system?
The average life of an HVAC system is 10-20 years. The specific time is effected by the model of the unit itself, the weather where you live, and how well it is maintained over the years.
There are a few signs that indicate that your HVAC unit is ready to be replaced. If your HVAC unit is 7 years old or older, is constantly running, fails to warm or cool your home properly, or your utility bills are unusually high, there is a good chance that it is time to replace your system.
Replacing vs Repairing
When it’s time to consider repairing or replacing your existing HVAC system, consider the following: upfront costs, and monthly cost of ownership. Many home owners make the mistake of simply comparing the upfront cost of a repair with the upfront cost of replacing the system. However, the monthly cost of ownership should also be considered.
The HVAC system in your home will become more and more inefficient as time passes. Older units tend to work harder to make your home comfortable. Additionally, newer HVAC units offer dramatic improvements over units produced just 10 years ago. When all things are considered, a newer HVAC system may save you a large amount of money every single month on your utility bills.
What can I do to take care of my HVAC system?
The first thing you can do is to make sure your units are tuned up on a yearly basis. Furnace units should be tuned up in the fall, and air conditioning units should be tuned up in the spring. It only takes one time of having your furnace turn off in the middle of the night to learn that preventative maintenance is critical.
Also, it’s also very important to replace your air filter on a regular basis. You should visually inspect your air filter every single month. If it is dirty enough to prevent the proper flow of air through the filter, it’s time to change it.