If you want to get the most out of your HVAC equipment, it’s important to have routine maintenance performed on it. The type of maintenance that your system needs will depend on its age and condition, but many repairs and replacements can be prevented by following a routine maintenance schedule. This article will describe the benefits of routine HVAC maintenance, what happens when systems aren’t maintained, and why hiring an HVAC contractor to maintain your system is cheaper than having it repaired or replaced later.
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What Happens if My Air Conditioner Is Not Maintained?
When you don’t service your air conditioner, you risk much more than expensive repair bills. At its worst, a malfunctioning AC can lead to death, both from heat stroke and CO poisoning. In most cases, however, your system will not fail completely; it just won’t be operating at peak efficiency.
Over time (depending on how frequently you use it), lack of maintenance leads to higher utility bills, lost energy savings, shortened lifespan of equipment and—potentially—health problems for homeowners. These costs may seem minor in comparison with those resulting from system failure, but they are significant over time. In fact, neglecting routine maintenance costs American homeowners a lot of money each year!
When your air conditioner isn’t maintained, you can end up spending more on utilities every month. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even realize they are paying extra until they get their first post-maintenance utility bill. Over time, these costs really add up—and that’s to say nothing of lost energy savings. Energy efficiency is a key component of any green initiative; ignoring your system doesn’t just cost you money over time—it shortens its lifespan as well!
Costly Costs Associated with HVAC Failure
Replacing or repairing an air conditioner is one of the most expensive things you can do in your home. According to Home Advisor replacing an HVAC system costs between $5,000 and $10,000. And that’s just if you purchase a new unit—if you have to have yours repaired after it breaks down, expect to pay between up to $2,000 per repair.
Regular maintenance will help ensure that your air conditioner and furnace never break down. Not only will you save money on repairs, but you’ll also be able to prevent major failures that could leave you without heat or air conditioning for a while—or even worse, destroy your whole system.
Professional air conditioning and furnace maintenance will also help extend your equipment’s lifespan. As long as you stay on top of preventative care, your equipment should last for at least 15 to 20 years—which is nearly twice as long as it would have lasted if you skipped out on regular visits. On average, HVAC units begin to fail after about 10 years.
Routine HVAC Maintenance
Without regular tune-ups, your system won’t run as efficiently and may fail prematurely, costing thousands of dollars in repairs, down time, and lost productivity. Properly maintained systems run an average of two times longer than those without routine maintenance.
A good tune-up for an air conditioner system costs about $200, and a heating/cooling system about $300. That may seem like a lot, but it pales in comparison to the cost of replacing your unit! Most contractors will tell you that if your cooling or heating system fails in the first two years, it’s probably because you didn’t get regular maintenance.
On top of saving you money on repairs, routine maintenance can prevent costly equipment damage. A $300 tune-up is cheaper than replacing a broken compressor at $3,000. The same goes for cleaning or replacing a dirty or clogged filter. Doing so may not only help you avoid a breakdown in your system but also increase its efficiency and save you money on utility bills.
In addition to saving you money, a regular maintenance routine can help extend your system’s lifespan by keeping it running smoothly. A dirty filter, for example, will make your system work harder. The result? It’ll use more energy than a clean one—enough to cost see a noticeable increase on your electric bill. Over time not only will your electric bill go up, but the lifespan of the system will go down.
When Should I Call an Expert?
How do you know when it’s time to schedule routine maintenance? Your unit should be serviced at least once a year, but many people wait until a problem arises before they contact an HVAC contractor.
It’s best to call a professional for routine maintenance at least once a year. During an inspection, you can ask your technician about any problems with your system and what you can do to prevent them from happening again. If you don’t understand something, make sure to ask questions until you feel comfortable with what your system needs and how it works.
Schedule your HVAC maintenance on a day when you can be at home and present. Your technician will inspect your system to determine any issues, take care of any repairs that are needed, and clean your system. During an inspection, they’ll also check for leaks and make sure your air filter is in good condition. If it needs replacing, they can show you how to change it yourself in order to save money without losing effectiveness or risking injury.
Give Yourself Peace of Mind
While you could attempt to save money by performing some of your own maintenance tasks, it is often more cost-effective and efficient to hire a professional. Make sure your HVAC system gets cleaned on a regular basis in order to keep your costs down in both energy and cash. Clean coils, a clean air filter, and an expertly balanced system will help maintain efficiency for longer periods of time between high-cost repairs.
Maintaining your heating and cooling systems is important. Not only will you save money in repairs, but you’ll also be protecting yourself from common problems like mold, mildew, and a decrease in air quality. On top of all that, you can be sure your furnace or air conditioner is working properly during a cold snap or heat wave.
Why spend more on repair bills when a preventive plan will save you money? While it is certainly possible to maintain some of these systems on your own, it’s often worth hiring a professional. It will cost less than repairing damage caused by poor workmanship and lack of training—and save time!
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