Your HVAC system comprises three different technologies: heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. Its main functions are to maintain comfort and to provide decent indoor air quality throughout your home. For this reason, proper upkeep of your HVAC system can save you both time and money in addition to giving you peace of mind.
If your heating system fails in the middle of a winter storm or your air conditioner breaks down on one of the hottest days of the summer, you will regret the simple steps you could have taken to avoid these mishaps. While we often take our heating and cooling systems for granted, they become much more important if they stop working. If you want to keep your HVAC system running smoothly, you should schedule a maintenance visit by a qualified HVAC technician. Before you hire someone, however, you should know what to expect.
Indoor Unit Inspection
After locating the unit and the breaker box, an HVAC technician will check your indoor unit to make sure it is running at peak capacity. He will usually begin by inspecting and testing your furnace or boiler. If necessary, he will replace your furnace filter. Your technician will also inspect your heater’s ventilation system for any problems or needed repairs.
The next step is to clean and inspect other interior components such as the blower, motors, pressure switches, and ignition assembly. At this point, he may also measure the furnace’s power consumption to make sure there is no unnecessary power usage. If you have a boiler, he will inspect the pump, controls, safeties, low water cutoff, and sight glass.
Another important component to check is your home’s thermostat. He should test it for proper temperature readings and operation. In addition, your technician should also test for carbon monoxide leaks and make sure that all piping and ventilation is clean.
Any inspection of your HVAC system will also include a detailed examination of your air conditioning unit. For this reason, your HVAC technician will look at internal parts such as the motors and the belts in addition to checking coolant levels. Other components such as the circuits, drain line, condensate pump, safety controls, and valves and caps should be checked as well. Furthermore, your tech will also replace your HVAC filter, if necessary, to keep dust from entering through your air conditioning unit or ductwork.
Outdoor Unit Inspection
After he finishes with your indoor components, your HVAC technician will look at the outdoor part of your system. This is the most important element of your air conditioning system because you cannot have cooling without it. For this reason, your tech will check refrigerant levels in addition to examining the compressor for signs of damage. He will also inspect the wiring and any connections. Afterwards, he may clean the condenser coils and the drain lines.
While it may suffer damage from the elements, one of the most common issues for the outdoor system is cleaning out the buildup of dirt and debris. Also, it helps to trim back any bushes or tree branches to enable sufficient airflow around the unit.
After all checks are finished, the final task is to test your system to make sure it heats and cools efficiently. If you know what to expect from an HVAC service visit, you will be better prepared to make any suggested upgrades. Clearly, regular inspections and tune-ups of your HVAC system by a qualified technician are your best bet for controlling your home heating and cooling costs.