As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Making smart decisions about your home’s HVAC system can have a huge effect on your utility bills—and your comfort.
We all know the saying, but how many of us actually take it to heart? A bit of prevention is truly important when it comes to the comfort of your family and your peace of mind.
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is the hidden hero in your home: It works to cool or heat your home to your specifications 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But how often do you really think about your HVAC? Probably not often… until it quits working.
Don’t Put It Off
Each year that your HVAC system misses a proper maintenance service can raise your cooling and heating costs by as much as 30%. Think of it like your dental appointments: If you don’t go in every six months to have your teeth cleaned, you can expect plenty of cavities and expensive repairs. It’s the same principle with your HVAC system—neglect will lead to much bigger problems down the road.
Here are just a few reasons to schedule regular maintenance:
- Up to 80% of all air conditioning and heating system failures could be eliminated if problems that led to the failures were discovered and corrected in a timely manner. Annual maintenance can identify and prevent such problems before they occur.
- If your system has as little as a 10% refrigerant undercharge your HVAC operating costs can increase by as much as 20%. A 23% refrigerant undercharge could result in as much as a 52% efficiency loss.
- Each 0.01 inch of dirt on an evaporator coil can increase operating costs by 5%.
- Every equipment manufacturer recommends annual maintenance to ensure proper system operation. Some manufacturers (and all home owner warranties) require proper maintenance be performed for these warranties to be honored.
- Maintenance checks can maximize performance and keep your system running at as high as 95% of its original efficiency.
- Studies show that a maintenance contract may increase the life of your heating and air conditioning system significantly. In some cases doubling the life of a system!
A lack of regular maintenance is one of the most common reasons for system failure during high-demand times of the year. Without regular service, factors such as dirt and dust buildup or worn and poorly-lubricated parts are more likely to cause serious issues that diminish or halt its function.
Issues like this will be addressed during a routine tune-up, ensuring your air conditioner is clean and that every part is in good working order. Maintaining the condition of your home’s HVAC system will ensure that any possible issue related to a lack of regular attention will not lead to an inconvenient breakdown.
Reduce Repair Costs
The larger the repair, the higher the cost. Addressing any repairs while issues are small is a much more effective way to keep your costs down, and scheduling regular tune-ups can help you accomplish this.
When your system is checked twice a year, the technician can catch problems while they’re still small—not after they’ve grown in size and scope. By bringing these issues to your attention promptly, they can be taken care of while their associated costs are minor, reducing your overall expenses.
Lower Your Electric Bills
In addition to lowering the costs of repairs, regular tune-ups can also lower the cost of daily operation. Factors such as dirt and wear are some of the most common causes of poor efficiency, which can cause your system to require more energy to provide the same amount of heating or cooling. In some cases, neglecting twice-yearly maintenance can lower efficiency by as much as 5% each year.
Because they keep your system clean, lubricated, and in good working order, regular tune-ups will ensure your air conditioner won’t suffer efficiency losses when you can least afford them.
What You Can Do
After an HVAC professional services your system, there are a few steps you can take to keep it running smoothly. Most important is changing the air filter. Energy Star, a branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recommends changing your furnace filter at least once every three months. A clogged air filter will restrict air flow, which can reduce efficiency and increase your exposure to environmental contaminants.
HVAC professionals also recommend using a programmable thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat to reduce your home’s temperature seven or eight degrees for eight hours a day (whether during the work day or at night) can save you up to 10% on your energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Keep in mind, regularly scheduled maintenance isn’t just about safety, it’s also about preventive maintenance. An example is catching a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night in the dead of winter when getting on a crowded schedule may be difficult. And, if you have to call someone to show up on a Sunday evening because the furnace died, you will most likely end up paying emergency rates on top of the repair expenses.
Make Your Next Move
Since your HVAC system is among the most complex systems running through your home, it’s important that you hire a qualified professional to perform inspections and services. That’s where we come in! Apex Heating and Air Conditioning hires only NATE Certified employees.
A Yearly Preventive Maintenance Contract from Apex Heating and Air Conditioning will help ensure your system is operating at peak performance, will minimize costly emergency repairs, and can extend the life of your equipment. The lifespan of an average unit without maintenance is 10 to 12 years, but, with annual maintenance, it can be as much as 15 to 20 years!
Plus, you can receive $25 off first year maintenance contracts for one- to two-unit systems and $30 off for three-unit systems.
For more information on HVAC system maintenance, call (919) 467-8823 or (919) 367-0102 or click here.
Founded in 1969, Apex Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. provides complete sales and service of all make and model heating and cooling products. As a Factory Authorized Carrier® Dealer, the company is proud to offer top-notch products, service and expertise. Whether you’re in need of routine service for your HVAC system, or you require installation of a new heating or cooling system, the knowledgeable staff will work with you to ensure you’re given the information you need to make the best decision for your family or business.
(Sources: U.S. Department of Energy; Energy.gov; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Energy Star; Fox Business Network; and GateHouse Media, LLC.)