Heating and air conditioning: How important is regular service?

Heating and air conditioning: How important is regular service?

Is it really necessary to get regular maintenance performed on your heating & air conditioning system? The answer is yes.

Most manufacturers recommend that your HVAC equipment be maintained or serviced at least annually. Just as you should get your oil changed and your tires rotated for your motor vehicle, your heating and air conditioning system will run more effectively and efficiently if you maintain it on a regular basis.

Warranties on your equipment can sometimes be voided or denied coverage if you do not properly maintain your equipment as the manufacturer suggests. Having your system routinely checked also cuts back on breakdowns when you need your system most. Whether it is extreme heat or freezing temperatures outside, this is when your system is working the hardest so if there are any underlying issues, they may not surface until the system is working hard at long periods of time.

By having your system looked at regularly, weaknesses can be identified and fixed, and failures prevented and damage minimized. It is also important to maintain your equipment to ensure that everything is running safely before long term use through a season puts stress on your equipment.

Changing filters is one of the most important parts of maintaining your heating and air conditioning system. If the system can’t “breathe” properly, it may shut down, freeze up or cause a water leak. Here are some guidelines for how frequently you should change your HVAC system’s filters:

1. If you have a standard air filter, it should be changed about once every month.

2. If you have an electronic air cleaner in your HVAC system, the filter is usually reusable and should be cleaned out at least once a month.

3. If you have a Spaceguard, Aprilaire or Honeywell media filter in your HVAC system, it should be replaced every six to 12 months.

In addition, it is important to not only make sure your equipment is working safely and properly but to make sure it is clean. Your HVAC system’s outdoor condenser should be checked and washed regularly to keep debris from building up and inhibiting efficiency. Also, your indoor evaporator coil and motors should be kept free of extreme dirt and contaminants to allow your system to run better.

Another item to make sure is checked during routine HVAC maintenance are the drain lines. It is very common to experience water leaks in the summer months during high use of your air conditioning system. The main cause of a problem with clogged drain lines is buildup of dirt and contaminants either from a dirty filter or dirty equipment.

About this Angie’s List Expert: In business since 2004 and based in Plano, Texas, Air Today A/C and Heating serves customers in Dallas and Collin counties in north Texas. As of March 2013, the company has earned the Angie’s List Super Service Award every year since 2007.

As of March 14, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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