Some homeowners feel their initial investment in a complete heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system – central air conditioner, air handler, and heating unit – is so high, that the system should take care of itself for a few years. Given a list of servicing plans, they may wonder, “Are HVAC maintenance plans worth it?” At ACE Home Services, we believe it is.
Seven Reasons to Properly Maintain Your HVAC
Conscientious HVAC preventative maintenance is a way to safeguard your investment, for seven excellent reasons, as follows.
Energy Efficiency is Not Lost
At installation, your HVAC unit was tuned and balanced to provide the ideal ratio of cooling to energy consumption. For the first year, or so, you were getting the most bang for your buck. Without regular HVAC maintenance, the machine’s efficiency decreases. You use more energy, paying more in electricity costs for less cooling. This not only robs your wallet, it also:
- Increases greenhouse gases;
- Increases consumption of foreign energy sources;
- Puts greater demand on power plants.
Energy efficiency is not something unique to your home. Everyone has a role to play in helping our country be more energy efficient. Keeping your HVAC system properly tuned up and humming is part of that collective effort.
For central air conditioners, the value of energy efficiency is even greater because AC generally runs for longer times, using more electricity, than heating systems. A badly tuned or imperfectly balanced central air conditioner is literally blowing money away.
You Avoid Costly Repairs
When you wonder, “How much does HVAC maintenance cost?” you have to also ask the other side of that: “How much will an emergency repair visit cost?” Compare the cost of an annual maintenance plan to these two choices:
The cost of neglecting your system;
The cost of being 27th on the central air conditioner emergency service list in August.
The first choice is extremely expensive. You can wait until your air handler fails, or your compressor motor seizes up, or a refrigerant leak means only warm air blows from your registers. When you schedule service, you will also be scheduling a very expensive parts replacement and extended work session.
The second choice is expensive and unbearable. An August breakdown on a Phoenix weekend is very likely to lead to several days of suffering for you, your family members and your pets.
Contrast both those grim scenarios with the relatively small cost of air conditioning preventative maintenance. Your service technician can lubricate the air handler’s pulley and motor, preventing failure. She or he can discover problems with the compressor long before it seizes up, and find and fix a refrigerant leak quickly.
You Get Peace of Mind
Home ownership is always a juggling act between investment and enjoyment. Once you invest in a high-quality HVAC system, give yourself peace of mind by protecting that investment. Enjoy your heating, cooling, and air circulation equipment fully; knowing it is performing well, it’s energy efficient and it’s under the watchful eyes of a reliable, local HVAC company.
When you ignore regular maintenance, you may go to sleep at night unsure if the central air conditioner will kick on in the morning to keep everyone cool as they get ready for a busy day at school and work. When you postpone annual inspections, you may worry the next cold snap could force your furnace to fail.
Why give yourself more headaches when a simple annual maintenance plan could give you restful nights and the complete enjoyment of your home?
Your A/C Unit Gets More Years of Service
A central air conditioner in the best of circumstances may only last 15 years. When you defer maintenance, expect to drastically cut the life of your equipment. Consider a $15,000 system (we are using round numbers):
Over 15 years, your purchase and installation investment amortizes out to $1,000 annually.
Annual maintenance for the same time would be about $260 (national average).
So for $18,900 (initial cost plus annual service), or $1,260 annually, you get 15 years of reliable heating and cooling. Suppose you choose instead to ignore the maintenance, which will cut your system’s life span, roughly, in half:
$15,000 for 7.5 years of heating and cooling.
Another $15,000 for a new system after the first one fails from neglect.
The choice is yours: Every 15 years, either spend $18,900 or $30,000. For most Arizonans, that is a no-brainer!
You Enjoy Peace & Quiet
Some types of pollution are obvious: Poor indoor air quality leaves dust and grit on surfaces or makes breathing difficult.
Some pollution is subtler: A cooling or heating system that bangs, wheezes, whirs or whistles. With annual maintenance, your system will perform quietly, never causing family members to jump or twitch from strange noises.
A central air conditioner has a lot of moving parts. So does an air handler. A furnace or boiler goes through ignition and blowing stages. All of these pulley wheels, drive belts and motors can cause noises. Parts bind. Belts shriek. Bearings cry out for lubricant.
If your HVAC system is screaming at you, quiet it with competent, careful maintenance from trained experts. Imagine how happy everyone will be to hear one another without shouting above the sound of your cooling system.
Potentially Dangerous Risks are Eliminated
A gas-fueled furnace brings clean-burning natural gas or liquid propane into your home. With proper attention and careful inspection, this flammable substance brings comforting warmth. With neglect, this could be the source of a fire or explosion. Why take any risks with your family’s safety? Annual maintenance of gas-fired systems includes complete safety checks.
Refrigerant from central air conditioners is harmful to the environment if it leaks out. The chemicals in refrigerant harm our atmosphere. Earth’s atmosphere is remarkably thin. If the earth were a basketball, the atmosphere would be the thickness of a sheet of paper. Leaking refrigerant has been known since the 1970s to destroy Earth’s ozone layer.
With proper maintenance, your home’s HVAC system is not a danger either to you or to the planet. Keep your family and our atmosphere safe with annual inspections.
You Pay Lower Utility Bills
While energy efficiency is a great reason to plan regular maintenance, cold hard cash is an even better incentive. You will enjoy lower utility bills, get more years of life out of your investment and pay less for small repairs than for large repairs.
With proper maintenance on both your central air conditioner and heating plant, you get money back all year long. You can watch the steady trend-lines of your electricity bill; you can see how your gas, propane or fuel oil bill levels out or drops.
Businesses Need Proper HVAC Maintenance Too
Remember that the same HVAC systems that work so hard for homeowners are used by Arizona businesses to keep customers and employees comfortable. A good, local contractor is equally adept at servicing commercial HVAC systems in businesses as it is with residential clients.
Why drive up overhead costs and drive away paying customers with a neglected system that makes your business too hot in summer, too cold in winter or too stuffy from poor indoor air quality?
Schedule a Service Call Today
Your HVAC system operates all year, so annual service can come at just about any time. Whether you need residential or commercial maintenance, contact ACE Home Services today and we will work with you to plan a maintenance schedule that works for you.
We can perform maintenance on your central air conditioner at the beginning of the cooling season and follow up with a furnace or boiler tune-up before heating season begins. Our technicians will check the whole unit, clean and lubricate moving parts, perform safety checks and ensure your system is balanced.
We can also evaluate your whole house to make certain you are getting the most out of every energy dollar. As home insulation contractors, we can assess how well your home’s insulation is working. Consider these areas where expensively heated or cooled air could escape:
- Crawl space
- Windows and doors
- Bathroom and kitchen vents
Viewing your whole house as an integrated collection of subsystems, you can begin to see how neglect of one part – your furnace, for example – could have a ripple effect throughout. Indoor air quality, energy bills and family comfort are all affected.
Contact ACE Home Services today at (602) 428-3341 to learn more about how we can help you maintain and protect your HVAC system. Be sure to ask about current specials on parts, supplies, labor, service plans and more.