Yearly HVAC tune-ups are important for maintaining your heating and cooling system. These inspections, professional cleaning, and necessary repairs cover everything from ductwork to HVAC components. They make your year-round system efficient and extend the lifespan of your HVAC. While every home benefits from HVAC inspections, each home is unique. Your annual appointment is an opportunity to discuss specific heating, cooling, or ventilation issues. Prepare a checklist to make the most of your session. Here are key questions to ask your HVAC technician during your annual tune-up.
What Is the Ideal Temperature to Set My Thermostat During the Winter and Summer?
One of the first questions many homeowners have pertains to the ideal thermostat temperature for cold seasons and warmer weather. Setting the right temperature helps maximize indoor comfort and can also help eliminate unnecessary strain on your HVAC system. If your goal is to reduce power usage as well as potentially lower your utility bills, an HVAC professional may suggest temperature setpoints that balance comfort with economy. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the suggested temperature range for the winter is 68-70 degrees. Similarly, the suggested thermostat temperature for the summer is 78 degrees. If you have trouble constantly adjusting these settings, ask your HVAC technician about installing a smart thermostat that automatically detects room conditions and adjusts the temperature according to your preferences.
How Can I Cut the Cost of My Energy Bill and Save Money?
Another relevant question concerns the best ways to cut the cost of your energy bills. Most experts agree that decreasing the number of times that your HVAC system cycles on and off reduces the amount of energy consumed. By reducing the running time of your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or air conditioner, you can conserve energy and lower utility bills. The best way to reduce the frequency and duration of HVAC cycles is to maintain consistent temperatures within the home. In addition to stabilizing indoor conditions using thermostat settings, your HVAC technician may help eliminate heat gain or loss using troubleshooting techniques like repairing air leaks or completing duct sealing.
How Can I Improve My Home’s Indoor Air Quality?
Your annual tune-up is also the perfect opportunity to ask about how to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality refers to the caliber of air within the rooms and structure of your home. Indoor air quality has a direct impact on the health, comfort, and well-being of home occupants. As the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that U.S. residents spend up to 90% of their time indoors, it is important to ensure air quality remains at optimal levels. Poor indoor air quality directly relates to conditions like sick building syndrome and reduced productivity. An HVAC technician can help with IAQ issues like dust regulation, humidity management, and air purification.
For example, an HVAC professional can provide information on how to use your system to distribute clean air to each room. This may include installing a high-efficiency filter to remove dust, particles, and other airborne contaminants from circulation. High-efficiency filters help reduce allergens and also lower the risk of dust clogging your HVAC units and damaging internal components. An HVAC professional can help you choose a filter with the best minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating for your home. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), good residential MERV ratings can range from 8-13 depending on the type of HVAC unit.
In addition to dust removal, air quality regulation can also include humidity control and air purifiers. For instance, an HVAC professional can use a hydrometer to test moisture levels in the home. Too much moisture can cause problems with condensation and mold, but not enough moisture can cause nasal dryness and problems with static electricity. Depending on moisture levels, an HVAC technician can install dehumidifiers or whole-home humidifiers to implement an ideal indoor relative humidity of 30%-50%. To purify your air, a technician can install air scrubbers or UV light purifiers to remove airborne debris and help prevent the spread of microorganisms throughout the home.
Does My Ductwork Need Work?
Because ductwork is usually hidden from view, it is not always easy to identify problems before it is too late. Your annual tune-up is the perfect chance to ask questions about ductwork before problems escalate into requiring emergency repairs or full replacement. Signs that your ductwork may need work include the following:
- Excessive dust dispersed throughout the home
- Uneven temperatures
- Little to no airflow from supply vents
- Unusually high energy bills
- Noticeable condensation on surfaces
- Strange sounds or smells
Is There Anything I Need to Know About My Older HVAC Units?
According to the Department of Energy, most well-maintained HVAC units have an average expectancy of 15-20 years. However, some units may begin to lose efficiency as they approach the 15-year mark. This may increase the number of repairs. During your tune-up, you may wish to ask your technician to test your older unit and provide an estimate of its remaining lifespan. Likewise, if the cost of repairs exceeds the cost of replacement, most industry professionals recommend installing a new or upgraded unit.
Another question to ask is whether your older unit uses outdated supplies or parts. For example, some older air conditioners rely on R-22 refrigerant. However, production and import of R-22 ended in 2020 due to this chemical’s impact on the environment and the ozone layer. If your mature unit uses this type of refrigerant, it is smarter to replace the appliance to avoid problems later.
What Are the Benefits of an HVAC Maintenance Plan?
In addition to annual tune-ups, many HVAC companies offer membership or maintenance plans. These plans can include discounts on routine servicing as well as preventative inspections and troubleshooting. Some maintenance plans include priority scheduling for emergency services as well as specialized orders such as home energy audits. Ask your HVAC technicians about the terms and benefits of the company’s membership program. At the very least, many experts recommend working with a trustworthy company consistently in order to maintain a record of services rendered. An HVAC company familiar with the history of your home can efficiently work on any problem areas and provide backing if you need proof for possible warranty claims.
Contact Us Today
Yearly tune-ups help keep your HVAC system in the best possible condition. Make the most of each tune-up session by obtaining answers to the top questions about your home. A/C Doctors provides HVAC tune-ups and maintenance for households in Gilbert, AZ, and surrounding areas. We offer air conditioning maintenance and repairs as well as AC unit upgrades or ductless mini-split installation. As the weather turns colder, we work on heat pumps and can also service gas or electric furnaces. Ask us about boosting your indoor air quality with services like whole-home purification, ventilation systems, air filters, UV lights, or germicidal products. You can also sign up for our maintenance plan service agreement to ensure that your system operates at peak efficiency all year long. Contact A/C Doctors today for all HVAC needs.