How Often Should You Have Your HVAC Serviced for Efficiency?

How often should you have your HVAC serviced? If you’re like most homeowners, you probably only think about your HVAC system when it’s not working. But, just like your car, your HVAC system needs routine service to keep it running smoothly. Regular service can help your system run more efficiently, prevent costly repairs, and extend its lifespan.

So, how often should you have your HVAC serviced? Most experts recommend at least once a year, ideally in the spring for your air conditioner and the fall for your heating system. This will help ensure that your system is in top condition before the hottest and coldest months of the year. However, depending on your usage, system age, and other factors, more frequent service visits may be necessary.

Taylor Home Comfort offers a monthly plan to inspect your HVAC units. This provides an extended lifespan of your HVAC systems with our two visits per year and other benefits as a monthly maintenance plan member. Taylor Home Comfort offers full HVAC services in West Chester, PA and surrounding area. Give us a call today!

Factors Affecting HVAC Service Frequency

System Age and Condition

As your HVAC system ages, components can wear down, increasing the risk of malfunctions. Older systems, those over 10 years old, benefit from twice-yearly service to address potential problems proactively. If you have a heat pump, which provides both heating and cooling, it’s considered a high-use appliance, and a biannual service schedule is recommended.

Usage Patterns

If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, you likely use your HVAC system more often. In areas like this, more frequent servicing may be needed. Families who run their systems almost constantly throughout the year, or those with larger homes that put a heavier strain on their HVAC, will want to schedule a visit twice a year.

Previous Repairs

A history of repairs might signal underlying problems requiring closer monitoring and potentially more frequent servicing. For example, if you’ve had to call a service technician for the same issue multiple times, it could indicate a larger problem that needs professional attention.

Air Quality Concerns

Households with allergy sufferers, pets, or concerns about indoor air quality might choose more frequent service, potentially combining it with duct cleaning to maintain optimal air quality. This is especially important in homes where dust, pet dander, or other allergens are a concern. Regular service can help to ensure that your system is properly filtering the air and that indoor air quality is as high as possible.

Benefits of Regular HVAC Servicing

Improved Efficiency and Lower Energy Costs

Routine maintenance can uncover issues affecting system efficiency before they impact your energy bill. This is because technicians can ensure that all components are working together harmoniously and that refrigerant levels, which impact cooling efficiency, are optimal. A well-maintained system will use less energy, resulting in lower utility bills.

Extended Lifespan of the HVAC

Just like regular car maintenance can keep it running longer, a well-maintained HVAC system, with regular service to catch issues early and ensure clean filters, can extend its lifespan by several years, between 10-15 years, saving you from premature replacement costs. Regular servicing ensures all parts are working correctly, preventing unnecessary wear and tear.

Reduced Risk of Unexpected Breakdowns

Imagine your AC going out during a heatwave or your furnace failing on the coldest night of the year. Preventative maintenance, including inspections for worn parts, refrigerant levels, and electrical connections can drastically reduce the likelihood of those middle-of-the-night, inconvenient breakdowns, preventing disruptions to your comfort and budget. Regular service catches these potential problems before they become major headaches.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

During a service visit, technicians often check and clean various components, including the condensate drain line, which, if clogged, can lead to moisture problems and reduced air quality. They’ll also inspect and clean or replace air filters, which are crucial for removing dust, allergens, and other pollutants from the air. Maintaining clean filters and other components promotes healthier indoor air for you and your family.

What Happens During a Typical HVAC Service?

An HVAC technician does a lot more during a service appointment than quickly check a few things. A standard service call might involve:

AreaTasks Performed
ThermostatCalibrate and test thermostat for accuracy, ensuring the system responds properly to temperature settings
Electrical ConnectionsInspect and tighten electrical connections to prevent shorts, ensuring safe operation
Moving PartsLubricate moving parts, such as blower motors and fan bearings, reducing friction and improving efficiency.
Condensate Drain LineFlush and clear the condensate drain line, which removes moisture, preventing blockages and potential water damage
Refrigerant LevelsCheck refrigerant levels and identify any potential leaks, ensuring optimal system cooling
Air FilterInspect, clean, or replace air filters, which are critical for clean and efficient airflow. Changing filters regularly is crucial.
CoilsClean the evaporator and condenser coils, which improves heat transfer and system efficiency.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Although an annual check-up is highly recommended, incorporating these simple DIY tasks into your routine will help maintain your HVAC system between professional visits. These tasks are easy to do and can go a long way in keeping your system running smoothly.

Change Your Air Filter Monthly

It’s no joke when HVAC technicians say changing your air filter is one of the simplest yet most impactful maintenance tasks. A dirty air filter restricts airflow, reducing efficiency and even causing your system to work harder. This often leads to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear. Aim to replace your filter every 1-3 months, especially during peak cooling and heating seasons.

Keep the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit Clear

Think of your outdoor AC unit as a lung breathing in air. To work efficiently, it needs space. Remove debris, leaves, and grass clippings regularly. Ensure bushes and plants are at least 2-3 feet away to allow for unobstructed airflow. This simple step prevents the unit from overworking and can improve its overall performance.

Inspect and Clean Your Condensate Drain Line

During hotter months, check your condensate drain line monthly. This pipe, usually PVC, removes condensation produced by your AC unit. Use a wet/dry vac to clear blockages or schedule a professional cleaning if needed. A clogged drain line can lead to water damage and mold growth, so keeping it clear is essential.

FAQs About How Often Should You Have Your HVAC Serviced

Is it Necessary to Service AC Every Year?

While annual service is the general recommendation, the need for yearly servicing depends on your system’s age, usage, and specific environmental factors. However, even if your AC seems to be running fine, annual servicing can prevent problems, ensure efficiency, and potentially save you from a mid-summer breakdown. Think of it as preventative medicine for your HVAC system.

What Time of Year is Best for HVAC Service?

For your air conditioner, schedule service in the Spring before the hot weather hits. For your furnace or heating system, aim for early fall, before you need to use it regularly. Servicing in the “shoulder seasons” gives you ample time to address issues and helps your system run its best when you need it the most. Plus, you’ll likely avoid the rush of service calls during peak seasons.

Is an HVAC Tune-up Worth it?

Absolutely. Consider a tune-up a health check-up for your HVAC, identifying potential issues and ensuring it’s ready to handle the demands of the coming season, optimizing energy consumption and comfort. It can uncover hidden problems and extend the lifespan of your system. Investing in a tune-up is a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides.

Is Yearly AC Maintenance Worth it?

Given that AC units can have a lifespan of up to 15 years, regular yearly maintenance is an investment in its longevity, especially with more use leading to increased wear. Consider the cost of yearly service compared to expensive repairs, replacements, and potentially higher energy bills. A well-maintained unit saves you from surprises down the road. Plus, it ensures that your AC is running at peak efficiency, keeping your home comfortable and your energy bills in check.

Keep Your HVAC Systems Running Efficiently with Taylor Home Comfort

Taking good care of your HVAC system involves being proactive about its maintenance. Ignoring regular check-ups could result in decreased efficiency, costly repairs, and even a shorter system lifespan. You might find yourself asking how often should you have your HVAC serviced, but understanding how much is at stake emphasizes the significance of these annual visits. A properly maintained system not only provides comfort but also peace of mind. Give us a call if you are looking to install or repair your HVAC system in Bucks County and surrounding area.