Your HVAC system is an investment, and to extend its lifecycle and keep it working as efficiently as possible, it’s vital that you schedule annual maintenance. Each year, an HVAC technician should come to your home to fully inspect your system for potential problems. Here’s what you should expect during that visit.
Meeting the Technician
First things first, your HVAC tech will come to your door to introduce himself or herself. He or she should arrive in a truck that displays the company logo, and he or she should be wearing a company uniform that includes his or her first name. You may ask for identification, which the technician is obligated to provide at your request. With your permission, the tech will enter your home and ask you to point out the location of your air conditioning unit and your breaker box.
Once the tech has located the unit itself and the breaker box, the indoor portion of the inspection will begin. During this part of the service call, the tech will check several things to ensure that your unit is operating at peak capacity and at full efficiency. Your tech will:
- Turn the unit on to listen for unusual noises;
- Inspect and test the wiring, connections, and controls associated with your unit;
- Inspect and clean a variety of parts, including the motor, blower, and housing;
- Inspect and test your thermostat for proper temperature readings and operation;
- Monitor that your air conditioner has the proper electrical load;
- Check and clean drain pans, drain lines, and evaporator coils;
- Take the temperature of the air coming through your ducts;
- Check your ducts for any leaks; and
- Ensure that the system is operating according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines.
Following the indoor portion of annual HVAC service calls, your HVAC tech will also need to inspect the outdoor part of your system. This part of your air conditioner is just as important as the air handler when it comes to providing you and your family with comfort. During this phase, your tech will:
- Check the refrigerant levels in your system and make adjustments as needed;
- Check the compressor unit for signs of damage or normal wear and tear;
- Inspect wiring and connections for damage;
- Clean the condenser coils and housing;
- Clean the drain lines; and
- Remove debris from around the unit.
When You Need Repairs
The fee you are charged for annual HVAC service calls includes the services listed above. If your technician discovers an issue that requires a repair, he or she will make recommendations and likely provide you with a quote. It is your decision as to whether you want the tech to perform that repair. If so, keep in mind that you may need to schedule a separate visit and that you may need to pay for a service call, labor, and parts that are required. If your tech recommends a repair, you should take this seriously. Even something seemingly minor can cause serious problems, which can lead to even more expensive repairs down the line.
Annual HVAC service calls are the best possible way to protect your investment in your system. While you can schedule a visit at any time, it’s best to do so during the cooler season, since this is when demand for service is at its lowest. What’s more, it provides you with peace of mind in knowing that your newly-inspected unit will keep you comfortable throughout the hot summer months.