Even for the most qualified do-it-yourselfers, there are some projects that require the help of a professional. When it comes to your heating and cooling (HVAC) system, most maintenance procedures are better left to a certified technician.
While it’s not always easy for ambitious and handy homeowners to reach for the telephone, keep in mind that heating and cooling costs account for roughly half of your total energy bill. Also, many of the maintenance procedures associated with a routine HVAC tune up involve working with electricity, gas and other hazardous materials, making it a potentially dangerous job if you’ve never had technical training.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends scheduling an annual pre-season checkup for your cooling system in the spring and one for your heating system in the fall to ensure your systems are running at peak efficiency when they’re being used frequently.
Even though you won’t be conducting this important maintenance procedure yourself, you can still educate yourself on what goes into a routine HVAC system checkup. The EPA offers a comprehensive checklist of maintenance procedures that should be included in an HVAC tune-up.
By going over this checklist when you first approach a contractor, you’ll demonstrate to them that you’re a knowledgeable homeowner and give yourself the peace of mind that the service is worth paying for. Once the contractor is finished, don’t be afraid to once again review the checklist and ask questions about how your system is functioning. If you need help finding a professional, you may want to consult our list of trusted Texas home energy professionals.
While most HVAC maintenance is better left to the pros, there is one thing you can do each month to make sure your systems are running at peak efficiency – check your air filters. Replacing or cleaning air filters when they are dirty will help your air conditioner, furnace and heat pumps run more efficiently and prevent your systems from wearing down prematurely.
If you don’t know where your air filters are located, ask your contractor. If you have filters that can be cleaned instead of replaced, consult the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re cleaning them correctly.
Annual HVAC maintenance is a major step toward sustaining an eco-friendly home. Taking care of your system will help you save on energy costs and prolong the life of some of the most important – and expensive – appliances in your home.