Here’s Why an HVAC Inspection is Worth the Cost
By on in Heating and Cooling
Is an HVAC inspection worth the small price now? Absolutely, especially when you consider you’re avoiding a big, unexpected repair bill later. During an annual HVAC maintenance visit, a licensed AC technician can spot issues and prevent the need for costly repairs.
Is an HVAC inspection worth the money?
An HVAC system costs thousands of dollars and features lots of moving parts that wear down over time. A neglected system doesn’t work its best.
According to the contractor-consumer matching website Thumbtack.com, the average HVAC technician charges $50 to $80 for an AC service tune-up. Compare that to a repair, which can run you between $150 and $1,000 on average, and it’s a no-brainer. It pays to prevent HVAC problems before they happen.
You’re also likely to save money on your energy bills after a spring HVAC maintenance visit. The Department of Energy says that routinely replacing or cleaning your AC’s air filters (one of the jobs an HVAC technician performs during the tune-up) can reduce your home’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
When should I schedule an HVAC maintenance visit?
Spring is an ideal time for HVAC maintenance. You’ll be running your air conditioner soon enough, so get your preventative maintenance in early. The last thing you want is your AC to break down and leave you in the lurch on the hottest day of summer. And scheduling an HVAC inspection before the summer busy season could save you money on the visit.
If your system also includes heating, the technician can inspect the heating elements during the same visit. Or if you use your heating as much as your air conditioning, you may want to schedule two inspections separately: a spring inspection to review your AC system and a fall inspection to review your heating system.
What should I expect during an HVAC tune-up?
An HVAC technician will set a time to visit your home. The HVAC maintenance visit takes about an hour. If the refrigerant needs a refill, it may add another 30 minutes to the service visit. During your appointment, a technician will inspect all the components of your system. This includes checking:
- The thermostat
- Electrical connections
- Refrigerant levels
And adjusting, replacing or cleaning the coils, plus:
- Adjusting and lubricating moving parts
- Straightening the fins
- Cleaning the condensation drain
- Changing the air filter
- Adjusting the blower motor and all belts
How to choose an HVAC technician near you
Most states require HVAC technicians to be licensed (or certified) and insured. There’s good reason for this requirement: state licensing programs are designed to protect consumers by requiring that HVAC technicians have experience working with heating and cooling systems and are adequately insured to cover anything that could go wrong while working in your home.
Once you find an HVAC technician near you, you can check to see that their license and insurance is up to date, by state, at contractorquotes.com.
Can I do my own annual HVAC service or should I hire an HVAC technician near me?
There are a few things you can do to maintain your HVAC system yourself. Most maintenance and service, however, should be left to a licensed professional, or you could void your warranty. Some of tjhe tasks you can do yourself to extend the life and function of your heating and cooling systems include:
- Change your filters at least once a year
- Trim all grass and shrubs around the AC unit outside and clean away any debris like cobwebs or leaves
- Check the insulation around the exterior unit for damage
- Clean the air vents inside your home
Your HVAC unit is an essential part of your home. Just because it quietly runs behind the scenes doesn’t mean you can forget about it. An hour of your time once a year and an affordable visit by a licensed HVAC technician can extend the life of your unit — and your family’s comfort level.