Living in the Northwest, you probably know how important it is to have a properly functioning HVAC system to keep you comfortable through all seasons. Sometimes, people forget how important it is to conduct routine maintenance on their units to ensure they continue to run in good condition. As you know, the extremes in Portland, Vancouver, Boise, and surrounding areas can leave you relying on your HVAC system all year, increasing wear and tear. This makes regularly scheduled maintenance critical to ensure your comfort without disruption.

Benefits of Annual HVAC Maintenance

Having maintenance performed on your HVAC unit annually has many benefits. Professionals and furnace manufacturers agree that your furnace works best when taken care of on a routine basis. Let’s discuss some benefits you will enjoy when properly maintaining your HVAC system.

Extend the Life of Your HVAC System

Taking proper care of your HVAC system will extend the life of your furnace and air conditioner. Neglecting the units can result in excessive wear and damage, causing your system to stop working and require replacement much sooner than if you provide annual maintenance.

Lower Utility Bills

Proper maintenance and tune-ups allow a technician to identify any issues that may cause your HVAC system to run less efficiently. When these issues are repaired and corrected promptly, your system runs with greater energy efficiency, which ultimately lowers your utility costs.

Maintain Warranty Coverage

Some furnace and air conditioner warranties require annual inspections and tune-ups to ensure that the unit continues to work correctly. If you fail to schedule this maintenance, you may risk voiding your warranty. Losing your warranty can mean thousands of dollars lost if your unit malfunctions.

Steps to Annual HVAC Maintenance

When hiring a professional HVAC technician to perform maintenance on your heating and cooling units, it’s imperative to understand what work should be included on the maintenance checklist. To rest easy knowing your system is ready to run, you should know what a technician does during this maintenance. Take a look at some of the most critical steps of the HVAC maintenance plan:

Change the Air Filter

The air filter on your HVAC system filters out dust and allergens, keeping your furnace clean and making the air you breathe healthier. When the air filter is blocked, it can no longer filter the particles from the air, and the HVAC unit must work harder to force air through.

Inspect Mechanical Components

Your furnace and air conditioning units have many parts that work together to keep your system in working condition. If one part fails, the whole system could cease to work. As part of the annual maintenance, your HVAC technician will inspect the mechanical components of your heating and cooling units to see that they are still properly functioning. If any mechanical part of the system appears worn out or damaged, the technician will make repairs to keep your HVAC system running.

Check All Electrical Connections

Your HVAC system requires electricity to run. Even a gas furnace has electrical connections to power the mechanical components of the unit. Your HVAC technician will inspect all electrical connections to ensure that wires are safe and properly connected and that the power source is secure and plugged in properly. Repairs should be made immediately to prevent electrical shock or fire if an electrical connection is loose or a wire is damaged.

Inspect Gas Connections and Valves

A gas-powered furnace uses natural gas to create heat. If you have a gas furnace, your HVAC technician will check the connection from the natural gas line to your furnace, ensuring that the connection is snug and that there are no leaks. A gas leak could result in fire and explosion risks, so it is imperative to have a professional inspect these connections and make repairs as needed.

Lubricate Moving Parts

An HVAC system has many moving parts, each working with other parts to keep your heating and cooling units working. These moving parts create friction as they work. Your HVAC technician will lubricate them to reduce the stress and lower the wear and tear on these moving parts and the parts they touch.

Inspect Belts

You may have one or more belts in your furnace and air conditioner that are integral to the function of your units. Over time, the belts may crack or stretch out. As part of your annual HVAC maintenance, a technician will inspect each belt to ensure they are not cracked or otherwise damaged. If the belt has stretched out, it will need to be replaced so that it does not slip off its gear, which would cause your furnace to stop working.

Inspect and Clean Air Ducts

The warm and cold air produced by your HVAC system is forced throughout your home through the air ducts. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris may build up inside your ducts. This buildup could cause blockages and make your HVAC system work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. The dust and allergens inside the ducts may also create less healthy indoor air for you to breathe. During your annual HVAC maintenance, your technician will inspect the ducts, looking through them to ensure they are free of significant blockages.

Check the Pilot Light

If you have a gas furnace, you have a pilot light. When the gas is connected, the light must be on for your furnace to run and produce heat for your home. If your pilot light goes out, your HVAC technician will need to relight it. Some homeowners take this task on themselves, though working with flame and gas can be dangerous and is best left to heating professionals.

Calibrate the Thermostat

Your HVAC system is run through a centralized thermostat. This thermostat can be set to the desired temperature. You may want to check the thermostat if your furnace isn’t keeping your home as warm or cool as you would like. Your HVAC technician will compare the room temperature with an independent thermometer to see if your thermostat is displaying the correct temperature. If not, the technician will calibrate your thermostat to match what it displays.

Keeping your home comfortable can be a tough job, especially if your HVAC unit is not functioning as it should. At Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we aim to lessen that load by providing you with the highest quality HVAC maintenance as well as our other services, including furnace and air conditioning repair and replacement, general and emergency plumbing, and comprehensive drain service. No job is too big or small for our licensed and certified staff members. We are proud to be the industry leader in plumbing and HVAC near Portland, Vancouver, and Boise.

If you have neglected your HVAC unit for too long, or if it’s time for your annual maintenance, call Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning now to get on the schedule and keep your system prepared.

Meet the Author
Brandon Bird
Brandon Bird

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