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How Often Should I Do HVAC Maintenance? Tips for Homeowners

HVAC maintenance is an important task for any homeowner.  HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s a term that encompasses both an air conditioner and a furnace, which are essential in any home. In fact, the HVAC system is one of the largest investments you’ll make in your home. So you need to keep it working for maximum efficiency. Regularly servicing your HVAC system will ensure that your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater are in good shape. It will also ensure that they continue to work when you need them most. Here are some ways to assure that your HVAC system is well-maintained so you can stay comfortable year-round.

Why You Should Service Your HVAC System Regularly

Below are some reasons why you should service your HVAC system regularly.

  •         Regular servicing helps identify any potential problems before they arise. You can address them before they become more severe and costly than they would be otherwise. Replacing your HVAC system is expensive, so regular maintenance is essential to protecting the investment you’ve made.
  •         Preventative maintenance will also help reduce your energy costs. A well-maintained heating and cooling system offers better efficiency and uses less energy than a poorly maintained one.
  •         The best way to enjoy a comfortable indoor living space is with an HVAC system that operates efficiently. The HVAC system provides the optimum temperature for your home. And well-maintained systems are less likely to break down during peak hours so you and your family stay comfortable.
  •         If your HVAC system is frequently serviced, it will last longer. With proper maintenance, the lifespan of your heating and cooling systems can be increased by up to four times. It’s important to have professionals help you maintain these systems because they have knowledge that you might not have. Professionals may also be able to find problems before they become more serious and costly.
  •         Service your HVAC system on a regular basis to ensure that you have the best air quality in your home. A dirty HVAC system can create bacteria, allergens, and other contaminants in your indoor air. By servicing your HVAC system on a regular basis, you can help prevent this from happening. And if you’ve never had your HVAC system serviced before, it could be time to make an appointment!
  •         We shouldn’t forget that HVAC systems have an impact on the environment. A serviced system uses less energy, which means you are using less waste and not impacting the environment as severely.

When and How Often to Schedule a Service Appointment

Depending on your HVAC system, service appointments should be scheduled every 12-18 months. But this time frame can change depending on the type of system you have.

For example, if you have a heat pump, it may need service every 6-12 months. If you have a gas furnace or condensing unit, it may need service every 18-24 months. A fuel oil furnace may need service once a year.

You should also check for signs that the system needs additional maintenance. These signs could include:

* Persistent noise coming from your HVAC system

* Frequent frosty windows in cold weather

* Unexpected fluctuations in temperature throughout your home

* A damp carpet or musty smell

If these issues persist after cleaning the filters and checking for clogs, book an appointment with a professional ASAP.

Other Important Factors in HVAC System Maintenance

The cost for HVAC repair and maintenance varies depending on the conditions and age of your system. Maintenance will also depend on the number of people living in your home. How often you use your heating and cooling equipment is also a factor

Older HVAC systems require more maintenance than newer ones because they use more energy. Older systems may also need to be replaced if they start making strange noises, shaking, or leaking.

Tips for HVAC Maintenance

  1.         Have a professional come out at least twice per year for an inspection of your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater.
  2.         Schedule an annual tune-up if you notice any problems with your air conditioner or a furnace.
  3.         If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, have a professional come out once per year to clear the snow from the unit. This is so it doesn’t overwork itself trying to compensate for lost heat from outside sources like sunlight or wind.

NEED AN HONEST HVAC PROFESSIONAL?

We hope this list of tips to maintain your HVAC system has been helpful. When you think about it, it’s a lot of responsibility to take care of a HVAC system on a regular basis. That’s why we have HVAC services on standby to help you with any repairs or maintenance needs. We know you have enough to worry about, so let us handle your HVAC service needs.

Do you need a professional HVAC companies near me to help with your HVAC system and perform honest, routine maintenance? You can always find help by searching for “HVAC companies near me,” but know that we are right here in Palo Alto and ready to help! HVAC maintenance is essential for many reasons. You could be breathing cleaner air, saving money, and enjoying greater peace of mind with a reputable company like Palo Alto Plumbing.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH US TODAY

If you’re from Palo Alto and other nearby areas, choose Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air for HVAC companies near me. We offer a variety of routine and essential services that include 24-hour emergency HVAC calls. For fast, reliable, and honest HVAC repair and maintenance, call us at 650-405-1460 or contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

How to Find the Best HVAC Company For Your Home or Business

If you’re looking for reputable HVAC maintenance for your home or business, finding the best company can seem a little tricky, but we’re here to help! After all, there are plenty of companies that offer similar services and prices, but not all of them will provide you with the same level of customer satisfaction. That’s why it’s so important to do some research instead of making a hasty decision about which company to hire for the job. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips below that will help narrow down your search when trying to find the best HVAC company.

Why HVAC Maintenance Matters

So you’re in the market for a new HVAC company? We’ve got all the info you need to find the best HVAC maintenance in town, whether it’s for your home or business. But first things first, why is maintenance so important?

Taking good care of your HVAC is essential to keeping a comfortable home or office environment. Your HVAC helps control the temperature and climate in your space. It also moderates the humidity and helps to purify the indoor air you breathe. Not to mention, if you don’t schedule regular HVAC maintenance for your system, it’s eventually going to break down. This is both stressful as well as costly. To make sure your HVAC is running properly all year long, it needs a little care once in a while. Fortunately, there are lots of useful maintenance tips and tricks that can help extend the life expectancy of your HVAC system. For example, changing its air filters on a regular basis, and performing routine inspections to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. Since its functions are so important to your health and comfort, you can see why hiring the best HVAC maintenance company matters so much.

Ask Questions

When you begin to consider your options, feel free to ask questions. This will help you find an expert who is best suited for your needs and budget. You can ask about a company’s experience and training, what’s included in their HVAC maintenance services, and anything else that comes to mind.

Experience

Be sure to find out how long the HVAC company has been in business as well as what kind of experience they have. It’s all right to ask them about their background and training. You may also want to request references for previous jobs they’ve done, too. This is an easy way to help you get an idea of the quality of their work before you decide if you want to hire them. This information is key to helping you decide which company to hire.

Licensed and Insured

It’s important that the HVAC company you choose is also licensed and insured, for a couple reasons. For one, it suggests a level of professionalism, and also that the company is committed to providing customers with high-quality services. This is because you need a certain level of training to get a license, regardless of the field. And second, insurance protects you against personal injury lawsuits if anything were to happen while they were on the job.

Browse Reviews

You should also research reviews before you hire an HVAC company to work in your home or business. It’s so easy to check Google that there’s really no reason not to. This way, you can quickly eliminate any companies with less than outstanding reviews. If you don’t read reviews, how can you be sure you’re hiring the best HVAC company?

Billing

It’s a good idea to request an estimate upfront, and also to find out what’s actually included in the service. An estimate of the total cost gives you a better idea of what you’re paying for before any work is even done. You can also ask for an itemized bill in writing, which will provide specifics about what you’re being charged for. An itemized statement is also a record of what was done during HVAC maintenance, so you have that information if you ever need it later. Keep in mind that cheaper is not usually better, but quotes can help you make a final selection, and help you determine the average cost in your area.

HVAC Maintenance Tips

Winter will be here before you know it, and that means that your HVAC system will soon be put to the test. It’s best to make sure it’s operating properly now in order to avoid problems later on when you really need your heater.

Here are some tips for preparing your system for the rainy winter months ahead:

  1. Clean or replace your air filters because we spend more time indoors during the winter, and heaters burn off a lot of dust when they’ve been sitting all year.
  2. Heaters dry out the air. Consider installing a high-quality humidifier to help keep your home or office more comfortable while the heater is running. This can help prevent dry, cracked skin, chapped lips, and even nosebleeds.
  3. Check the air ducts that carry hot air throughout your home or workplace. These should be clean, and there shouldn’t be any furniture blocking them.

The Bottom Line

Your HVAC system has some essential jobs to do, but it needs to be cared for on a regular basis. Yearly HVAC maintenance can save you time and energy in the long run by avoiding expensive breakdowns. On average, it takes about an hour each year, and the cost is much more affordable than waiting for a breakdown. It’s simply easier to schedule regular maintenance than it is to deal with HVAC repairs. All in all, making sure your system is properly maintained year-round is the best way to prevent an issue from happening, especially during the chill of winter.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

We hope this blog post helped, and that you now feel confident in choosing a great HVAC company. If you need HVAC maintenance, give us a call at Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air by dialing 650-405-1460 today for all of your heating, air conditioning, and plumbing needs!

Your HVAC Maintenance Checklist

It’s critical to take care of HVAC maintenance before the cold season so that your home is prepared for chilly, sweater weather. The importance of prevention really can’t be emphasized enough. Ideally, this home maintenance should be done on a regular basis to cut back on the need for expensive HVAC repairs in the future. It’s also important for your comfort and health!

In this blog post we’re going to share with you some things you need to keep an eye on when it comes to HVAC maintenance, as well as how a specialist can help.

Essential HVAC Maintenance

Even if your heating and cooling systems seem to be working just fine, they may not be as efficient as they could be. A yearly tune-up will ensure that your heating and cooling systems are working at their optimal efficiency levels; this can help you save money on your monthly electric bill too. A professional HVAC tune-up will also identify any issues with things like airflow or faulty parts.

Is Your Heater Ready?

The first step to making sure your home is comfortable during the coming cold season is to make sure your heating system is running effectively. This, of course, requires routine HVAC maintenance, like making sure the blower motor is working right.

If you have a gas furnace, the exhaust flue needs to be checked to verify that it’s clear as well. This is because carbon monoxide is a serious threat to our homes, but an HVAC specialist can help keep your household safe. If the exhaust flue becomes blocked, carbon monoxide can build up inside your house.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is colorless and odorless. It’s created by the burning of fuel, such as leaving a car idling in a garage. It’s so dangerous to breathe in CO because it actually displaces oxygen in your blood. This can cause both short-term and long-term health effects, and even result in death.

Replace Air Filters

Air filters are typically replaced every three months (90 days), or as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter that’s full of trapped dust and allergens obviously won’t be as efficient, and can actually increase your monthly energy costs. It’s also not great for your health, so be sure to change air filters regularly to remove dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens from the air that circulates through your home.

Clean AC Condenser Coils

Do you have an air conditioner? Have your AC condenser coils cleaned at least once a year. Dirty, clogged coils can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system and lead to expensive AC repair work. Also, be sure to remove debris around an outdoor air conditioning unit, such as grass clippings or leaves that accumulate during yardwork.

Flush Your Water Heater

How do you know if your water heat needs to be flushed? In general, it’s a good idea to have this done once a year by a professional who provides HVAC maintenance. This will help make sure there are no sediment blockages in hoses or fittings that can lead to frustrating issues. There are some common signs to watch out for, including a lack of hot water, strange smells, and even rusty-looking water.

Check Hoses for Cracks or Leaks

An HVAC expert will also check hoses for cracks or leaks. If they’re damaged, they will need to be replaced with hoses that match the original equipment and specifications. This is essential because it can help prevent extensive damage in the long run. An HVAC expert should check all hoses to ensure they’re in good working order.

Swap Out Old Thermostat Batteries

A simple thing you can do on your own is check the batteries in your thermostat to make sure they’re still working properly. It’s usually not too tricky to swap them out for a fresh pair if it’s needed. But if your thermostat is not working properly or is showing signs of wear and tear, replacing the batteries may not fix the problem. If it’s still not functioning properly even after new batteries have been installed, then a professional can check the controls.

Inspect for Leaks with Gas Furnaces

If you have a gas furnace, you will also need an expert to inspect the entire system for any possible gas leaks. As mentioned above, this is one of the most important steps you need to take as a homeowner to protect your household.

Check for Faulty Fans

Faulty fans can act up in different ways, like continuing to circulate air at high speeds. This can really cause unnecessary wear and tear on some HVAC parts. Humming or rattling are a strong indication that your AC fan motor needs to be replaced or repaired.

Examine Ductwork and Vents

This is also the best time to have ductwork and vents examined. These parts need to be in good shape for your HVAC system to function at its best. Did you know that dirty ducts can harm the air quality of your home? It pays to remove the buildup and grime that accumulates over time. It’s also possible for air ducts to leak if they become loose or disconnected. In some cases, wild animals have even been known to build nests inside ductwork, which can cause issues as well.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance Today

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to the HVAC maintenance in your home. Keep in mind that a problem is much easier and (usually) cheaper to fix before disaster strikes, so schedule an annual HVAC tune-up to make sure you’re getting the most out of your system!

These tasks will help keep your living space as comfortable as possible during both the cold winter months and the hottest summer days! Preventative measures can also save you the hassle of needing an emergency HVAC repair or replacement that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Let’s Talk

Here at Palo Alto Plumbing, our team can solve anything from a drippy faucet to a cracked sewer pipe, and also take care of all your HVAC needs. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will ensure your household’s health and safety by providing quality services.

Contact us at 650-405-1460 or fill out a contact form to chat with us today.

Can Your Air Conditioner Help Relieve Your Allergies?

Allergies can be bothersome, not only in the spring but at any time of the year, as some allergens are always present in your home. During cooling season when all your windows and doors are shut, indoor allergens can become even worse. Fortunately, your HVAC system can help combat this problem.

Answering FAQs About Furnace Repairs

The furnace is one of the most hardworking of all your home’s appliances. It has the unenviable task of keeping your entire home warm and comfortable during the coolest months. Without proper maintenance, however, its efficiency is bound to decline, which could lead to its premature failure. Read more

The Dangers of DIY HVAC Hacks

 

HVAC system installs aren’t cheap – there’s no denying it. Your home comfort is an investment and we understand that when you can save a few bucks, you do what you can. The best ways to save on HVAC costs are to conserve energy where possible and perform routine maintenance on your system to prevent excess repairs. However, many homeowners are turning to the web to find ‘Hacks’ in preparation to DIY their HVAC and results are COSTLY.

We get it – you DIY your brick patio to avoid hiring a landscaper and maybe it isn’t as pretty. But it sure was cheaper. You looked up kitchen remodel hacks and found that re-staining your cabinets could change the whole look – so you did it yourself and LOVED the results. In the era of the internet, there’s nothing you can’t YouTube! This includes HVAC hacks.

However, trying to ‘hack’ your HVAC system or DIY an install or repair could cost you more money, more hassle, and worse yet, your safety. Unlike in the case of a kitchen cabinet re-up or a landscaping venture, HVAC work requires training and licensure because it is complex and risky. There are two major considerations for why HVAC hacks aren’t worth it

HVAC Hacks are not safe.

A big misconception about the HVAC profession is that it is low-risk. In fact, working with high voltage electricity, dangerous chemicals, and in touchy environs such as attics and crawl spaces – we see our fair share of injuries and take mega risks. Homeowners who take on our repairs or installations thinking there’s no risk are overlooking major hazards. Not only could you injure yourself in numerous ways while working on your system, but you will also put your entire family at risk of air quality contamination from a leak of refrigerant gas or furnace fuel.

HVAC Hacks are unreliable.

As you probably know, the internet is packed with erroneous information. Not everyone is trying to scam you with a flat-out lie, but many people produce content believing it is true, and being WAY off. In the HVAC industry, some technicians have produced helpful, accurate content but it is meant to be shared between trained professionals – not to assist homeowners who don’t have the background knowledge to perform tasks safely. Similarly, content not endorsed by a professional at all is 100% unsafe and runs the risk of being entirely wrong. Don’t take that chance.

HVAC Hacks are not cheaper.

First, you will need to purchase a handful of tools you do not already own – HVAC is a specialty that requires specialized gauges and tools. Without these tools, you simply won’t be able to perform your install or repair to code and if you purchase them, you’ll spend a pretty penny (possibly more than you would to have it professional repaired!). Further, if you make a mistake in your install or repair – which is almost inevitable, since you are not trained – you may end up paying more to repair an even bigger issue or replace your system once damage is irreparable.

With the holidays on the horizon, the desire to save a few bucks is completely understandable. However, the financial implications of DIY HVAC hacks are a bit misunderstood and nothing is more valuable than the safety and comfort of your family this holiday season. For tips on HVAC maintenance you CAN perform yourself, check out more of our heating & cooling maintenance articles here.

 

 

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