Our HVAC systems are easy to take for granted. When it’s hot, the AC cools things down, and in the winter, the heater keeps things cozy. In the meantime, the system is often the furthest from your mind, but it shouldn’t be. It’s best to treat your HVAC unit like your car, with regular tune-ups and proper preventative care. This will, of course, keep it running at peak performance, but there are many other reasons HVAC maintenance is such a worthwhile investment.
Again, like with a car, keeping your system well maintained can help prevent costly breakdowns in the future. In fact, preventative maintenance is said to reduce this risk by as much as 95 percent. Another important fact to note is that many HVAC manufacturers require you to show proof of at least annual maintenance to stay covered under warranty. Some components of your HVAC system are rather expensive, so remaining covered under warranty can save you exponentially should something go wrong.
Typically, when in use, your HVAC system accounts for the largest percentage of your energy expenses. A neglected system has to work harder than it should to achieve your desired temperatures, which can result in either a gradual increase or a spike in utility costs. A unit running at peak efficiency, however, uses the least power possible and can help you save up to 30 percent on your power bill.
Improving Air Quality
Though we don’t always see them, our living spaces are full of a variety of particles we’re better off not breathing in. The EPA reports indoor air pollution as up to five times as bad as outdoor air pollution. Dust, mites, pollen, pet dander, cleaning product residue, and mold may not sound particularly threatening, but exposure to them can actually cause a number of both short and long-term negative health issues. These problems can be substantially more significant for family members who live with allergies or asthma.
Running your HVAC system periodically — even just the fan — can serve as a whole home air filtration system, provided the filters are changed and ducts are cleaned regularly. While duct maintenance is best left to the professionals, changing your filters is something you can easily do yourself and is recommended every 30 to 90 days depending on family pets and living habits.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and exposure to it can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even low-level CO2 exposure causes symptoms like headache, weakness, nausea, loss of consciousness, and can lead to brain damage and death. One of the most common causes of a carbon monoxide leaks in the home is a failed or cracked heat exchanger, and regular HVAC maintenance typically involves carbon monoxide testing which quickly identifies potential threats. Another simple and inexpensive way to prevent exposure between maintenance visits is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
All in all, with a relatively small investment, you can save money, improve your home safety and overall health, and even help the environment. Well-maintained HVAC systems burn significantly less fuel, which is good for the planet.
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