Seasonal AC Maintenance: Preparing Your System for Summer and Winter

Learn about HVAC & Home Performance in Houston.

Man Repairing Air Conditioner

June 25, 2023

AC Maintenance

Your HVAC system is the control center for your home’s heating and cooling comfort year-round. When it’s hot outside, you want it to keep you cool and when it’s cold, you want to feel warm and cozy while indoors.

One of the most important things any homeowner can do is prevent breakdowns in this heating and cooling system. Prevention through seasonal HVAC maintenance is the key to avoiding having to make an emergency cooling system repair. It can also keep you from needing a cooling system replacement before your HVAC system has reached the end of its lifespan.

While you may not always be able to avoid the urgent need for an HVAC repair, you can certainly keep things humming along as they should throughout the changing seasons. However, if your air conditioning unit is older, even with proper HVAC maintenance, you may want to think about having a completely new AC unit installed.

Let’s take a closer look at why you’ll want to keep up with your HVAC seasonal maintenance.

How Seasonal Maintenance Benefits Your AC System

Your HVAC unit is designed to keep your indoor temperature the way you want it. This intricate system is full of working parts that help maintain the balance. However, it is always hard at work in the background while you live your life. It keeps your family warm during the holidays and allows you all to sleep well by keeping your home cool on hot summer nights.

When the seasons change, seasonal HVAC maintenance can help you avoid unexpected problems. It’s easier to make small fixes if there are any frayed wires, corroded components, and other smaller damages that could cause a full system failure if not corrected. Additionally, proper maintenance is the way to keep HVAC systems operating at their peak performance.

Improved Efficiency and Lower Electricity Bills

Ever since energy costs increased dramatically, the cost for heating your home in winter is far steeper. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that winter heating costs add another 30% more to your utility bills.

With regular maintenance of your HVAC system, you can increase the efficiency of your unit and lower your energy bills. Don’t forget to stay on top of changing your air filters too. This is one of the simple monthly maintenance tasks you can do yourself and it can keep your air flow unobstructed. A dirty air filter forces your system to work harder and can lead to the need for more urgent repairs. 

Reduced Need for Repairs

Speaking of repairs, you probably have other things in mind for your money than to spend it fixing your air conditioner. When you have seasonal HVAC maintenance, it can prevent major issues, unexpected failures, and save you lots of money.

The graph below shows just how much it can cost to make repairs. You can expect to pay anywhere from $144 to $451 if something goes wrong. While you can’t prevent every issue with your HVAC system, having your air conditioning maintained seasonally can reduce these costs.

Photo of Average HVAC Repair Cost

Better Indoor Air Quality

Your indoor air quality can impact the health of everyone in your home. It’s especially important if anyone in your family has allergies. You should replace air filters regularly. These filters can also keep dust and other pathogens from circulating through your air conditioner which goes a long way toward that better indoor air quality.  

Increased HVAC System Lifespan

Your air conditioning system has a lifespan of 10 years. If you skip preventative maintenance, it may not even last that long. Annual HVAC maintenance helps keep the heating system and cooling systems working properly. It is extremely important to have a professional tune up your HVAC system. This includes your furnace and air conditioner. You will also want to consider other ways to keep your HVAC system running well for its lifespan such as improving your insulation, using a smart thermostat, and setting it on the auto-fan setting.  

What Does AC Seasonal Maintenance Include?

For HVAC maintenance, you will want to call for service from an HVAC technician. Only those with this specified training will be able to inspect and repair all the working parts in your air conditioning. Having an HVAC professional inspect, clean, and maintain your air conditioning will give you greater peace of mind.  

Since HVAC maintenance can vary from company to company, it’s important to find out what is included in a tune up. As such, it may include tightening the electrical connections, inspection of the system controls, inspection of electrical components, cleaning coils, lubrication of moving parts, and replacing any parts with wear and tear. Many HVAC companies will also check your refrigerant and refrigerant pressures; clean and check blowers and fans; and verify the operating temperatures.

A lot goes in to maintain your air conditioner. With HVAC maintenance, it goes a bit beyond tuning up the machinery. You may find that this service includes the inspection of the heat exchanger, cleaning the flue, and examining the ignition switch.

This is why it’s important for you to ask what’s included. You should also voice any concerns you may have to the technician so they can perform the necessary services at your annual appointment.

One thing you will want to learn more about is your ductwork. When there are leaks, holes, or poorly connected ducts, it can increase your energy usage and decrease your indoor comfort. Inspection of ductwork is not typically included with seasonal maintenance packages, but it can be added to your service.  

How Many Times a Year Should Your AC Be Serviced?

For a heating system and furnace service, you should have these maintenance tasks completed in the fall. You will want this done well before you need to turn on the heat in the event that you need any parts replaced.

Photo of Air Conditioner Cleaning

Air conditioners should also have service completed before you plan to rely on them for cold air. In addition to taking care of both the heating and cooling system, it’s wise to follow maintenance tips for the life of your unit. You should check your air vents, watch for water damage around the air handlers, and replace filters as needed to reduce strain on the system.

Schedule your summer and winter HVAC service with the same HVAC company. This will ensure they keep track of what they checked on the last visit. Thermostat adjustments and lubrication of parts don’t always need to be done every six months. 

Safety Concerns About DIY HVAC Maintenance

Even if you are a relatively handy person, unless you have earned the proper certifications for HVAC maintenance, you should leave this to the professionals. Certain tasks like changing out the filters in the air handler, keeping vents clear, checking your carbon monoxide detectors, and making sure to keep debris away from your outdoor unit are things any homeowner can do.

When it comes time to inspect your heat, cooling, and ductwork, contact an HVAC professional to perform these tasks for you. You’ll enjoy better energy savings by having your system in proper working order for all seasons. House Pro will be there for you in summer and winter with services to keep you comfortable no matter the temperature outside. If you need a trusted air conditioning expert in Houston, House Pro will come to your rescue, though planning your maintenance schedule will give you the best chance of avoiding breakdowns.