Home heating and cooling are a significant part of achieving year-round comfort. Your furnace’s job is to tame the biting winter cold, while your air conditioner tamps the harsh summer heat. When everything runs smoothly, it’s easy to take your comfortable interior for granted. But then something goes wrong, and your cozy home turns into a sweltering sauna or icy igloo.
Luckily, regular HVAC inspections keep these scenarios at bay. Schedule routine visits from the experienced HVAC technicians at Barstow and Sons Heating and Cooling, and your system will provide the comfort you crave all year round.
What is an HVAC Inspection?
An HVAC inspection is like a health check-up for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. The inspection covers the vital components of your HVAC system, ensuring they are in tip-top shape. This gives you a clear picture of your furnace and air conditioner’s status, including whether any HVAC repairs are warranted. Homeowners in Annapolis and Pasadena, MD, should schedule HVAC service once a year before turning on the furnace or air conditioner for the first time that season.
What an HVAC Inspection Entails
When you count on the experts at Barstow and Sons for an HVAC inspection, expect a thorough analysis designed to nip problems in the bud. Our technicians arrive with a comprehensive checklist in hand to ensure they don’t miss anything. Here’s what our services entail:
- Run a thermostat test
- Inspect and replace the air filter if necessary (customer provides the filter)
- Evaluate the airflow and make adjustments as needed
- Assess the condition of your equipment
- Check the refrigerant level
- Inspect the heat exchanger, gas connections, and exhaust flue
- Check the condensate drain and drip pan
- Examine the blower motor
- Check the safety equipment, surge protector, and fail-safes
- Inspect the compressor, condenser, air handler, evaporator coil, and electrical components
- Ensure there are no pest infestations
- Write a thorough diagnostics report for the customer’s records
DIY HVAC Maintenance Tips
While in-depth HVAC maintenance requires technical skills and training, you can contribute to your system’s overall health with these simple, proactive steps between professional visits:
- Change the air filter: A clean, high-quality filter ensures better air quality, improves system efficiency, and extends the life of your HVAC system. Make it a habit to check your air filter monthly, replacing it when it appears dirty.
- Keep the outdoor unit clean: The AC condensing unit disperses the heat absorbed from inside your home to the outdoors. Any obstructions like leaves, dirt, or grass clippings may impede this process, causing your system to work harder than necessary. Maintain efficiency by gently hosing down the unit as needed to keep it clean and clear of obstructions.
- Trim back vegetation: It’s common to plant shrubs near the outdoor unit to camouflage its presence. However, overgrown foliage can obstruct airflow and reduce system performance. Keep all vegetation trimmed back at least 12 to 24 inches from the unit to prevent interference with its operation.
- Keep air registers open: Your HVAC system is designed to work with balanced supply and return airflow. Closing or blocking air registers disrupts this balance, leading to uneven heating or cooling and forcing the system to work harder. To prevent this, make sure at least 80% of your air registers are open and unblocked at all times.
- Adjust the thermostat: Simple thermostat adjustments may reduce the wear and tear on your HVAC system and lower your energy bills. When you’re home, set the thermostat to a comfortable level when dressed for the season. Then, set the temperature back when you’re away or sleeping. Every degree of adjustment translates to energy savings.
Benefits of Routine HVAC Service
Keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance is an investment in your comfort and peace of mind. Here’s how you benefit:
- Lower energy bills: A well-maintained HVAC system operates efficiently, providing the desired indoor comfort while consuming less energy. Regular tune-ups ensure your system performs at its peak, which reflects positively on your energy bills.
- Fewer breakdowns: The last thing you want is for the HVAC system to break down during a heat wave or cold snap. Regular inspections can identify developing issues before they escalate into major headaches, saving you from the discomfort and inconvenience of a system breakdown when you need it most.
- Lower repair costs: Over time, small issues like loose belts or worn-out components can develop into bigger, costlier problems. Routine maintenance can catch and correct these issues early, resulting in minor, affordable fixes rather than major repair bills.
- Comfort boost: A neglected HVAC system might struggle to maintain consistent temperatures, leading to hot or cold spots around your home. Regular maintenance ensures proper airflow, comfortable humidity levels, and evenly distributed temperatures, enhancing the comfort of your living space.
- Longer system lifespan: The more you care for your HVAC system, the longer it will last. Regular inspections and timely repairs can extend the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioner by a few years, delaying the cost of a system replacement.
- Upheld warranty coverage: Most HVAC manufacturers require routine maintenance to keep their warranties valid. Adhering to this requirement ensures you’re covered if a vital component fails prematurely. Be sure to keep records of all maintenance visits in case you need to file a warranty claim.
- Improved safety: HVAC systems can pose safety risks if not properly maintained. For instance, a faulty furnace can lead to gas or carbon monoxide leaks, while an improperly working air conditioner might suffer electrical issues. Annual inspections help avert such hazards for your peace of mind.
Schedule an HVAC Inspection in Annapolis or Pasadena, MD
Barstow and Sons is a local, family-run business with over 40 years of experience. Our full-service HVAC company strives to meet the unique demands of Maryland’s climate, backed by a legacy of excellent customer service and fair, affordable pricing. With our 24/7 emergency service, we’re always on call when you need us. Contact us today at 410-777-9185 to schedule an HVAC inspection with one of our qualified technicians.