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Old 10-17-2019, 10:08 PM
 
5,629 posts, read 4,065,431 times
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I remember reading that there's really no need for regular HVAC maintenance. I also know some people do it twice a year. Last time I had someone out to do a routine maintenance, I spent almost 300 bucks and had no idea what they actually did.

Is it necessary? If so what should they actually be doing?
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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I get my HVAC system checked once a year, definitely not $300 and my guy ( http://www.santaair.com/ ) gives tons of advice/reminders about stuff I can do myself to extend the life of my unit. I don’t know 100% what he does but some capacitors have been replaced, Freon gets topped off etc....

I guess it depends on the person but with such an expensive and critical component of my house, I’m happy to pay someone $80 a year to make sure things are running smoothly.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierretong1991 View Post
I’m happy to pay someone $80 a year to make sure things are running smoothly.
I had a feeling I got ripped off
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:07 PM
 
874 posts, read 612,694 times
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I just paid Comfort Monster $75 for routine maintenance. He said once a year was sufficient.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Durm
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I do it, and it's one of those things where every time they're here I wonder if I really need to be paying for that. But my system is at least 10 years old, possibly 15, and I'm just going with it until it dies out completely.
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
34,290 posts, read 59,604,944 times
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26 year old split system.
I had it looked at 6-7 years ago, and again this spring.

16 year old dual-fuel packaged unit.
Had it looked at three years ago and this spring. He had to put a pound of refrigerant in this spring, so I will have it looked at again next spring.

The only reason to have a system which has not previously shown issues looked at annually (or bi-annually), is to stay on your service provider's "good list," which may help you get quick emergency service during peak season. I don't have that worry.

It may be worthwhile to have the outside condenser coils cleaned every few years to maintain efficiency.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:57 AM
 
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If you have a gas furnace for heating then its a good idea to have the heat exchanger inspected for cracks which can be very dangerous if left unchecked. There are also normal wear items like contactors, capacitors, inducer motors, fan motors etc that can fail under high demand stressful environmental conditions.

They also inspect for mold growth in the coil pan and poor condensate drainage. All of these things can be prevented if caught early. It's also important to keep the air filters clean which is the number one cause for HVAC system failure. HVAC systems need lots of air flow for efficiency and when that is heavily restricted by dirty filters then somethings going to eventually fail.

The key is finding an experienced HVAC technician that takes the time and does the required checks. I've had some that were in-and-out in 15 minutes or less so they are obviously not thoroughly checking everything. Others may try to up-sell parts or services that aren't really necessary, so you have to be careful and find someone you can trust.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
34,290 posts, read 59,604,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starglow View Post
If you have a gas furnace for heating then its a good idea to have the heat exchanger inspected for cracks which can be very dangerous if left unchecked. There are also normal wear items like contactors, capacitors, inducer motors, fan motors etc that can fail under high demand stressful environmental conditions.

They also inspect for mold growth in the coil pan and poor condensate drainage. All of these things can be prevented if caught early. It's also important to keep the air filters clean which is the number one cause for HVAC system failure. HVAC systems need lots of air flow for efficiency and when that is heavily restricted by dirty filters then somethings going to eventually fail.

The key is finding an experienced HVAC technician that takes the time and does the required checks. I've had some that were in-and-out in 15 minutes or less so they are obviously not thoroughly checking everything. Others may try to up-sell parts or services that aren't really necessary, so you have to be careful and find someone you can trust.

If you have a fuel-burning appliance, carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended, and I believe are required in new construction.
We have one on each level.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Cary
2,680 posts, read 3,151,214 times
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We converted our fireplace to gas a couple of years ago. We needed to show that we had carbon monoxide detectors on both floors before the permit was signed off.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,487,306 times
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+1 Starglow Spot-on recommendations.

and +10 for
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
If you have a fuel-burning appliance, carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended, and I believe are required in new construction.
We have one on each level.
Locations of the detectors is VERY dependent on the layout of your house, excepting it's a no-brainer to have one at the top of the stairs, and one in every occupied bedroom.
Regardless of who does it, don't forget to test the CO detectors, and replace batteries as listed.

Dirty filters (which can lead to dirty coils) is not only bad health wise, but can increase the load on your fan motor, costing you money.

As a professional HVAC engineer, I'd recommend for the average person: Twice a year inspections and light-cleanings, filter replacements, etc. A gas furnace system will take a bit more inspection and will need more preventative maintenance, than electric heat.
If you are DIY "handy": 3-4 times a year: dust off and replace filter(s) for the inside unit, and hose-clean the outside unit, and go with an annual professional inspection.

For the regular inspections, recognize that the repair folks are busiest right at the start of the heating season, and the cooling season, so if you pre- schedule your inspections a month beforehand, many shops are slack and will give you a discount.

And: like everything else with moving parts, they will need more TLC as they get older.
In general, residential split-system HVAC units have an average lifespan of about 15 years. (Better care = longer life, vice versa for shorter).
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