The Importance of Using an HVAC Maintenance Checklist to Reduce Costs
Every homeowner knows how frustrating and expensive it can be to have home systems fail and require immediate repair. Among the most costly of home equipment to repair are your HVAC components. Repairs for your condenser or air handler can total several thousands of dollars, but luckily, there are several things you can do to prevent the need for repair.
Below, we’ll discuss why HVAC maintenance is so crucial, especially in areas like Houston and Tomball. We’ll also provide a convenient checklist you can walk through to avoid damage and inefficiencies and ensure your system remains in good shape year-round.
Why Is HVAC Maintenance So Crucial?
We rely on our HVAC systems day in and day out, especially in states like Texas, where the temperature is well over 70 for most of the year and peaks just under 100 degrees in the summer. Your HVAC system works tirelessly to keep you and your family comfortable through the heat.
Over time, the wear and tear on your system will inevitably cause problems. Components can break, belts can become loose or worn, and motors can burn out. With repair costs sometimes topping $3,000, routine HVAC maintenance in Houston is crucial for limiting ongoing expenses and keeping your indoor air livable.
HVAC Maintenance Checklist
In an effort to help you save some money on maintenance costs, we’ve put together this HVAC maintenance checklist that you can use to ensure there are no significant issues with your system. We recommend walking through this checklist about once every three months to identify potential problems as quickly as possible.
Check Your Filters
One of the most common issues with HVAC systems stems from dirty and clogged filters. With reduced airflow from debris, your blower motor will have to work harder to supply air to your home. Not only will clogged filters make your living area less comfortable, but they can also put enough strain on the blower motor to blow it out.
Replacing the filters yourself is easy and affordable, and you could avoid up to $2,000 in repairs if the motor goes out.
Check Your Refrigerant Lines
Refrigerant lines are usually visible from the outside of your condenser unit in your yard. These lines can become damaged from tree limbs falling during the intense Houston thunderstorms, children, landscaping equipment, and more. Inspect them for physical damage, including breaks, cracks, and crimps.
While replacing the lines is complicated and can total over $500, checking the lines for damage is simple and can help get your system the repair it needs quickly.
Check the Electrical Components
While you’re inspecting the refrigerant lines for damage, you should also check any visible electrical components on your condenser outside and your indoor unit. While you should never attempt electrical repair, unless you’re a trained electrician or HVAC technician, it’s usually pretty straightforward to identify damage and report it to a professional. Look for frayed wires, disconnected wiring, and any other signs of physical damage.
Electrical issues with your HVAC system usually only cost under $250 to repair. Still, the risk of fire and total system failure electrical problems can cause means that locating issues quickly is paramount to protecting your home and your wallet.
Check the Evaporator Coils
Evaporator coils can freeze for a number of reasons, including clogged filters, poor airflow through the system, damaged refrigerant lines, and a clogged condensate line. If the coils freeze, your central air system will likely fail or produce warm air instead of cool, comfortable air.
The evaporator coils are located inside your air handler, which is the unit inside your home that circulates air. To get to the coil, you’ll need to remove the cover on your air handler, which is usually straightforward. Once open, inspect the thin fans on the evaporator coil for ice. If they’re frozen, you can try thawing them, but we recommend calling in a professional, as there might be additional damage that isn’t visible.
Quickly locating frozen coils can help reduce your repair costs significantly — sometimes by hundreds or thousands of dollars in the Tomball area — if they’re repaired early enough to prevent additional issues.
Check for Indoor Leaks
Your HVAC system is equipped with a condensate line, which drains water removed from the air outside your home or to some type of drainage system. If this line gets clogged for any reason, water will fail to drain properly and will leak into your home.
Clogs are common in the Tomball area, where large amounts of moisture are pulled out of the humid air. Looking for visible water or water stains around your indoor HVAC unit will help identify a clogged condensate line.
Failing to identify this problem or ignoring the warning signs could cost you up to around $1,000 in damage, plus any water damage repair or costly mold abatement required as a result.
Check Your Ducts
Finally, if you have access to the ductwork in your attic, basement, or elsewhere in your home, inspect the ducts to look for physical damage. Breaks, air leaks, and excessive dust or debris build-up can put increased demand and excessive strain on your blower motor, eventually burning it out. You may also notice decreased efficiency and comfort in your home as a result of duct leaks.
A quick inspection of your ducts will take just a few minutes but can end up saving you up to about $3,000 in repair costs if you identify an issue early enough.
Wrapping Up: Why HVAC Maintenance Is Crucial in Texas
Your HVAC system works tirelessly to combat high, uncomfortable temperatures in the Tomball area, nearly year-round. Maintenance and repairs can cost several thousands of dollars, and issues that are ignored or aren’t identified can lead to a complete HVAC replacement, often totaling over $5,000.
Using the above HVAC maintenance checklist will keep your system in good shape and help you avoid expensive problems and repairs.