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Do You Need an HVAC Maintenance Plan? (Maybe Not)

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We believe having an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) aka AC maintenance agreement makes sense. An HVAC unit is likely the most expensive appliance in your home or business, so its efficient operation for as long as possible is cost effective. You won’t find many heating and cooling companies recommending you not sign a service agreement. But sometimes you don’t need a formal HVAC maintenance/service plan.

This is not to say your system doesn’t require maintenance; it does. Every fall and spring, you need to schedule an HVAC tune-up in preparation for seasonal weather changes.

DIY Tomball HVAC Maintenance

There are several maintenance tasks you can do yourself. Today’s property owners here in the Northwest Houston area want to be knowledgeable and in control of their home operating systems. Here is do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance you should schedule every 3-4 months:

Air Filters

Air filters maintain healthier indoor air quality (IAQ). Clean or change your air filters at least as often as the manufacturer advises. But we recommend you change your air filters as frequently as your home requires.

There’s so much construction in this area that dust and airborne debris are heavier than usual. If you have multiple furry family members or smokers, you should change air filters more often. Even people who smoke outside bring smoke indoors; it’s called third-hand smoke and it’s on their clothes, skin, hair, and breath when they exhale.

Indoor HVAC Unit

Keep the unit itself dust-free and the surrounding area uncluttered. On your regular walk-around, look for signs of leaks. Do you notice unusual odors, like electrical burning or gas? If you do, turn off the unit and call us for service. Check the AC condensation drip pan. A small amount of water is normal; drain it and clean.

Outdoor HVAC Unit

The condenser unit is most likely to capture dirt and debris that can reduce your HVAC’s efficiency. Do a walk-around and remove any leaves or other debris accumulation near the unit. Use a brush and/or handheld vacuum on the exterior vents.

Registers & Air Vents

Registers and air vents are located on ceilings and floors. Use a brush to remove dust and particles from vents and registers. You may want to follow this with vacuuming.

HVAC Maintenance Service in Tomball & Magnolia

Even if you don’t have a Comfort Club service plan agreement, twice-a-year maintenance is vital to cleaner, comfortable IAQ and a longer HVAC lifespan. A routine HVAC service visit involves 3 stages of service: 

  1. Inspection
  2. Cleaning
  3. Maintenance

During routine maintenance, we find 3 areas that often need more comprehensive service:

    1. Coolant – Be wary if a service tech says a “top-off” is needed for your HVAC’s coolant/freon. Topping-off the coolant isn’t a normal maintenance task; it’s a problem that needs repair. Another coolant issue we see is R-22 coolant in older HVACs. R-22 is no longer manufactured. We may suggest a retrofit or be able to provide recycled R-22 for your HVAC unit.
    2. Ducts – The most common issue we find with ductwork is dirt. If you haven’t had air duct cleaning in over 3 years, a buildup of dust, allergens, and other pollutants could increase your monthly energy bill and cause health issues.
    3. Overflow pans – If an AC drip pan is full of water, there’s a problem. When this happens, it’s because there’s a drainpipe clog, iced-up coils, or your HVAC unit was improperly installed.

3 Reasons Why You Don’t Need an HVAC Maintenance Contract

If an HVAC specialist pushes you to sign a maintenance contract, that’s a red flag. Country Air HVAC professionals won’t be aggressive about your service or maintenance requirements, even if a maintenance contract would be to your advantage. Maintenance agreements have so many benefits, they’re almost always a good investment. 

Here are 3 reasons why you may not need to sign a contract:

    1. Annual maintenance payments will cost more than a repair – The benefits of a maintenance plan include priority service and most importantly, can protect you from expensive repairs. One source calls maintenance “proactive” ($220-$550/year) vs. “reactive” ($350-$1,800/year). We think another word for “reactive” maintenance is “repair.”
      Angi says the average cost of a maintenance contract agreement is around $300/year but some can be $500+/year. The average HVAC repair is about $350 but a high-end repair can cost $3,000. It’s a gamble, but depending on your system’s age and history, you could save money without a maintenance contract.
    2. The maintenance plan company isn’t the company your manufacturer’s warranty recommends for repairs – It’s illegal for an HVAC manufacturer to deny warranty coverage because you had maintenance with a company that isn’t that brand’s dealer. However, an HVAC manufacturer can void warranties if the person performing maintenance isn’t a certified HVAC technician.
    3. Your HVAC system is new, and you plan to move within 3 years – Well-maintained HVAC systems can last from 3-5 years longer than others. But if your unit is new and you plan to put your property on the market soon, a maintenance contract may be unnecessary.

Trusted HVAC Maintenance in Northwest Harris County

To become a Country Air Texas registered technician, many hours of nationally approved training must be completed. Continuing education and quarterly performance reviews are mandatory. Country Air certified HVAC professionals are recognized as trusted, dependable specialists that practice industry-best standards and take pride in their quality of work.

Find out how an HVAC maintenance plan can save money. Call 281-356-8564 or contact Country Air

FAQs

Two of the frequently asked questions we receive about HVAC service in Tomball are:

Before you can join the Country Air HVAC professionals team, you’ll need:

  • 3-5 years HVAC service experience 
  • Background check verification
  • Customer-first mindset and pride in your work
  • EPA Universal Certification
  • Negative drug screening
  • State of Texas Registered Technician status

HVAC technicians are trained to check HVAC electrical inputs that HVAC condenser coils are easily damaged and should only be inspected by a professional. Electrical inputs are dangerous and can cause damage to the blower motor and other system components. AC coolants are toxic. Hazards from untrained handling can include eye, skin, and breathing problems.

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