11 Steps to Include in Your HVAC Maintenance Plan
Especially in areas of the world that experience very high or very low temperatures, often an HVAC system is a necessary addition to a home. If it breaks down during extreme weather conditions, it could be dangerous to the individuals in the home.
An HVAC maintenance plan is a contract with a company that will regularly check and complete maintenance on an HVAC system. There are many reasons why people consider HVAC maintenance plans to be beneficial, but there are also some things homeowners should know before investing in one.
1. Preventative care
Individuals may not necessarily notice when something is going wonky with their HVAC system until it’s too late. With an HVAC maintenance plan, small issues can be found and fixed before they get out of hand. This means big, expensive fixes can often be prevented with small repairs and maintenance at regular intervals.
2. Be first
Many companies will give individuals with HVAC maintenance plans priority over customers without such plans. Especially if the system requires emergency services during the dead of winter, for example, having priority status can come in handy.
3. Improve energy efficiency
Regular maintenance means regular filter changes and other adjustments that allow the system to function at its most efficient. This means that the system will almost always be running at its most energy efficient, keeping energy bills low.
4. Ongoing relationship
With such a plan, the same company will take care of the HVAC maintenance over the course of the contract, meaning they will maintain records of past maintenance and repairs and will be familiar with the system overall. This can be a time saver and a money saver, since the workers will be coming in with a base set of knowledge instead of starting from scratch.
5. Pay cheaper rates
Another benefit of an HVAC maintenance plan is that the labour generally comes at some kind of discounted rate. They may also add in extra discounted rate bonuses, like not charging additional fees for off-hour services.
6. Save money overall… maybe
In the long run, an HVAC maintenance plan can save money because it essentially decreases the likelihood of big fixes being required over time. To be fair though, the opposite could be true – maybe the system would never experience problems and a maintenance plan could just as well be a waste of money. That said, there is no way to know, and just as people spend money on insurance they never end up needing, a maintenance plan ensures the best case scenario when things go wrong.
A pretty normal amount of maintenance is once per year per function of the HVAC system. That is to say, once for cooling – usually at the end of winter or in the spring, and once for heating – usually at the end of summer or at the beginning of fall. This allows peace of mind at the time when that function will be most crucial. Most HVAC maintenance plans will include at least this amount of service.
8. Different contracts for different needs
As with many kinds of service, HVAC maintenance plans can be everything from basic to fully loaded. While the basic service includes just a couple of maintenance checks a year, a more advanced package could also include parts and labour for required repairs discovered during those maintenance checkups and even parts and services provided during emergency calls. In general there will be a select list of parts that are not covered in the contract.
9. It’s locked in
One of the few things people tend not to like about HVAC maintenance plans is that it really is a locked in contract. Once the deal is made, the amount must be paid for the entirety of the contract. Luckily, the contracts usually only last one year. Where this becomes a disadvantage is really only if the individual happens to find a better deal within that time, or if they would like to change providers.
10. The client’s job
When making the decision to invest in an HVAC maintenance plan, it is up to the client to do their research. One thing to research is the different kinds of HVAC maintenance plans available. Another is to research the companies offering these plans to be sure of finding one that is honest, trustworthy, and capable of doing the job well.
11. Clients can do maintenance too
Although the maintenance to the actual system is all taken care of by the company, there are a few things the client can do to help with the maintenance of their HVAC system. This means keeping plants, leaves, and dirt away from any outdoor units and checking for leaks in the ductwork. It also means listening for any unusual sounds that the system might make, as this can be a hint to developing problems.