Why Annual HVAC Maintenance is Cheaper Than Repairs
Maintaining a home comes with a range of duties, and one key aspect often underestimated is the upkeep of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems. Typically, homeowners only give serious thought to their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) when an issue arises. Yet, adopting a proactive stance with annual HVAC maintenance can prove cost-effective in the long term, sparing you from pricier repairs down the road.
The Typical Cost of Annual Maintenance
One proactive task you may be able to perform yourself is to check and change your furnace filter. You can read my blog “How Often Should A Home Owner Change Their HVAC Filter” to help determine when it should be changed. A licensed HVAC professional should perform everything else.
The expense associated with an annual HVAC system maintenance visit may fluctuate based on factors such as geographical location, the system’s type and size, and the services encompassed within the maintenance package. According to This Old House, the average cost can be anywhere from $75 to $200 for a routine annual HVAC maintenance visit.
A basic maintenance visit typically includes:
- Cleaning or replacing air filters.
- Checking and lubricating moving parts.
- Inspecting the thermostat.
- Check electrical connectors.
- Ensuring the system operates efficiently.
Some maintenance plans may include additional services, such as checking refrigerant levels, inspecting ductwork, or testing the system’s overall performance.
The Cost of Neglect
Ignoring your HVAC system may result in a range of problems, from decreased efficiency to complete system failure. When your HVAC system is not properly maintained, it has to work harder to provide the same level of comfort, leading to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills. Moreover, issues like dirty filters and clogged ducts can contribute to diminished indoor air quality, posing potential health concerns. The image to the right is of a filthy filter that I found on a home inspection. It was not surprising that the system was having problems cooling the home. The website 5Estimates.com estimates average replacement costs in Louisville can range between $4,749 and $12,450.
Annual Maintenance: A Wise Investment
- Improved Efficiency: Annual HVAC maintenance ensures that your heat and air system operates at peak efficiency. Technicians clean and inspect key components, such as filters, coils, and ducts, allowing your system to function optimally. This efficiency not only saves you money on energy bills but also extends the lifespan of your equipment.
- Preventative Measures: During a maintenance check, technicians can pinpoint potential issues before they turn into significant problems. Addressing minor concerns early on can prevent costly repairs down the line. It’s like going to the doctor for an annual check-up—you catch potential health issues before they become serious.
- Energy Savings: An efficiently running HVAC system uses less energy, leading to reduced utility costs. Consistent maintenance ensures that your system operates efficiently, avoiding unnecessary strain to maintain your preferred temperature and ultimately saving you money throughout the year.
- Prolonged Equipment Life: Just as regular exercise contributes to a healthier and longer life, regular maintenance contributes to a longer life for your HVAC system. Proper care and attention can significantly extend the life of your HVAC system and will delay the significant expense of replacing it.
- Warranty Protection: Some HVAC manufacturers require proof of regular maintenance to uphold the warranty. Skipping annual check-ups could void your warranty, making any unexpected repair costs the homeowner’s responsibility.
In the world of homeownership, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which certainly holds true for HVAC systems. Annual HVAC maintenance is a small investment that pays off in the form of lowering your energy bills, improved efficiency, and a longer lifespan for your equipment. So, before you find yourself sweating through a summer heatwave or shivering in the winter cold, we suggest you schedule an annual HVAC check-up. Both your wallet and your comfort will appreciate it in the long run.