How to Avoid a Huge HVAC Mistake…and a Big Expense

As things heat up in the greater Baton Rouge Area, we wanted to take the chance to remind you of the importance of regularly caring for your HVAC system. We just returned from vacation with our house at 92 degrees!  It was a bad capicitor and luckily it was quickly repaired.  Things can go wrong even after you have your unit inspected, and we know here in the heat of summer, the units really take a beating so it is really important to pay attention to a few things.

Failing to properly maintain your HVAC can cost you thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, we’ve had clients confronted with HVAC nightmares due to lack of consistent maintenance. And as a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I, along with my team, understand how important it is to keep your home’s value intact…especially in today’s Market.

The good news is, while the cost to replace an HVAC system can be in the $10,000 range, simple maintenance is not costly at all. A filter is usually less than $10 and replacing it monthly keeps your air cleaner and your house less dusty.

Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning. If you're using a high-density filter such as an electrostatic filter, check with your local HVAC expert, who can raise the external static pressure of your system. If the external static pressure exceeds the design criteria of your system, it can negatively impact the performance and life of your equipment.

Your air filter should be located in either the blower compartment of the furnace, in an attached filter case, or in a return air grille in a wall of your home. If you cannot find the air filter, contact your local HVAC dealer for assistance.

Have your local HVAC dealer perform preventative maintenance before the start of summer and then again before winter kicks in.  I always suggest to potential sellers to have this done before putting the house on the market - it would be nice to know before you negotiate a sales price on the house if you are going to have any big expense on replacing or repairing your HVAC!!  If you haven't had yours serviced in 6 months, I would highly recommend doing it now.  Some preventative maintenance upfront can save you a big headache when your unit fails on a weekend this summer (and it seems they always fail on the hottest day!!). Many companies offer service agreements that may include reduced rates on labor and parts and provide priority response. Service/maintenance agreements may also cover:

-Cleaning indoor and outdoor coils
-Tightening electrical connections
-Checking supply voltage and operating current
-Checking refrigerant charge
-Measuring temperature differential at supply and return registers
-Cleaning blower wheel and motor
-Inspecting and adjusting the burner
-Checking heat exchangers
-Cleaning drain lines and pan
-Checking ductwork for leaks and insulation
-Checking the thermostat

Like many of us, your home is most likely your biggest investment. Simple and regular maintenance will not only preserve your home’s value but help you avoid a potential crisis and unexpected expense. For more information or for a recommendation on a local HVAC expert, please e-mail our team. Be sure to forward this  on to your fellow homeowner friends as well!