Have you ever had to pay for a repair on your furnace during the depths of winter? Have you tried to get a repair technician out to fix the A/C on the hottest summer day? If either sounds familiar, you need to look into getting an HVAC service agreement, or maintenance plan. A maintenance plan helps get your system repaired faster and keeps the system running efficiently and safely.
HVAC service agreements vary from company to company, but most share common traits. The plan allows the homeowner to receive no-charge routine maintenance check-ups, priority service for emergencies, and reduced fees for certain services.
The Maintenance Plan: How It Works in Your Favor
Because your cooling and heating systems are such significant investments, it makes sense for you to get a maintenance agreement. A service contract dictates a specific fee in exchange for guaranteed services provided by your trusted HVAC contractor.
Even a basic maintenance plan usually includes a thorough tune-up of your cooling and heating systems in the spring and fall before the heavy-use seasons. But these can be performed at any point in the year. Most agreements will include discounts on parts and labor to repair any issues found during these checkups as well as emergency services.
Some of the most noticeable benefits that you will enjoy from an annual or semi-annual servicing of your HVAC system will include:
- Improved performance
- Improved energy efficiency, which saves you money on monthly bills
- Locating potential issues early before they become big, expensive problems
- Extended life for cooling and heating equipment
Remember that while maintenance agreements represent an extra expense, the alternative is a substantially increased risk of a major repair or even replacement. By conducting a little research, you should have no trouble finding a local HVAC contractor with a variety of maintenance plans from which to choose.
Benefits of a Scheduled HVAC Maintenance Plan
Your home’s heating and cooling system is comprised of expensive equipment that’s vital for your year-round comfort. The snowy winters and humid summers of Northeast Ohio place a high demand on that equipment. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and hassle-free solution to keep it running smoothly, a planned HVAC maintenance program is the answer.
With an HVAC maintenance plan, you can rest assured your system will get the regular care it needs to perform efficiently in all kinds of weather and you’ll save some money, too.
Scheduled Inspections and Maintenance
The semi-annual preventive care visits included in a maintenance program are vital to keeping the equipment running reliably. Routine care by a well-trained technician also guarantees the system runs at maximum capacity to maintain your comfort. During these visits, an experienced pro can also catch and correct emerging issues before they develop and cause costly breakdowns.
A maintenance agreement allows you to schedule ahead for annual inspections and other routine maintenance. This gives you more options for choosing days and times that are convenient for you, rather than accepting whatever you can get during the busy seasons.
Savings on Diagnostics and Repairs
While you can expect to see fewer problems that require repair when your HVAC system is well maintained, when issues do crop up, a maintenance plan will save you money on both diagnostics and overtime fees. The cost of hiring a company to do annual check-ups costs about as much as a yearly service agreement. When you add in the discounts for repair fees, most homeowners end up saving money.
Keeping your warranties valid typically requires providing regular professional maintenance and maintaining proper records of the work completed. With a planned HVAC maintenance program, you won’t have to worry about invalidating your warranties by forgetting to schedule maintenance. You’ll also be able to provide complete and detailed maintenance records should you ever decide to sell your house.
Lower Utility Bills
The efficiency of home heating and cooling equipment declines with every year of use when proper care is lacking. The twice-yearly maintenance visits included in a planned maintenance program pay off in energy savings over the equipment’s lifespan by keeping it operating at up to 95 percent of original efficiency. And because a well-maintained HVAC system will have lower energy demands, it reduces energy costs.
Prevent Costly Breakdowns and Extend Your Equipment’s Life
Routine maintenance catches small problems that, if left unchecked, could become major ones. Fixing a small problem usually costs a lot less than the big ones.
Your HVAC system is, at its heart, a mechanical system. Routine maintenance will help extend the life of that system.
Better System Performance
When your system receives the regular inspections, cleaning, and adjustments it needs, it performs more efficiently and effectively. Should a problem develop, your technician will find and correct it during a routine inspection before you end up with costly component failures or worse.
Priority Emergency Service
And even when equipment breaks down and leaves you without heating or cooling (often at the height of the season when contractors have full schedules), you don’t have to wait in line for emergency service and endure unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience. When you have a service agreement, you are on the preferred list for the service company. They will bump you to the head of the line or as close as possible. That goes for busy periods, nights, and weekends, too.
A maintenance plan saves you not only time and hassles but also money. The monthly fee you invest in your maintenance plan will pay you back in the form of discounts on parts and labor. When you decide to upgrade to a new system, you’ll receive a discount on the equipment purchase price.
Greater Peace of Mind
When you sign up for a planned maintenance program with a trusted HVAC specialist, you’ll avoid the worry of finding a knowledgeable and experienced contractor in an emergency situation. You can also rest easy knowing you’ll receive the highest level of service and professionalism whether it’s for routine care or an emergency visit.
Use It to Keep Your System Running in Top Condition
You take your car in to have the oil changed every 3,000 miles to keep it in good shape. Likewise, you must maintain a seasonal HVAC maintenance plan to keep your heating and cooling equipment in top condition. Here’s what a checkup from an HVAC technician looks like:
Check thermostat settings
The technician may recommend you upgrade to a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. He or she also ensures you’re using it to maximize energy savings while you’re away.
Air filter swap
This seasonal HVAC maintenance step promotes lower energy consumption and decreased wear and tear in the coming season. Plan to change the filter yourself every 1-3 months or as needed between formal tune-ups.
Tighten electrical connections
Loose connections can result in unsafe operation and reduce the lifespan of the equipment. Along with the step, the technician also measures the motor voltage and current.
Lubricate moving parts
Lubrication decreases friction, which lowers energy consumption and reduces wear and tear.
Check the condensate drain
Air conditioners and condensing furnaces create condensate, which must be cleared away. The technician checks that the drain is clear and working properly.
Inspect system controls
By checking the start cycle, operation and shutdown sequence, the technician ensures safe and correct operation.
Adjust blower motor
Cleaning and balancing blower components can increase efficiency by up to 15 percent.
Clean the coils (cooling only)
Air conditioners and heat pumps have evaporator and condenser coils that collect dust over time. Annual cleaning reduces energy costs and increases the lifespan of the equipment.
Check refrigerant level (cooling only)
Too much or too little refrigerant can reduce efficiency. If the hose is leaking, the technician repairs the leak and tops off the refrigerant charge.
Inspect gas connections, pressure, burner combustion and the heat exchanger (heating only)
Problems in these areas can result in unsafe operation and lower efficiency.
The spring is the best time to schedule seasonal HVAC maintenance for your air conditioner, while the fall is when you should have your furnace tuned up.
Peace Of Mind With Stack’s Comfort Club Maintenance Program
Taking advantage of Stack Heating & Cooling’s Comfort Club Maintenance Program can extend these benefits even further.
When your HVAC system is clean, and buildup is kept in check, your heating system can operate a peak capacity. A regular maintenance program should include a complete evaluation of your system, and it helps to ensure that dirt buildup is prevented from increasing the system’s energy consumption, as well as warding off potential problems. Neglecting this maintenance can lead to increased repairs, decreased efficiency, and higher energy bills.
Stack Heating & Cooling’s expert technicians provide comprehensive care, and we encourage homeowners to take advantage of our Comfort Club Maintenance Program to extend the savings and comfort of regular service. Our program includes five primary benefits.
Stack’s Five Primary Maintenance Plan Benefits
- Your system is guaranteed priority placement in our fall and spring maintenance schedule. And you get peace of mind, knowing that you’re giving your system the best care possible to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently.
- We never charge our Comfort Club customers overtime fees if your system should ever require a repair. We offer this discount because we value you as a customer.
- If your heating equipment ever fails suddenly, you become a priority customer. Participation in the Comfort Club lets you rest easy, knowing that you won’t be left for days without heat in the middle of a harsh Ohio winter.
- We offer Comfort Club customers an additional perk discount via a discount for diagnostic services.
To learn more about the benefits of a planned HVAC maintenance program, contact the northeast Ohio home comfort pros at Stack Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electric. Find out how you can enhance the investment you make in regular maintenance.