HVAC Preventive Maintenance: Worth a Pound of Cure

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and no where does that ring truer than when you’re getting ready to send your child back to school. You’ll make sure they have the supplies they need, make sure they’re getting a good night’s sleep, and that they have a healthy breakfast before they leave. All of the planning and preparation that goes into a new year and new morning routine for your whole family saves your schedule and your sanity as you move into the school year. The same can be said about taking care of your heating & air conditioning (HVAC) unit.

We most often notice when they’re not functioning, “Honey, why is it 90 degrees in here?!”, it can be difficult to notice when all they really need is a little love, rather than a full-blown replacement. That’s where BNG wants to help you out – to save your schedule, sanity, and your checkbook – as we move into fall.

An ounce of prevention…

Your ideal HVAC maintenance plan will depend on two things: how sophisticated your system is, and the type of environment it’ll be working in. A school will need a much larger, much more powerful system than your home, for example, because it’ll be required to function at it’s peak during specific months and daily hours and cool a much larger area. Determining your maintenance plan may sound complicated, but it’s as simple as reading your unit’s instruction manual (no, we’re not kidding!). Manufacturers have taken the time to test each part of your unit, and the manual isn’t included just so you have something to fill that weird drawer under your oven with. If you need a new copy of your unit’s manual, you can usually purchase them online from the manufacturer by selecting your model.

When you do an inspection on your unit, make sure you’re taking a look at things like the coils, blower assembly, motor and filters, and replace or clean each one as needed.

… is worth a pound of cure.

Why are we putting so much emphasis on preventive maintenance? As with most things in life, it’s all about the money.

Say the average cost of a new HVAC unit is $4,000, with a lifespan of 10 years. If you do routine maintenance on your unit, calling an expert when necessary, you’ll replace it after 10 great years for a system cost of around $10,000. You also spend a total of 3 days or so over the course of 10 years waiting for repairs. That’s a lot of money and time, but consider the alternative. You don’t take care of your $4,000 unit like you should, and it fails around year 5. You replace it, and once again don’t keep up with it – waiting for the repair man takes time and money! – so it needs to be replaced again after year 10. That’s $12,000 already, $2,000 more than if you had just paid maintenance costs in the first place, not to mention the time and comfort you’ll waste spending days in excessive heat or cold, waiting for your new units to be installed.

When should you do preventive maintenance?

For systems that both heat and cool, check in with them in the spring and fall, while the weather is still between seasons. That way you won’t be left scrambling in extreme heat or cold to fix your unit. To remember when it’s time for maintenance, just tie it to the check-ins you’re already doing – spring cleaning and back to school preparation.

If you only have a air conditioning unit, check it once a year, before you really need it. Once again, spring is a great time to take care of this.

The best way to determine if your unit should just receive standard maintenance or if it’s ready to be replaced is by doing a lifecycle analysis of your HVAC system. Your unit will be inspected to determine which plan is best suited for your current and future HVAC needs.

Of course, all that being said, a preventive maintenance plan is only as good as the people you have carrying it out. That’s where BNG comes in. We have 150 years of combined experience serving you. We want you to make your home as comfortable as possible because we know you have better things to worry about than your HVAC system, like getting your kids to school on time. Contact us at one of our four locations to get a free estimate from our expert technicians on service or repair.

Cold Weather Safety

Brrrr! Cold and wind in Boonville, Newburgh, Rockport, and Evansville this winter will cause all of us to feel the pinch in our wallets as it will cost more to keep our homes and businesses warm. Certainly all the energy-saving tips you have learned over the years are still valid: turn your thermostat down when you are away from home, insulate your walls and attic, seal up all the cracks in your windows and doors, change out your older inefficient furnace for a new more energy-efficient one, and of course, wear warm clothes and blankets!

But while you are trying to stay warm, don’t neglect safety! Make sure that your heating system has been professionally cleaned and tuned-up so that it is running at its best. Regular maintenance by a professional heating & air conditioning technician can prevent breakdowns at inconvenient times–like weekends, the middle of the night, and on the coldest and windiest days of the winter! You sure don’t want to be without heat when those cold winds are blowing! Maintenance of your heating system is money well-spent, because your technician can spot issues that can affect your family’s safety, too, such as the potential for Carbon Monoxide production from a poorly-maintained or defective furnace.

Make sure Kidde CO detectoryou have a working Carbon Monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially in sleeping areas. The ones sold in the big box stores give you some very basic protection, but the higher quality models, such as the Kidde model sold by BNG Heating & Cooling, gives you a digital readout of the Carbon Monoxide level in your home, and detects it at a much lower concentration than the basic models. This means your family is better protected from this dangerous,  odorless gas.

BNG also provides and installs smoke detectors that fit INSIDE the ductwork of your heating system, detecting smoke at very low levels and shutting down your HVAC system to keep the deadly smoke from spreading throughout your home. Ask your technician about it!