AC Maintenance Services in Houston
With the heat and humidity that we endure in Houston for nearly eight months out of the year, our air conditioning systems are easily the most essential appliance in our homes during that time.
For those of us who have bravely endured the sheer misery of a south Texas July or August year after year, AC can’t even be considered a luxury. It must be regarded as an essential home component, no less critical than a stove, refrigerator, or water heater.
Despite all they do for us, we homeowners take our AC systems for granted, leaving them to fend for themselves, with little to no attention paid to their care or maintenance. HVAC systems require a minimum yearly maintenance service call to operate at peak performance and maximum efficiency during the most prolonged and hottest summer days.
Why is Professional HVAC Maintenance So Important?
Regular heating and air conditioning maintenance keeps your system operating as it should. During an HVAC maintenance service call, Nick’s licensed and skilled HVAC technicians will perform several tasks to bring your system up to speed for the summer season.
How Often Should HVAC Maintenance Be Performed?
Most HVAC equipment manufacturers, as well as professional HVAC companies, recommend a minimum of one general HVAC maintenance service each year. If you live in a climate where your system gets tough usage in both the summer and winter, a twice-a-year maintenance plan may work better to keep it at its peak.
The homeowner should check air filters at least monthly—ask your Nick’s Air Conditioning technician to show you where yours are and how to change them. Depending on the condition of your HVAC system, and factors like how much cooking you do or whether you smoke in the house, you may need to replace air filters every month or two.
We’ll dive a little deeper into the absolute importance of clean air filters when it comes to the overall health of your HVAC system and your family a few paragraphs down.
When is the Best Time of Year to Perform HVAC Maintenance?
Coming off the end of a hard-use season, post-summer or post-winter is the most convenient time for a homeowner to perform annual HVAC maintenance. It also works well for your professional HVAC companies, like Nick’s, who experience a downturn in service calls during seasons of lower HVAC demand.
Finding an open slot to schedule your next HVAC maintenance call will be a snap if you call Nick’s during the spring and fall months to book it.
What Services Are Included with HVAC Maintenance?
We’ll Clean the HVAC System Air Filters.
The most crucial maintenance task any technician or homeowner can perform on your HVAC system is regularly changing the air filters. Depending on the configuration of your system, you may have one large filter near the central fan blower, or there could be several smaller filters in return vents throughout the home.
Dirt, dust, mildew, pet dander, hair, skin flakes, and cooking smoke all get pulled into and trapped by your HVAC filters, making it more difficult for air to pass through them, causing your AC unit to work harder. Changing your HVAC system’s air filters can lower your monthly energy bill by 15 – 30%, and new filters reduce the airborne dust in the home.
Your Nick’s Air Conditioning technician will be happy to show you where your HVAC air filters are and how to change them between service calls. Most HVAC system manufacturers recommend changing air filters every six months, but every home differs. Be sure to check your filter(s) once a month and change them when they look dirty.
We’ll Check Refrigerant Levels and Look for Leaks.
The liquid refrigerant is the lifeblood of your HVAC system, and without the proper amount being distributed at the appropriate pressure, it won’t take long to realize something is wrong. Too little refrigerant in your system means it’s always mildly humid and uncomfortable, with lukewarm air blowing from the vents.
Too much refrigerant causes the motors within the AC unit to overwork to the point that they generate their own heat, which causes hot air to blow into the living space. By maintaining your HVAC system regularly, your technician will ensure that your system carries the proper amount of refrigerant.
Unlike changing air filters, checking and adding liquid refrigerant is not a task for the do-it-yourselfer. It requires a manifold gauge that measures the pressure of refrigerants, can remove excess or contaminated refrigerants from a system, and can be used to add refrigerant.
We’ll Visually Inspect the Condenser Coil.
Your HVAC system’s condenser coil has the unenviable task of spending its entire life in your backyard, often in direct sunlight, working hard to keep your home comfortable. The condenser coil’s job is to allow the refrigerant space to circulate and discharge the heat it picked up from inside the house into the atmosphere. Due to its being located outside the home, your AC unit is constantly under assault from the sun and wind, rain, leaves, dirt, sand, and even bugs.
When enough dirt and debris build up on the fins of the condenser coil, much of the heat that the coil should dissipate into the atmosphere ends up being directed back into the home. Cleaning the condenser coil removes the dirt and built-up grime from the fan and fins, allowing the refrigerant to return to its heat-removing liquid state. This allows your air conditioner to continue cooling your home at peak performance and maximum efficiency.
We’ll Make Sure Your HVAC Ductwork is Sealed.
One of the most often overlooked components of your home’s comfort systems is the ductwork that delivers your treated air. Ductwork comes in two types; formed sheet metal made of galvanized steel or aluminum is generally used for plenums and long runs across an attic. Flexible ductwork (flex-duct) moves air from the plenum and out to the individual vents throughout the home. Flex-duct is exceptionally durable, as it must be to survive multiple summers in Houston attics, and is much easier to install than rigid metal ductwork.
We’ll inspect all exposed ductwork, looking for any tears in the outer plastic sheeting that covers the duct’s wire inner core that may allow untreated attic air to be distributed into the home. Signs of a torn or otherwise damaged flex-duct are:
- Excessive dust around the house.
- Low airflow from HVAC vents.
- Spikes in your energy bills.
One torn duct in a hot attic can raise your monthly energy bill by 30%, and your AC unit’s extra wear and tear will likely condemn it to premature death.
And This is Just the Start!
Nick’s Air Conditioning works from a 32-point checklist of items related to bettering your HVAC system’s performance, efficiency, and lifespan that includes:
- Inspect Bearings for Wear & Lubricate
- Test the Thermostat for Proper Operation & Accuracy, Calibrate, and Level Where Needed.
- Inspect Electrical Wiring and Disconnect Box for Proper Rating and Installation.
- Condenser Coil Cleaning, Inspect, and Test Electrical Capacitors.
- Check for any Exposed Wiring.
Why Should I Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Call?
How many years would you drive your car without getting an oil change or the tires rotated?
Essential, routine maintenance is crucial to all mechanical devices, with an HVAC system being no different from your car. If you want your HVAC system to operate at peak performance and maximum efficiency and last long after the warranty runs out, you must maintain it.
How Long Should an HVAC System Last?
High-quality HVAC systems can have a lifespan of fifteen to twenty years. But proper AC maintenance is critical to get as many years as possible from the unit. It will ultimately determine how long an AC unit will last. Indeed, the more often you use the system, the more wear-and-tear it withstands. A system can endure for decades in a temperature region such as Maine. But it won’t last nearly as long down here in Houston.
Nick’s Plumbing Can Help with Your Annual HVAC Maintenance!
Nick’s Air Conditioning are your local HVAC maintenance experts that will keep your air conditioning and heating systems working to their full potential all year round. Not only does Nick’s offer comprehensive HVAC maintenance services, but we also offer access to plumbing maintenance services through our sister company, Nick’s Plumbing.
Ensure your home is protected from severe and unexpected HVAC and plumbing issues with Nick’s HVAC and Plumbing Maintenance VIP Plan Membership. This VIP Plan offers yearly maintenance and inspection of both plumbing and HVAC equipment, and unlocks benefits exclusive to VIP Plan members, like 15% savings on future repairs to either system.
To find out more about setting up an HVAC maintenance appointment or enroll in our Maintenance VIP Plan, call Nick’s Air Conditioning today. We’re on the Way!