When did you last have your heating and cooling system serviced? If it’s been more than a year since the last maintenance, it’s time to call your local HVAC professional.

A serviced HVAC system functions like a well-oiled machine. It renders optimal performance and lasts longer. More importantly, it keeps your home at perfect temperature all year round. And this begs the question: how often should you get your HVAC serviced? Let’s figure it out!

What’s HVAC Maintenance?

Keeping a home warm and cozy is the dream of every homeowner. And to achieve that, having a robust, highly functional HVAC system is paramount.

That begins with scheduling routine HVAC system maintenance—the process of servicing the heater, cooling, and heating system by inspecting, testing, cleaning, and even repairing and replacing faulty components in the system.

How Often Should You Have Your HVAC System Maintained?

Most homeowners grapple with this question.

The truth is, there’s no definitive answer to this question, as the frequency of servicing depends on many factors, including the region and age of the system. For instance, if your HVAC system is new, servicing it once a year will suffice.

However, if your system is aging or showing signs of breakdown, the frequency of HVAC maintenance should be higher. If you live in a region like Alaska or North Dakota, where the system is likely in use all year round, you may need to have it serviced more than once a year.

When Should You Service It?

Experts agree you should have your heating and cooling system serviced at least once a year. But when should you call your local HVAC contractor?

As a homeowner, the last thing you want is a faulty system in the midst of summer or winter. For this reason, you’ll want it serviced before the summer heat kicks in or winter cold starts penetrating window glass. The best scenario is to have the heating system serviced in the fall and the air conditioning checked in the spring.

What Will the HVAC Technician Do During Maintenance?

A technician will evaluate your HVAC system, including the internal and external components, and repair and replace the faulty parts.

As the HVAC professional performs a tune-up on your heating and cooling system, they’ll check and double-check everything connected to the system to ensure it’s operating optimally. Ideally, a typical HVAC tune-up would include the following.

  • Thermostat maintenance
  • Checking compressors and heating components
  • Replacing furnace filters and the AC unit
  • Cleaning condenser coils
  • Cleaning vents and drains
  • Cleaning the ducts
  • Changing refrigerant
  • Testing gas levels

A typical inspection should take 2-3 hours, though this number can vary depending on many factors, including the type and size of the heating system. Also, HVAC servicing can take longer if the system has not been serviced for a long time.

How Much Does an HVAC Maintenance Cost?

The cost of maintaining your HVAC system varies based on a number of factors, such as the type, size, and age of the system. However, on average, the HVAC tune-up cost hovers around $200, excluding repairs or component replacement costs.

On the low end, you may pay as little as $50 for basic inspection. On the higher end, homeowners can expect to pay upward of $500, particularly if the unit is in bad shape and various components need to be repaired or replaced.

When should you pay for HVAC maintenance?

Reputable companies require you to pay an “upfront fee” as a protection of their investment in your job. A savvy technician will use an HVAC service software solution that allows them to create and send estimates from anywhere. These programs enable technicians to provide flexible estimates, create and send invoices for completed work, and simplify the payment process through eSign options and QuickBooks integration.

The Bottom Line

For your HVAC system to operate optimally and last longer, it needs to be maintained. Experts recommend having it maintained at least once a year. However, if your system is aging or showing signs of breakdown, maintaining it at least twice a year will ensure it operates optimally.