POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

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How often do you service your HVAC system (heating and cooling)

Twice a year - once for heating, once for cooling
31
28%
Once a year
18
16%
If it ain't broken, don't fix it
62
56%
 
Total votes: 111

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Chan_va
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POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Chan_va »

I live in a part of the country where both the home heating and cooling systems get a good workout through the course of the year. So far, I have been following the -"if it ain't broken, don't fix it" theory, and haven't touched the system (apart from changing filters) in 5 years. Is that smart? Or does any mechanical system need to be serviced often?
Iorek
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Iorek »

We have a pretty old system so I've been happy to pay the guys to come out once a year and take a look at the gas boiler and the refrigerant levels in the AC. (ETA: also availability of emergency service and a discount on parts is another reason we have the service contract).
Last edited by Iorek on Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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OAG
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by OAG »

10 year old system - has not been touched in 9 years (filters excepted) - still chugging along - no changes noticed in energy cost either.
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flyingbison
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by flyingbison »

We have a maintenance agreement for twice a year, mainly because it includes 24-hour emergency service at the regular rate, rather than the after hours rate.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

I recently put in a new Honeywell Evolution system, the local utility technician said it they touched it, it would void the warranty, so just change the filter every 3 months and call them in 5 years for a check-up.
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random_walker_77
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by random_walker_77 »

I've been more of a "if it ain't broke..."

That said, I've watched heating and a/c systems get serviced. From what I can tell, the most important things are:

* Gas forced air heating: check that the flames burn blue, and that there's no obvious corrosion in the burn chamber. Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms in your house (one low on each floor, preferably close to where you sleep)

* a/c: check that the air coming out of the vents is cold (15+ degree drop). Hose off the outside coils if they're getting dirty

I do the above myself every year or two.

The pros also check for signs of impending failure. From what I remember seeing, they tighten all the screws and electrical connections. They checked the current levels going through the motors. They checked the temp delta going in and out of the a/c compressor. And they checked the relay/"contactor" for black carbonization, which indicates arc-ing and imminent failure, and visually checked that the capacitors weren't bulging.
sscritic
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by sscritic »

Sure there is!

Since I live where neither is essential and I am too cheap to run either, I am also too cheap to service what never gets used.
jebmke
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by jebmke »

We have a heat pump system. In our area, without a contract (which isn't expensive) there is a low probability that you will be able to get a timely service call if your system fails during a cold/hot spell. With the contract they also only bill straight time no matter when they come out on a service call.

We get the heat exchanger cleaned each time. In the summer they test the condensate pump to make sure it is pumping the condensate out of the crawlspace.
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cheese_breath
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by cheese_breath »

Bought new furance and AC in 2009 when government was giving us money to replace the old ones. Haven't touched either one since except new furnace filters. Prior furnace was 29 years old and never touched it except for filters. Prior AC was 24 years old and never touched it either except for one fuse replacement and Freon recharge.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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pennstater2005
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by pennstater2005 »

35 year old gas furnace. It's serviced yearly in the fall. It's also the size of a small car. I'll keep it until it dies, just like a car.
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Sheepdog
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Sheepdog »

I check my gas furnace annually, but my AC biannually. Burner efficiency saves money. However, the furnace inspection is for safety as much as for burner efficiency, if not more so. One inspection found a leak in the firebox thereby allowing carbon monoxide to enter the home. How important was that inspection?
Replacing the firebox is not practical, so I replaced the furnace.
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Rodc
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Rodc »

Heating by oil fired boiler. Should be serviced every year, but sometimes we miss by several month. As noted above for safety as much as anything else.

AC only if needed.
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chaz
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by chaz »

Not often.
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Spirit Rider
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Spirit Rider »

How about once a year and If it ain't broke, don't fix it(mostly). I have two systems.

Once a year - FHW oil burner(26 yrs), serviced professionally. I don't mess with things that can generate CO.

Every 3-5 years - mini-split AC(18 years). Thought prices were ridiculous, learned enough to be dangerous (including EPA certification), installed myself. Checked pressures/operating efficiency first couple of years, then declining over time. Haven't thrown gauges on in 5-6 years. Now just check outlet temp differential when I feel like it and clean the condenser coils every few years.
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Random Musings
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Random Musings »

As needed - 2 times in 15 years for the heating and 1 time in 15 years for the a/c.

RM
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Nestegg_User
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Nestegg_User »

OTHER --- every two years: A/C -insure coils cleaned, refrigerant levels good; furnace - clean ignitor etc , verify coils and fan good
usually combine in same year

(I look at it like some vehicle maintinence-- somewhat overkill every year, but extends life (especially ignitors, etc) if every other year. and it makes it more likely not to have failure due to simple PM issues.)
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Jay69
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Jay69 »

Our furnace is circa 1984, the draft motor has 2 spots for oil, its noted to oil one time a year so that's what I do.

I have come to know our furnace very well over the years fixing this and replacing that. It used to love to eat a hot surface igniter every year or two, think I found a good one this last time, I hope anyway!
"Out of clutter, find simplicity” Albert Einstein
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dratkinson
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by dratkinson »

Yearly, as I put it into service. Oil/filter for heater. Oil/cleaning for swamp cooler.
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jeffyscott
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by jeffyscott »

I am in transition, so can't answer. Had done nothing with A/C and maybe 2-3 furnace checks done in 16 years. We also had to have furnace blower replaced once. Last fall I signed up for a twice per year plan, furnace in fall and A/C in spring, figuring the systems are old and maybe some preventive maintenance will keep them going longer? The plan also includes discounts on any service that might be needed.
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MathWizard
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by MathWizard »

If you live where it gets cold enough to freeze the pipes, you want the heating checked.

I once had the heat go while on a Christmas vaction, and came home to bust pipes.
That is a lot more expensive than decades of inspections.

The local HVAC service is only about 50% more to do both AC and heating so we do both.
It ends up being under $100/year.
jlawrence01
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by jlawrence01 »

Once a year, I pay a HVAC technician about $65 to do three things:

1) Check and clean the forced air gas furnace.
2) Clean the air conditioning unit.
3) Check ALL gas appliances for gas leaks.

It is worth every penny of it and is best done in the "shoulder seasons."
jlawrence01
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by jlawrence01 »

Once a year, I pay a HVAC technician about $65 to do three things:

1) Check and clean the forced air gas furnace.
2) Clean the air conditioning unit.
3) Check ALL gas appliances for gas leaks.

It is worth every penny of it and is best done in the "shoulder seasons."
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Cosmo
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Re: POLL - how often do you service your HVAC system?

Post by Cosmo »

No servicing is necessary. Just change the filters and keep the compressor outside free of grass and leaves.
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