Understanding The Costs Of HVAC Maintenance
Unless you are blessed with naturally cool temperatures all year round, you’ve probably enjoyed the benefits of air conditioning at some point. Whether it is for your home or business, the importance of HVAC maintenance is paramount. Planning for HVAC maintenance can save you time and money in the end.
The cost of HVAC maintenance is something that all homeowners will need to budget for. But, remember, not all systems are built the same way. So it’s important to know what you are spending money on. HVAC system maintenance costs aren’t new, but they do get overlooked. This is unfortunate because they can save you a great deal of cash on your energy bills over the long haul. You just need to take the time to learn more about them and what to expect.
The importance of HVAC maintenance is clear, but before you dive into the costs of HVAC maintenance it’s essential to know what you’re looking at. This can be especially confusing if you’re not familiar with the terminology used. Here, we’ll break down what the terms mean and why they matter.
When calculating the cost of a replacement HVAC system for your home, you need to consider maintenance costs, this includes labor and your technician will have a flat rate or an hourly rate. Also included in your total cost would be parts to keep your heating system or AC system working properly. Regular maintenance by a professional can help you to avoid major repairs. Plus, this is a move that will also extend the life of your existing HVAC equipment. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common for people to replace their HVAC systems early due to a lack of knowledge on the topic. And that is because they weren’t aware of all the hidden costs associated with a new system. Such costs include installation fees, attic reinstallation fees, or additional ductwork costs.
There are still plenty of people who dread the idea of an HVAC inspection. You might not know what is involved in this process. But you will come to understand why it is important for one to have their unit inspected regularly. If you want to save money on heating and air conditioning, one of the best things you can do is to get an HVAC maintenance check-up at least once a year. Even if it’s just for a simple tune-up.
Let’s look at some of the HVAC repairs you might want to keep top of mind.
Air Duct And Vent Maintenance
Air ductwork is a type of mechanical ventilation that runs through buildings to help regulate and maintain indoor air quality. This is the part of your maintenance that often incorporates elements such as fans and ducts. The cost of installing and maintaining these systems can vary greatly. The total cost depends on the size and design of the structure, as well as the materials and other features that are incorporated into the system. And this goes for both home and commercial heating and cooling systems. An HVAC company will charge you anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to replace your vents or ducts if they need to be replaced.
You can also practice some preventative maintenance measures outside of your routine maintenance done by a professional HVAC technician. You can do simple duct cleaning yourself around the house. This practice will help to keep you away from some major repairs and keep your system in shape.
Plus, there are some simple tips that you can use to know whether or not you need duct cleaning or venting cleaning. Pay attention to the unit. And that is both the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. If you can see anything on it like mold or dust, then that means that you are due for a cleaning. You really don’t want a mold problem to take root in your home. It is very nasty work to get rid of it. And mold can spread like fire throughout your home before you know it. Keep in mind that you won’t always be able to see the mold from the vents. So a great way to know if there is any mold inside is checking for a musty odor. If you see mold, then you need to schedule some emergency service. Today, getting mold out of your air ducts can run you anywhere from $500 to upwards of $5,000.
When it comes to dust, though, dirty filters are easier to see. So once you see that dust start to collect around, a little TLC will go a long way to help you avoid more significant repairs. Another great way to detect dirty filters is by the amount of visible dust in your home. If you notice that you have to dust more frequently, it could be pointing to your filters. It is a good idea to get your central AC cleaned right after you do any remodeling on your home. Remodeling is dirty work, and a lot of dust can get caught in your vents in the process.
Sometimes you will even see insects. Or you will find evidence of rodents in and around your AC Unit or HVAC system. This is a sure sign that you are due for a cleaning. Not only does this mean that your air filters, vents, and ducts are dirty, it also means that the little critters can make their way into your home or even cause additional damage that will only add to your repair costs.
Another way that dirty ducts and vents can rack up your cost is through your energy bills. A dirty unit does not give you energy efficiency. Compare your energy bills from year to year. If you see that you are paying more on your energy bill than the same period the year before, you should check on those vents. That’s where your annual maintenance visits come into play.
Replacing Your Heat Pumps
As the weather starts to change from warm to cool, a lot of people will have to think about heating their homes. After fall, there will be winter, and with it comes the chilly weather. If you live in a colder climate, you don’t want to be having any problems with your heat pumps or your furnace throughout the colder months.
A variety of factors will affect the cost of an HVAC system. The make and model of the condenser, the manufacturer’s recommended replacement time, and other factors also affect your overall cost. As the homeowner, you need to take into account things like efficiency level. You should also consider the labor cost for a contractor or an HVAC company, as well as the size of the unit.
An element like your condenser fan motor is vital to the effective performance of your air conditioner. And the average cost that HVAC technicians charge ranges from about $300 to $600. And that is outside of the installation cost that the HVAC service provider will charge. As it relates to the setup, the condenser fan motor is the part of the unit that is outside. It is responsible for cooling the refrigerant in your AC and heating systems. While the evaporator coil takes care of absorbing the heat inside your house. If you find that your evaporator coil has a leak, then the best thing that you can do is to replace it.
If you notice that your indoor coil or condenser coil is dirty, you can simply clean them. Having clean condenser coils will save you a lot of money. Dirty coils just overwork your system and rack up your energy consumption.
Off the bat, installing a heat pump will cost you less than installing a furnace. But the furnace can last you up to 20 years! While heat pumps have a lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, if you just need a one-time maintenance visit to get your coils cleaned, the HVAC maintenance cost will fall between $100 and $400.
So setting up annual AC maintenance in your HVAC service contracts not only gets the necessary repairs done, it is also one of the most important factors that help to stabilize your annual maintenance cost.
Checking On Your AC Capacitor
Your AC capacitor is part of the outdoor aspect of your AC or heating unit that manages the electrical components. The capacitor is responsible for transferring energy throughout your AC system. Sometimes faults with your electric company like voltage issues or power surges can damage your capacitor.
So how can you tell if something is wrong with your capacitor? Check to see if your air conditioner is making a humming sound. That could be a sign that you need a new capacitor. Replacement costs for capacitors range from around $120 to $250. Under normal circumstances, a capacitor can last for more than 10 years.
Honestly speaking, a lot of customers don’t know their way around the electrical components of their HVAC system. People get confused by the circuit board and the difference in the color of the wiring. And that’s okay because electricity is nothing to play with. So if you are unsure then get a professional second opinion from your trusted maintenance service.
Your HVAC Maintenance Plan
Another area that you can look for savings is in your HVAC maintenance plans. This is also another area where you can seek a second opinion if the price is not right for you. HVAC servicing is in high demand right now. So the market is very competitive. So be sure to ask all the necessary questions related to things like manufacturer warranties and general air conditioner maintenance. You want to make sure that the package you get provides you with priority service if needed.
When thinking about HVAC maintenance for things like minor tune-ups, you’re looking at up to $200. An example of a minor tune-up would be something like checking on your air filter or making sure that your blower motor and belts are working properly. From refrigerant leaks to the cost of repairs for entire HVAC units, the national average hourly rate that an HVAC contractor will charge is between $75 and $150. This would cover the entire unit. So both your heating and cooling system. Plus, you should also consider the one-time charge that applies for an emergency or service call. Generally, the service call charge falls between $75 and $200. And this fee, in most cases, is usually put towards the first hour of service.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, across the United States, HVAC and air conditioner repairs comes up to roughly . That’s what it takes to keep the cool air flowing in the summer and keep your home warm in the winter. The last thing that anyone wants to do is to have to think about finding replacement parts for their HVAC system. The goal is to have your AC unit in tip-top shape. The best way to do that is to get an AC tune-up regularly. Remember there’s no reason you can’t cut your costs by taking on some of the smaller projects like dusting on your own. However, for more technical jobs like , , and replacements, .