Do I really need to have my furnace and air conditioner checked twice a year?

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Do I really need to have my furnace and air conditioner checked twice a year?

So here’s my little secret. I’ve worked at a heating and air company for five years and I have never had my heating or cooling system inspected. To be completely honest, I don’t think it was ever inspected and my unit is ten years old. In my mind, as long as the air kicked on when I adjusted the thermostat, I was happy to live in my blissful world of “if it’s not broken, don’t touch it.” But I knew better and eventually the little voice of worry in the back of my mind broke through and I booked an appointment to have Tom come out and check my system. Since I’m being completely honest I was terrified of what was going to happen. I had this scenario in my mind that I would have to replace my system right then and there, a project I had not budgeted or planned for.

What happened was the exact opposite. Having my HVAC system checked out was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done as a home owner.

Prior to the check, I only knew a few things about the HVAC system in my home, which was:

  1. I am supposed to change my air filters every month.
  2. I shouldn’t keep doors closed off to rooms because it could disrupt the air flow for the returns.
  3. I have an A/C unit outside and a furnace in the attic.

That was my extensive list of knowledge on HVAC. I wanted to learn and understand more, so when Tom arrived I asked if I could follow him through the entire check and he happily agreed. I am not a technically minded person but by the time he left, I really felt like I understood how the heating and cooling process in my home worked. It had never even dawned on me that the blower motor in the furnace was utilized year round by the AC unit outside. Plus, if I had someone come out sooner, I would have discovered that the refrigerant level was a little low and had been causing my system to work harder and longer than it needed too. I had no idea that my irrational fear of having the unit checked out could have actually been costing me more money.

Tom is taking pressure and temperature readings on my HVAC unit during a maintenance check.

Having my system checked out by Tom gave me such peace of mind. He provided me with helpful information and showed me where my unit should be performing and how it actually was performing. I know that I will have to replace my system within the next year; however, this is not something that scares me anymore. Now I can proactively plan to replace my system on my terms, and not the alternative of having to come home some day to finding that my heat won’t come on.