Do you have your home HVAC system maintained?

Messages
1,804
Location
San Antonio, TX
Just wondering how many people have their AC system maintained yearly by a professional. I have owned a home since 2012 and I only ever called an HVAC guy when my system was not working properly to to have them sell me a new unit. I had two new units installed at my duplex in 2016 and 2018 and I just called had a service done on them last week. I have not done anything to my house yet and not sure that I will as they system is 23 years old and super loud and inefficient. Im saving my pennies for a new one. Thinking about getting a nice two stage or variable unit but I will make that decision when I see how much they cost. I bet theyre high dollar.
 
Messages
7,708
Location
The Midwest
My parents have a variable AC at their home. The system cost $13k. It's always on in the summer which is great as it really draws humidity out of the air. So it will be comfortable at 77 for an older woman(mom) while my dad doesn't wanna feel might . You don't do such a system for energy savings or reliability, only comfort.
 

E150GT

Thread starter
Messages
1,804
Location
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted by skyactiv
My parents have a variable AC at their home. The system cost $13k. It's always on in the summer which is great as it really draws humidity out of the air. So it will be comfortable at 77 for an older woman(mom) while my dad doesn't wanna feel might . You don't do such a system for energy savings or reliability, only comfort.
Thats what I have read. Just last night my wife complained it was hot in the bedroom. The house was 74. I am sure its because it runs so little. I think its oversized. 3.5 tons on a well insulated 1900 sq ft house. I got a hygrometer and it shows about 55% humidity. That seems to be ok from what I read.
 
Messages
484
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I have an annual service as part of the 10 year warranty on the unit (installed in 2017). It's a heat pump so it also is used in the winter months. Trust me you don't the unit failing in the middle of the summer here in Phoenix.
 
Messages
1,099
Location
Champa Bay
Heres my two cents on that, HVAC companies don't really make much money on Maintenance contracts, a lot of the bigger companies will send their least experienced guy who gets paid the least to basically clean your drain line (which you can do yourself) or try to sell you a bunch of bells and whistles you don't really need, ( UV lights, surge protectors, duct disinfecting sprays and whatever else is out there for them to make their trip worthwhile).
 
Messages
1,650
Location
TX, USA
I used to have HVAC person came once a year until I am not sure what happened to him. But during that time, I watched what he was doing. The most important thing to do is wash the outside condenser once a year (at least). It will make the AC runs better and cooler. I also check all the capacitors with capacitance-meter when I opened the AC in the spring. I bought some Algae prevention tablets and drop it in the bottom pan of the evaporator. Make sure the drain pipe is not clogged (blow air into it). Other than that, make sure the AC filter is changed frequently (depends on what type of filter used) to keep the evaporator clean. Once every 2-3 years, I call somebody to check and make sure the refrigerant pressure is good and the Amp draw is within range. So, no I don't have a pro maintenance but I DIY.
 
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Messages
956
Location
Under the Hood
Any Motor on a Furnace or Air Conditioner (or Refrigerator) will have a Start Capacitor. They are easy to Check and Replace using a Multi-Meter. I would suggest everyone have a 'spare' (only cost $12.00) I hear they go bad frequently (A/C Units sitting outside) in the South because of the heat.
 
Messages
3,015
Location
America
Originally Posted by MasterSolenoid
Any Motor on a Furnace or Air Conditioner (or Refrigerator) will have a Start Capacitor. They are easy to Check and Replace using a Multi-Meter. I would suggest everyone have a 'spare' (only cost $12.00) I hear they go bad frequently (A/C Units sitting outside) in the South because of the heat.
Very good advice.
 
Messages
425
Location
Daytona Beach
$13k for a new unit is way too much. Mine was installed 3 years ago with Bryant heat pump, two stage heating and cooling, programmable thermostat, UV Lamp (a good idea if prone to mold), and two additional cold air returns, all for $7100. It came with a free 2 year service contract, so I let them do that to see how it went. I did not like the fact that each time they checked the Freon pressures, they would waste a lot of it to the atmosphere. The only other thing was to clean the drain line and check the current draw on the compressor. Needless to say, I did not continue the plan after the free period. I asked them if the refrigerant was low, would it be included in the warranty/maintenance. When they answered NO, that was that, done. I do all that myself now, maybe twice a year. I don't check the pressures. The following year, the starting capacitor went out, so I did that myself. Cost about $20.00 complete since I had to get some connectors and a bracket. I split the CAP to two separate units. The thermostat controls the dehumidification, but its lowest set point is 50%, which is where i keep it. The house usually runs 55% humidity and it's comfortable. The programmable thermostat is nice, since I cool the house down in 4 stages overnight. Daytime is 77, 7PM is 75, midnight it goes to 74, and about 4 AM it goes to 73. With the dehumidifier function, on rainy nightts it may go a degree below those set points, but it works out very well for sleeping!
 
Messages
2,314
Location
Juno Beach FL
I pay for an annual A/C service contract for our Florida Condo. For my NY home, I pay an annual contract for my boiler. This guarantees an emergency service call 24/7 if you heat goes out during a deep freeze. I had that happen once before I had this contract. My home reno contractor knows everyone in the area and it took him over 2 days to find someone to get the boiler going again.
 
Messages
118
Location
North East, U.S.
I do nothing other than yearly filter changes. If I have a 'professional' check in yearly, they will just break it. So far, needed Freon refilled (overcharged; cost $600) on the A/C that was 12 years old at the time. The repair person tried to sell us a new system because our coolant is banned, etc. As for the coils, they seem in okay condition. We have sprinklers that hit it, so I think some of the calcium/hard water is doing damage to it. But there is no dirt or anything on it. As for the A/C itself, I try to be very efficient. It only gets turned on at 6pm, and I have set it to 77 degrees. The system turns off at 1am. If one can't sleep, then they can turn it lower to mid 70s. The key to having it last long is to not put too much stress on it. We had to refill the coolant because someone in the household had the idea in their mind that if they set it at 60 degrees, it will reach cooler temperatures faster. Sigh. Sadly, this resulted in the A/C working overtime, almost never shutting off, and I discovered them doing this too late. Next season, it wouldn't cool and coolant needed to be refilled.
 
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