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Everything to Know About HVAC Maintenance

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The Ins & Outs of Maintaining Your HVAC System

HVAC maintenance isn't always at the top of homeowners' to-do list. Many systems get neglected simply because homeowners don't understand how important regular service is. That's why Lanz, Inc. strives to make a difference in the industry and educate customers on preventing neglect and system failure.

We're here to walk you through the importance of maintenance when to schedule, how to save, and more!

Never Neglect Your HVAC System

When we talk about HVAC maintenance, you might be surprised by how many common concerns get overlooked. One problem we see frequently is neglecting HVAC systems. Dirt and neglect cause nearly 90% of the HVAC problems we see, usually resulting in component failure. 

Why do people neglect HVAC tune-ups? For many homeowners, their HVAC systems are out of sight and out of mind. They may also not understand the importance of regular maintenance.

The auto industry has done a great job teaching drivers to schedule regular oil changes and maintenance. Drivers understand that if the oil isn't changed, the motor can be destroyed.

The same can't always be said for HVAC maintenance education. If your systems live in your basement or a closet, you rarely see them even though you experience the benefits every day. There's no obvious cause for concern until there's a system failure and you don't have heating for cooling. Just like your car, neglecting HVAC maintenance can lead to a whole host of problems.

Changing Filters & Improving Air Quality

What should you be doing to prevent HVAC neglect? No matter your level of experience, there are many ways to give your systems the attention they deserve. Airflow is one of the biggest pieces of heating and cooling performance.

Changing air filters regularly—monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer—makes a significant difference. One-inch filters are one of the most common filters and should be changed every month.

Be careful when choosing a new filter and pay attention to compatibility with your systems. Some brands advertise filters that reduce dust but also reduce the amount of air in the system. For instance, using the wrong filter can damage your unit by not allowing it to breathe properly.

How do you choose the right filter? Working with a professional is an easy way to know exactly what to purchase. At Lanz, Inc., we will check the air pressure on your system and help you determine what kind of filter you need to reduce allergens and protect your HVAC systems.

Furnace Maintenance

The whole purpose of a furnace is to bring air across a heat exchanger, absorb the heat, and then move it into your house. Regular filter changes and cleaning are crucial to helping your furnace do its job safely and efficiently.

Airflow and heat go hand in hand. If you reduce the amount of air, you reduce the amount of heat removed from the heat exchanger. Without enough air, the heat exchanger is likely to crack and not do its job effectively. The furnace may struggle to function properly, resulting in overheating, inefficient heating, and potential safety hazards. Changing the air filter regularly helps provide sufficient air for your furnace and prevent damage.

If you go and look at your furnace outside, it would probably look pretty clean. Regardless of how great your filtration is, some dirt is likely to get into the system.  Furnaces use a blower wheel that has to scoop air and move it through the system. This component can easily collect dirt and will need to be examined and cleaned to prevent damage. Keeping your furnace clean is one of the most important steps in improving airflow and efficiency.

AC Maintenance

Now let's talk about maintaining your air conditioner. If you have an outdoor unit, there is a coil that has to take in heat from inside and replace it with cool air. The coil is subject to all sorts of air pollution as it works: dirt, pollen, grass clippings, etc. The coil can become clogged with debris—just like an air filter—that you wouldn't see unless you open the machine up.

A clogged coil can reduce system capacity, or the ability to cool your house. Reducing the efficiency also shortens the lifespan of your system and costs you down the road.

The easiest way for any homeowner to prevent this is to have a professional look at your air conditioner. DIY maintenance like spraying the coil with water can cause damage to electrical controls. Calling a professional and describing the issue will provide a safe and effective solution to cleaning the coil and keeping your AC running smoothly.

Saving With Preventative Maintenance

Planning regular maintenance for your HVAC systems is like having a health plan in place. Working with a professional ensures a comprehensive checkup. At Lanz, Inc., we go through a thorough task list to check the performance of the system.

We look at major components like capacitors for performance and safety. Capacitors are cheaper parts that help to start and run the motors. Regular maintenance tests the capacitors' strength and ensures they aren't putting too much stress on the motors as they weaken over time.

We also pay attention to smaller components that can be replaced for much less cost to protect the bigger parts of the system. That's the preventative side of maintenance. Catching small problems during maintenance is more cost-effective than waiting for disaster and replacing the whole motor or HVAC unit.

The Lanz, Inc. Difference

We aren't interested in coming in and selling you a bunch of stuff that you don't need. Our concern is that the system is operating efficiently. If there is an opportunity to replace a small part, we always offer it. We aim to prevent major failures in the summer or winter with cost-effective solutions.

It's never too late to look at your HVAC system. Even scheduling furnace maintenance in February isn't a bad idea. If you have a technician out later in the cold season, it's a decent time to say, "Can you look at my AC as well?"

Spring maintenance is typically for your air conditioner when it's about 50 degrees out. But if we need to, we are happy to come out and set up a tent to simulate outdoor air temperature. We have options. When you get your HVAC system on a regular maintenance schedule, though, we recommend AC service in the spring and furnace service in the fall.

Maintaining Warranties

It's important to check your HVAC manufacturer's warranties for specific maintenance requirements. All have a clause saying that if you do not have annual maintenance done, your warranty will be void. Without maintenance, you may be causing the system to operate under conditions it isn't designed to.

For many homeowners, the HVAC industry hasn't educated them on warranties and their role in maintaining them. Even if you aren't seeing symptoms of a problem, maintenance is a necessary source of protection.

Signs It's Time for HVAC Maintenance

There are many symptomatic things homeowners can look for to know that it's time for maintenance. For example, if the filter hasn't been changed in a while, there may be other problems that need to be addressed.

Most of the calls we get at Lanz, Inc. are from customers asking for first-time maintenance. They may hear a noise or notice their home is humid or not as comfortable as it should be. It usually starts with small things that they begin to notice are outside of the norm.

Unfortunately, small things can still be a sign that it's too late for a small solution. It's the equivalent of taking your car to the shop for a knocking sound in the motor. That's something you could fix, but it could also be too late by the time you notice a problem.

We recommend getting in the habit of scheduling spring and fall checkups to make sure that you aren't going to have to call in an emergency.

Lanz Comfort Family Maintenance Plans

We believe that maintenance plans make a world of difference. That's why we created Lanz Comfort Family maintenance memberships. We offer two levels of memberships, orange and blue. You get regular maintenance for each plan but different levels of perks.

If you sign up as a Comfort Family member and allow us to maintain your system, we will give you 15 or 25% off of all repairs. With regular maintenance, though, your systems will need fewer, more minor repairs.

What's included in the Lanz Comfort Family? 

  • AC maintenance in the spring
  • Heating maintenance in the fall
  • Plumbing maintenance (water heater and fixtures)
  • Reduced dispatch fees
  • 15-25% off repairs (depending on plan level)
  • Priority service (orange level members guaranteed same-day service)

Priority service in the Champaign, IL, area is invaluable, especially during inclement weather when we may have 100 calls come in at once. We have eight or nine technicians and unfortunately cannot make it to everyone on the same day. Comfort Family members move to the front of the line. When there is a chance of your water lines freezing and busting, that is a great benefit.

We also take the stress out of filter maintenance. We deliver all of your filters for the year to you and will change the filters while we are there. You won't have to worry about remembering to buy a new filter and put it in. You can simply put a reminder in your phone and take advantage of the pre-delivered filters.

Click here to learn more about monthly costs and benefits! 

Schedule Your HVAC Maintenance With Lanz Today!

Taking care of your HVAC systems is non-negotiable. Who you choose to partner with can make all the difference.

When you schedule with Lanz, Inc., you can count on top-notch service from start to finish. We take care of filters for you and offer maintenance education to ensure your system runs smoothly year-round.

You can always contact us online or you can call us at the office at 217-394-1380 and we would be glad to talk to you!

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