Why is Preventative Maintenance so Important?

HVAC preventative maintenance agreements (PMAs) are agreements between you and your quality contractor for scheduled inspections and maintenance of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. Sometimes PMAs are also referred to as “planned maintenance agreements,” “start and checks,” or “preventative service agreements.” These plans are to help ensure your system is working correctly and efficiently when you need it. This includes scheduling semi-annual check-ups to maintain peak efficiency, prevent utility overpayment, and avert system failures through predictive maintenance that can help extend the life of your HVAC system. Our maintenance agreement plan visits usually take place in the fall and spring sessions when a service technician will go through your entire HVAC system preparing it for the upcoming season in a proactive approach before system failure and prior to overpaying your utility company. It is a very inexpensive way to make sure your systems are working reliably and to avoid excessive utility bills.

Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind?

The old but true cliche “out of sight, out of mind” is often the reason for neglected maintenance guidelines for your HVAC system. HVAC systems are usually installed where they aren’t seen, such as in a section of the basement, a closet, on rooftops, or in mechanical rooms, making them easy to be neglected. The systems are simply taken for granted, until they fail. Decreased efficiency, utility overpayment, discomfort, loss of productivity, eventual premature replacement, and higher repair costs are the result.

Just because your HVAC system is out of sight, does not mean it should be neglected. Getting your HVAC system checked twice annually is just as important as changing the oil in your car every 3,000 miles.

What should I expect my technician to do during a MAP visit?

(Some of the basics) checking system functions, safety controls, and adjust the operating sequence where appropriate.

Have cleaning and inspection every 6 months on your HVAC equipment to ensure proper performance and savings.


Winter – Fall: Furnace/AC Clean & Check

  • Check & adjust thermostat
  • Install gauges & check operation if needed
  • Check  evaporator conditions
  • Clean & adjust all safety controls
  • Clean burners and controls
  • Clean & adjust pilot assembly
  • Adjust burner for efficiency (air & flame)
  • Check for gas leaks in furnace
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Check fan controls & ignition start up
  • Check furnace for cracked heat exchanger
  • Check temperature rise
  • Check all wire connections and electrical parts
  • Check condensate trap & drain lines
  • Check outside condensing coil & condition
  • Inspection on ductwork & design
  • Inspect filters

Summer – Spring: AC Clean & Check

  • Check & adjust thermostat
  • Install gauges & check operation
  • Check evaporator superheat
  • Check  evaporator conditions & light cleaning
  • Inspections of blower wheel and conditions
  • Check & Clean primary condensate drain lines
  • Check voltage & amperage to all motors w/ meter
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Check compressor amperage & voltage
  • Check outside condensing coil & condition
  • Check for proper refrigerant charge & possible leaks
  • Check belt & tension if needed
  • Check all wiring connections and electrical parts
  • Inspection on ductwork & design
  • Inspect filters

Above are just some of the basics of what a technician should check on your HVAC system. Depending on what type of system, there may be other required items that need to be checked. Extra costs may apply for deep cleanings on your HVAC systems. Some companies state they have a 15 to 18 point check list, but this may be a play on words to repeat there items in different meanings or terms, to make you feel you’re getting the best bang for your buck. A standard time to complete a basic PMA is 1 hour minimum per system. Some MAP visits may even be up to 2 hours or more hours depending on the degree of cleaning and the type of maintenance work needed. This is also a time for you to ask questions about your system and bring up other issues that might need to be checked.


What is the bottom?

Savings: PMAs typically more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency, less utility overpayment, and contractor discounts. PMA customers typically receive a discount on all parts and services performed during the entire year.

Peace of Mind: Predictive maintenance will mean fewer system failures and longer life for your HVAC equipment.

Priority Service: Should a system failure occur during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter, customers with PMAs generally receive priority service.

Continuity: Many contractors are often able to assign technicians to the specific customers. That way, you get to see and know the same service technician, and he or she becomes more familiar with you and your equipment.

Why Routine Service?

1. Maintains High Efficiency.
2. Lengthens Equipment Life.
3. Avoid costly Breakdowns.
4. Peace of Mind



For residential and commercial property inspections, Mold testing or HERS rating services in the Sacramento and Bay Area please contact Golden State Home Inspections at 800.441.0804 or visit: http://www.goldenstatehomeinspections.com


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