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The ROI of HVAC Maintenance: How It Adds Value to Your Property

TL;DR: Installing a new HVAC system can cost between $5,000 to $12,000, but it’s a valuable investment for homeowners. Regular maintenance, costing $75 to $200, offers significant returns in energy efficiency and property value. Energy-efficient systems with modern features like smart thermostats attract buyers and fetch higher prices. Compliance with regulations and green certifications adds to desirability. Keeping professional maintenance records and following practical tips maximize HVAC value. Regular check-ups, filter replacements, cleaning, and choosing upgrades tailored to your needs ensure optimal performance and longevity. Overall, investing in HVAC maintenance is crucial for preserving property value and ensuring comfort.


Installing a new HVAC system can be a significant investment and cost homeowners anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000, depending on the system’s size and complexity. Unsurprisingly, most new home buyers see great value in properties equipped with a functioning HVAC system.

However, the condition of the HVAC system is closely tied to your property’s overall value. When the HVAC system runs perfectly, it saves energy costs and makes the property more attractive to potential buyers who recognize its value. So, let’s closely examine the ROI of HVAC maintenance, how it adds value to your property, and how to keep your system in perfect shape.

Calculating the ROI of HVAC Maintenance

If you are trying to understand the return on investment (ROI) of HVAC maintenance, start by considering your initial maintenance expenses. These include regular check-ups, part replacements, and repairs to avoid other issues. That will cost you around $75 to $200. That price tag might seem like a lot at first, but you must weigh it against the savings on buffer repairs.

Savings come in several forms, notably through energy efficiency. When your system is well-maintained, it can run on less energy, meaning lower utility bills. Similarly, regular maintenance includes replacing all worn-out parts and extending the unit’s life. 

If you have an HVAC system running without issues, that can help you increase the value of your property if you ever decide to sell. Properties that have systems with environmental certifications can fetch a higher price. This increase in market appeal contributes positively to your ROI, making the investment in maintenance even more worthwhile.

Increased Property Value Through Energy Efficiency

Real estate buyers are more aware of the long-term benefits and savings of having energy-efficient features in your home. As a result, properties with modern HVAC systems often attract the attention of energy-conscious buyers. A recent study found homes with energy-efficient features sell more often and at a higher price point. 

Modern HVAC systems operate more efficiently, using less energy to heat and cool the home, translating into significant savings over time. For your HVAC to be energy efficient, it must have at least a SEER 14 rating. Modern systems use the latest technology to maintain optimal temperatures and use minimal electricity compared to outdated HVAC units. That can reduce your property’s carbon footprint, which will likely appeal to potential buyers.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Recently, Mesa, Arizona, has had issues with air quality, so you must ensure the air you breathe indoors is better quality. You can upgrade the HVAC system with high-efficiency air filters or add air purifiers to reduce the presence of pollutants and allergens. 

These pollutants are not just outdoor intruders like pollen and dust. They include indoor particles such as pet dander, household chemicals, and mold spores. Not having them in the air can help you be more healthy. 

Having your HVAC not contribute to low air quality can make your property more appealing and increase its value. Prospective buyers or tenants often look for homes that promise a healthy living space, and if their new home already has an air-purifying system, that is one less expense they have to worry about.

The Appeal of Smart HVAC Technology

Prospective homebuyers are looking for homes that are not only move-in ready but also equipped with modern conveniences that make life easier. Smart thermostats and HVAC systems offer them total control over the home’s temperature directly from their smartphone or voice-activated devices. They can even teach the system their preferences, and it can automatically adjust the settings for maximum comfort. 

Beyond comfort, these systems are also more energy-efficient, translating into potential savings on utility bills. They usually come with detailed usage reports, helping homeowners understand their energy consumption and identify further opportunities for savings.

Regulatory Compliance and HVAC Systems

You might already be aware that various regulations and standards dictate how HVAC systems should operate within homes. These rules cover everything from installation and maintenance to efficiency and emissions. Ensuring your HVAC system complies with these standards prevents potential fines and makes your home more attractive to future buyers. It’s a straightforward equation: compliance equals desirability.

Green certifications, such as Energy Star or LEED, are benchmarks of efficiency and sustainability for HVAC systems. Such certifications prove that your HVAC system effectively heats or cools your home with less energy, significantly reducing your home’s overall carbon emissions. That is a main selling point in today’s market, where energy efficiency and environmental responsibility are increasingly important to buyers.

Professional Maintenance Records as Proof of Care

When you sell your home, potential buyers want assurance they’re making a wise investment. Keep your maintenance records as proof that you’ve cared for the HVAC system, following regulatory standards and best practices for system upkeep. These records can show potential buyers that the HVAC system is in excellent condition and won’t need expensive repairs or replacements shortly after purchase.

Practical Tips for Maximizing HVAC Value

Your HVAC system can add the most sales value to your property if you inspect and maintain it regularly. Maintaining your HVAC system won’t be burdensome if you stick to a servicing schedule. Some of the things you can regularly do are:

  • Replace HVAC system filters every three months, but possibly more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area.
  • Keep the area around your outdoor units clear of debris and foliage. That allows your system to breathe easier, improving efficiency and prolonging its life.
  • The indoor unit can collect dust and other particles that affect air quality and system performance. Ensure the coils and blower components are clean, which will help your system operate more effectively.
  • Dust and debris can accumulate in your ducts over time, blocking airflow and forcing your system to work harder, which, in turn, can lead to increased energy costs and reduced system lifespan. Duct cleaning is something you should entrust to a professional, but still do often.
  • Regular professional check-ups by HVAC specialists at least once a year can help catch any potential issues before they become big problems, saving you money in the long run.

Tips on Choosing HVAC Upgrades

Energy-efficient HVAC models can be a more significant initial investment but often pay for themselves through lower utility bills. Smart thermostats are another excellent upgrade, allowing homeowners to control the heating and cooling remotely and set more efficient schedules. When selecting these upgrades, consider your home’s size, climate, and specific needs to ensure you’re making the most cost-effective decision.

Invest In HVAC Maintenance in Mesa, Arizona

Regular HVAC maintenance is a sound investment in your property’s value and your wallet. An efficient system will reduce energy costs, make your unit more long-lasting, and ensure high-level air quality. That highlights the undeniable impact that proper care and maintenance have on the value of your property.

There are more benefits than drawbacks to regular HVAC maintenance. Once you decide to ensure proper care for your HVAC system, hire the HVAC experts Semper Fi Heating & Cooling in Mesa, Arizona. Our regular maintenance service can keep your system in perfect condition for years.

We can help you with all your heating, cooling, or air quality needs. Don’t let your investment go down the drain – call us today and get your HVAC back in shape!



How often should I schedule HVAC maintenance?

It’s recommended to schedule HVAC maintenance at least once a year to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling in Mesa, Arizona, offers professional maintenance services tailored to your system’s needs. Regular check-ups by our HVAC specialists can help detect and address any issues before they escalate, saving you money in the long run.

What are the benefits of upgrading to a smart thermostat?

Upgrading to a smart thermostat offers several benefits, including increased convenience, energy savings, and improved control over your HVAC system. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling provides expert guidance on choosing and installing smart thermostats that integrate seamlessly with your heating and cooling setup. With our help, you can enjoy enhanced comfort and efficiency in your home.

How can I improve indoor air quality in my home?

Improving indoor air quality is essential for a healthy living environment. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling offers solutions such as high-efficiency air filters and air purifiers to reduce pollutants and allergens in your home. Our HVAC experts can assess your indoor air quality needs and recommend the right products to ensure clean and fresh air throughout your property.

What sets Semper Fi Heating & Cooling apart from other HVAC companies?

Semper Fi Heating & Cooling stands out for our commitment to excellence, reliability, and customer satisfaction. With years of experience serving the Mesa, Arizona, area, we have built a reputation for delivering top-notch HVAC services at competitive prices. Our team of skilled technicians is dedicated to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently, ensuring your comfort and peace of mind year-round.

What Happens During an Air Conditioning Maintenance?

A good grasp of AC maintenance is vital for keeping your HVAC system in the best possible condition. Conducting routine servicing keeps the unit working with maximum efficiency, performance, and longevity and, at the same time, prolongs the period between expensive repairs.

But what happens during an air conditioning maintenance, and what does this service do? In this article, we’ll lead you through the maintenance procedure in detail, keeping you up-to-date with every step of the process.

Why Air Conditioning Maintenance Is Crucial

Frequent maintenance plays a vital role in prolonging the service life of your appliance, increasing its efficiency, and allowing you to decrease your utility bills. Not taking care of the system can lead to system breakdowns, costly repairs, or replacing the equipment before the planned period. 

During air conditioning maintenance, a skilled professional will carry out a number of activities to guarantee that your machine remains in a perfect functioning state. In addition, they conduct the system success assessment and fix the present issues to prevent expensive repairs and increase the system’s lifetime, keeping your bank account in order.

What Does the Process of Air Conditioner Maintenance Consist of?

Now, let’s explore all the tasks performed during an air conditioner servicing.

Air Filter Cleaning or Replacement

The air filter has the important task of keeping dust, debris, and allergens away from indoor air. As part of the maintenance schedule, the technician will clean or replace the filter to ensure smooth air passage and improve the air quality inside your home.

Evaporator Coil Inspection and Cleaning

The internal surface of the evaporator coil may eventually be covered with dust and foreign materials, making the absorption of heat less efficient. The technician will visually inspect and clean the coil. They will remove any deposits to restore the optimum functioning of the coil.

Refrigerant Level Check

The refrigerant is responsible for cooling the air in your air-conditioning system. The technician will check the amount of refrigerant and refill it if necessary.


To reduce friction and maintain a smooth operation, the technician will grease the movable parts of your air conditioner. This ensures the system isn’t under too much strain and will continue to work quietly.

Examination of Electrical Connections

The technician will check electrical connections to see whether they are firmly connected and if any corrosion is present. Poor contact can result in system failure or lead to a fire.

Performance Check

Finally, the technician will review the overall performance of your system. They will monitor airflow, evaluate temperature differences, and test for any unusual noises or vibrations. If there are more serious issues, they will suggest ways to fix them or make changes.

Common HVAC Problems 

While performing routine air conditioning maintenance, the technicians resolve common problems affecting your unit’s regular functioning. Among them, we can mention:

Dirty or Clogged Air Filters 

Air filters usually get dirty and clogged, reducing the airflow in the system and the efficiency of the system. Regular cleaning of the dust and debris or filter replacement is recommended for the normal functioning of your HVAC system.

Refrigerant Leaks 

A lower amount of refrigerant implies there’s a leak in the system. If ignored, it can reduce the cooling performance and even ruin the compressor. The technician will find and fix all the leaks so the system is back to normal.

Condensate Drain Line Blockage

The condensate drain line has the purpose of taking the extra moisture from the air conditioner. If the filter becomes clogged, water can accumulate upstream and damage the unit, or worse, create conditions for mold formation. The technician will unblock any obstructions to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Worn-Out or Faulty Components 

With time, specific elements of the HVAC system can break down or stop working properly. The technician will diagnose and replace broken parts during maintenance to prevent future breakdowns and expensive repairs.

Indicators Suggesting It’s Time for Air Conditioning Maintenance

Besides scheduled maintenance, you must also pay attention to symptoms requiring immediate action. Consider scheduling urgent maintenance once you notice the following:

  • Insufficient cooling: If your air conditioner is incapable of cooling your home well or you feel temperature fluctuations around your home, there’s a problem with your HVAC system.
  • Increased energy consumption: A sudden increase in your energy bills without an increase in the use of your air conditioner is a sign the system isn’t working efficiently.
  • Strange noises or odors: Strange noises like grinding, squealing, banging, or a strong smell coming from your air conditioner should never be taken for granted. They indicate a potential machine failure or mold presence.
  • Frequent breakdowns: If your air conditioner is always breaking down or requires frequent repair, it clearly indicates it’s time for maintenance.

How Often Should Air Conditioning Maintenance Be Done?

A number of criteria, such as the system’s age, consumption habits, climate, and weather conditions, determine how often you should get your air conditioner serviced. It’s best to plan preventative maintenance once a year.

It’s ideal to do this before the cooling season sets in so your system will be in excellent condition during the hot weather months. However, if you own an old unit and live in a dusty area or humid climate, you’ll need to maintain your HVAC system at more frequent intervals.

Benefits of Regular Air Conditioning Maintenance

If you schedule regular HVAC maintenance visits, you will ensure the following:

  • Improved energy efficiency: A maintained air conditioner operates more effectively, requiring less energy and contributing to lower utility bills.
  • Better cooling performance: Good maintenance makes the air conditioner effectively cool your home, ensuring consistent comfort throughout the year.
  • Extended lifespan: Routine air conditioning system maintenance ensures a longer lifespan and saves you money on premature replacement.
  • Improved indoor air quality: Clean air filters and evaporator coils reduce indoor air pollution by removing dust, allergy triggers, and other pollutants.
  • Reduced risk of breakdowns: Maintenance resolves small problems, which is how you can prevent emergency breakdowns and sudden repairs.
  • Cost efficiency: You get more bang for your buck, less stress, and better performance from your air conditioner when you schedule routine maintenance.

Having a Professional Handle Air Conditioning Maintenance

For thorough and efficient HVAC maintenance, it’s better to seek the services of an experienced and competent HVAC company. This is why:

Expertise and Experience 

The technicians are experts in the field and will carry out a thorough checkup and maintenance of your AC. They are trained to detect any flaws in the system and will keep your unit in the best possible condition.

Correct Tools and Equipment

HVAC professionals have specific tools and instruments to inspect and clean or repair the system safely. There are specific instruments for measuring the refrigerant level, checking the electrical connections, and more.

Safety Considerations

Air conditioning systems are composed of environmentally unsafe electrical components and substances, which can also put you in danger if improperly handled. HVAC technicians are trained in the safety protocols of a maintenance process, ensuring protection for everyone involved.

Warranty Considerations

If you have a valid warranty, you’ll need to conduct frequent maintenance to maintain its validity. A trained professional will guarantee all the legal documents and records of services are managed so your warranty remains valid. 

Find The Best HVAC Service in Mesa, Arizona

Understanding what happens during an air conditioning maintenance makes it clear how important it is to have a solid maintenance strategy. Not only will you protect the condition of your system, but your home will also become healthier and more comfortable while your HVAC system works efficiently.

Mesa’s Semper Fi Heating & Cooling is the company to contact if you’re looking for experts to handle HVAC maintenance. We can quickly and efficiently diagnose the issue and ensure the unit is in top shape. Our team of seasoned professionals can fix or maintain your HVAC system no matter what brand or type it is. We only use the most dependable and long-lasting materials since we know how hard Arizona weather can be on HVAC systems. 

Rest assured that your heating and cooling systems will be in top shape all year round since we are committed to giving our clients peace of mind. For more information, get in touch with us and book a maintenance service that fits your schedule. 

Year-End HVAC System Maintenance: A Wise Investment

TL;DR: Ensure your home’s comfort and efficiency with our guide on year-end HVAC maintenance. Learn essential maintenance tasks, the benefits of regular upkeep, and finding professional services. Keep your system running smoothly and prevent costly repairs with timely end-of-year maintenance.

As the year draws to a close and we prepare for the changes that come with the seasons, it’s crucial to give your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system the attention it deserves. This maintenance is more than just a routine check-up; it’s a wise investment in your home’s comfort, efficiency, and longevity.

In this post, we’ll delve into why the end of the year is the perfect time to perform routine maintenance on your heating system and cooling systems. From ensuring your system runs smoothly through the winter months to avoiding unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs, we’ll cover everything you need to know. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or new to home maintenance, understanding the intricacies of your HVAC system and the benefits of regular upkeep can make a significant difference in your daily comfort and your utility bills.

Why Year-End Maintenance is Essential for Your Phoenix HVAC System

As the year winds down in Phoenix, the shift in seasons brings about a unique set of challenges for your HVAC system. While Phoenix is known for its scorching summers, the cooler winter months shouldn’t be underestimated, especially regarding the efficiency and functionality of your heating and cooling system.

Year-end maintenance is essential in this desert climate, primarily because it ensures your system is prepared for the temperature fluctuations that winter can bring. This period of maintenance is crucial for identifying potential issues that could become significant problems during the colder days. Moreover, it helps in adjusting your system to operate more efficiently during the cooler season, ensuring that your home remains comfortable without unnecessarily high energy costs.

Another key aspect of year-end maintenance in Phoenix is addressing the wear and tear accumulated over the hot summer months. The intense heat and continual use of air conditioning units during summer can strain various components of the HVAC system. As the year ends, a thorough check-up can spot any wear and tear, allowing for timely repairs or replacements. This proactive approach not only enhances the longevity of your HVAC system but also ensures optimal performance.

Regular maintenance checks can prevent unexpected breakdowns and costly emergency repairs, which are far more likely to occur if the system is neglected. Additionally, this maintenance keeps the air quality in your home at its best, a crucial factor for health and comfort, especially when the windows are kept closed to keep the chill out.

Key Steps in Comprehensive Year-End HVAC Maintenance

As the year comes to a close, it’s important to give your HVAC system the thorough check-up it needs to ensure it’s ready for the coming year. Comprehensive maintenance involves several key steps that can help extend the life of your system, improve its efficiency, and maintain the comfort and safety of your home. The best way to ensure your HVAC system is running smoothly is to hire a professional HVAC company but there are several key tips every homeowner can do. Here’s a bullet-point list of essential tasks to include in your year-end HVAC maintenance routine:

  • Inspect and Replace Air Filters: Check the air filters and replace them if necessary. Clean filters improve air quality and system efficiency.
  • Clean and Inspect Air Ducts: Ensure ducts are free of dust and debris. Look for any signs of damage or leaks, which can significantly reduce system efficiency.
  • Check Thermostat Functionality: Test your thermostat to make sure it’s working correctly. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat for better energy management.
  • Inspect Electrical Connections: Check all electrical connections for signs of wear or damage. Tighten connections and replace any frayed wires.
  • Check Refrigerant Levels: For air conditioning systems, check refrigerant levels. Improper levels can reduce efficiency and cause damage.
  • Test Safety Controls and Emergency Shut-Offs: Ensure all safety controls are functioning correctly and that emergency shut-off mechanisms are in good working order.
  • Schedule Professional Inspection: Finally, schedule a professional inspection. A certified HVAC technician can perform a comprehensive check-up, including tasks not easily done by the average homeowner, such as checking for carbon monoxide leaks and inspecting internal components.

Completing these key steps in your year-end HVAC maintenance can save you money, prolong the life of your system, and ensure a comfortable, safe home environment throughout the year. Remember, preventive maintenance is always more cost-effective than emergency repairs.

The Cost Benefits of Regular HVAC Upkeep

Regular HVAC maintenance, particularly at year-end, offers significant cost benefits that extend far beyond the immediate season. One of the most immediate impacts of regular upkeep is the enhanced efficiency of the system, which translates directly into lower energy bills. An HVAC system in top condition operates more smoothly, requiring less energy to maintain your home’s temperature. This efficiency is crucial, especially during extreme weather conditions when HVAC systems are under the most strain.

Furthermore, regular maintenance can identify and rectify minor issues before they escalate into major, costly repairs. For instance, replacing a worn belt or cleaning dirty coils is far less expensive than repairing a burnt-out motor or a broken compressor, which can result from neglecting these smaller issues.

Another long-term cost benefit of regular HVAC maintenance lies in the extended lifespan of the system. Just like any major appliance, an HVAC system that receives consistent care and attention will invariably last longer than one that doesn’t. This means homeowners can delay the significant expense of replacing an entire HVAC system, enjoying more years of service from their current setup.

Additionally, a well-maintained HVAC system retains its efficiency over the years, avoiding the gradual increase in energy consumption often seen in neglected units. This sustained efficiency is not only good for your wallet but also beneficial for the environment, as it reduces the overall energy demand and carbon footprint of your household. In summary, investing in regular HVAC maintenance can lead to substantial savings, making it a financially wise decision for homeowners.

Overcoming Common Misconceptions in Phoenix About HVAC Maintenance

In Phoenix, where extreme temperatures are a norm, there are several misconceptions about HVAC maintenance that can lead homeowners to neglect this critical aspect of home care. One common myth is that if the HVAC system is running without any apparent issues, it doesn’t need maintenance. This belief can be particularly misleading in a climate like Phoenix’s, where HVAC systems work overtime to combat the intense heat for most of the year. Regular wear and tear in such conditions may not immediately manifest in performance issues but can significantly reduce the system’s efficiency and lifespan.

Another misconception is the overestimation of the cost of regular maintenance. Many homeowners in Phoenix assume that routine check-ups and servicing are expensive, not realizing that the cost of regular maintenance is often much lower than the expense of major repairs or system replacement due to neglect.

Additionally, a frequent misconception is the idea that DIY maintenance is always sufficient. While some aspects of HVAC maintenance, like changing filters, can be handled by homeowners, more complex tasks require professional expertise. In Phoenix’s harsh climate, professional inspections can identify issues like refrigerant leaks or electrical problems that are not apparent to the untrained eye. These issues, if left unchecked, can lead to inefficient cooling, higher energy bills, and even safety hazards.

Furthermore, there’s a belief that HVAC systems only need attention during the summer months. However, year-round maintenance is crucial for ensuring the system is prepared for the intense summer heat and the cooler winter months. By overcoming these misconceptions, Phoenix homeowners can ensure their HVAC systems are well-maintained, leading to better performance, increased comfort, and cost savings in the long run.

Professional HVAC Maintenance Near You

In conclusion, understanding the importance of year-end HVAC maintenance, especially in a unique climate like Phoenix, is essential for every homeowner. Regular maintenance not only ensures your system operates at peak efficiency but also extends its lifespan, improves your home’s air quality, and saves you money in the long run. By dispelling common misconceptions, recognizing the benefits of professional servicing, and adhering to a comprehensive maintenance schedule, you can protect your investment and enjoy a comfortable home environment year-round.

If you’re in the Phoenix Metro Area, Semper Fi Heating & Cooling is your trusted partner for all of your HVAC needs! Whether it’s routine maintenance to keep your system running smoothly or urgent repairs to keep your home comfortable, our team of experienced technicians is equipped to handle it all. We pride ourselves on our prompt, efficient service and our deep understanding of the unique HVAC challenges in the Phoenix area. Trust Semper Fi Heating & Cooling to keep your home comfortable year-round – because your family’s comfort is our mission.

Frequently Asked Questions About HVAC Maintenance In Phoenix

Why is year-end maintenance important for my HVAC system?

Year-end maintenance is crucial for your HVAC system because it ensures it’s running efficiently and effectively. This maintenance checks for wear and tear from the year, addresses any minor issues before they become major problems, and prepares the system for the upcoming seasonal changes.

What are some common steps involved in year-end HVAC maintenance?

Common steps in year-end HVAC maintenance include cleaning or replacing air filters, inspecting and cleaning ducts and vents, checking thermostat functionality, inspecting electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, examining the heat exchanger and burners, checking refrigerant levels, and ensuring safety controls are functioning properly.

How does regular HVAC maintenance save me money in the long run?

Regular HVAC maintenance saves money in the long run by increasing system efficiency, thus lowering energy bills, preventing costly major repairs through early detection of issues, and extending the overall lifespan of the system, delaying the need for a costly replacement.

I’ve heard that HVAC systems are pretty robust and don’t need frequent check-ups. Is this true?

While HVAC systems are designed to be robust, they still require regular check-ups to maintain optimal performance. Frequent maintenance ensures they run efficiently, extends their lifespan, and helps prevent costly repairs or breakdowns, which are more likely without regular care.

Heating & Cooling Terms You Should Know – Part 2

More heating and air conditioning phrases, words and acronyms that you may need to know.

  1. A Heat Exchanger is the part of a heating system that transfers heat to the air that circulates throughout a home. The heat exchanger is the largest component of a furnace. Over time, a heat exchanger can develop cracks, causing incomplete fuel combustion and dangerous carbon monoxide to be released into the air that is circulating in a home.
  2. HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It refers to a furnace, air conditioner, and some method of circulating warm and cool air throughout a house. H-VAC is the generally accepted name for the entire industry.
  3. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a rating for air filters. Air filters have tiny holes that allow air to pass through while trapping small particles in the air. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes and more efficient filters.
  4. Micron is a unit of measurement. One micron is one-millionth of a meter, or 1/25,000th of an inch. Tiny particles of mold, viruses, dust and dander circulate with your home’s air. An air filter can trap these tiny one-micron particles. If allowed to circulate, the particles can have harmful effects on your health.
  5. NATE Certification (NATE) North American Technician Excellence is an industry training and testing organization that certifies that service technicians have passed rigorous testing and are certified experts in the HVAC industry. Homeowners can be comfortable knowing that NATE-certified technicians are installing and servicing the heating and cooling equipment in their homes.
  6. Particles are substances that measure less than 100 microns in diameter. Some large particles like dust and dander are visible to the naked eye. Others like bacteria and viruses can only be seen with a microscope. All particles can become airborne and sometimes cause serious health problems.
  7. Refrigerants are chemical compounds that produce a cooling effect while expanding. R22 refrigerant, also known as Freon, is still found in many home air conditioners but has been banned from new systems. R410-A refrigerant is the most common replacement for R22. It does not contain the ozone-depleting qualities of R22.
  8. A Ton is a unit of measurement of cooling capacity. One ton of air conditioning can remove 12,000 BTUs of heat in one hour. Home air conditioners or heat pumps typically come in the 2-ton to 5-ton range.
  9. A Smart Thermostat will observe the time you wake up, go to work, return home, and go to bed. Then it adjusts its settings to match your daily routine. It will even observe that your house is empty for multiple days and adjust accordingly. If your smart thermostat is online, you can tell it to warm or cool your home just before you arrive.
  10. Zoned HVAC is a heating and cooling system that can direct air to specific areas of a home. With a zoned system, it is possible to use dampers in the ductwork to customize temperature zones throughout the home.

Heating & Cooling Terms You Should Know – Part 1

At some point in a conversation between a homeowner and an HVAC service technician, a word or acronym may come up that is unfamiliar to the homeowner or is being used in an HVAC-only context. The following is a glossary of phrases, words and acronyms that may be helpful to know.

  1. Air Handler is the part of a ventilation system that draws in cool or warm air for a furnace or air conditioner to turn it into warm or cool air, respectively, and then blows it into ducts that deliver it throughout a home.
  2. BTU/BTUh is short for British Thermal Unit. One unit is the amount of heating needed to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the BTUs, the greater the heating capacity of a furnace. BTUh refers to British Thermal Units per hour.
  3. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of burning gas that can cause serious health problems. You won’t see, smell or taste it because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Not much CO is produced by a gas furnace, but if the air vents are not clear, you may have CO poisoning problems. Don’t rely on carbon monoxide detectors in your home; have your furnace checked by qualified technicians regularly.
  4. CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the measurement of how much heated or cooled air is circulating when a furnace or air conditioner is operating. A qualified HVAC technician can calculate the optimal CFM based on the size and construction of your home. An optimally sized system will keep your home comfortable and energy efficient.
  5. Condenser is the outside part of an air conditioner. The outside condenser cabinet contains the compressor coil that serves to discharge heat outside and move cool refrigerant indoors.
  6. Compressor is part of the condenser unit of a heat pump or air conditioner. The compressor circulates refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units, absorbing heat indoors, discharging it outdoors, and moving cool refrigerant back indoors.
  7. Ductwork is a system of metal ducts or synthetic tubes that, depending on the season, move warm or cool throughout your home. To keep a furnace and air conditioner operating properly and efficiently, it is important to keep ducts clean and not obstructed.
  8. Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)/Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (SEER) are ratios that measure the cooling energy provided relative to the electrical energy used. EER provides for the highest temperature of the year while SEER calculates relative to the seasonal average. The higher the EER/SEER, the more efficient the system.
  9. Energy Star is a program from the Environmental Protection Agency to help homeowners pick the most energy-efficient HVAC systems and other major home electrical appliances. An Energy Star system indicates that the system meets or exceeds federal guidelines for energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated HVAC systems can be 40% to 50% more efficient than older non-Energy Star systems.
  10. Heat Pumps are a highly efficient alternative to conventional central heating and air conditioning systems. They work by moving heat. In summer, they remove heat from inside and discharge it outside. In winter, they draw heat from outside and circulate it inside. Contrary to common logic, there is plenty of heat outside on even the coldest days.

What Size Furnace Do You Need?

Hint: Bigger Isn’t Better

Time will come when your old furnace is not worth attempting to repair. You can live with rattles, squeaks and uneven heating in your home. You could even live with small repair bills. But no heat on a cold night is over the limit. It will be time to look for a new furnace. Then, don’t think about moving up to a larger-capacity furnace unless you know your old furnace is undersized. An oversized furnace usually creates more problems than it solves.

It’s Less Efficient

A properly sized furnace is an optimally sized furnace – not too big and not too small. Every time a furnace starts up for a heating cycle, it takes a few minutes to warm up. During the warmup, it is operating at less than peak efficiency. After it is warmed up, it operates at peak heating efficiency. An oversized furnace may warm up the house too quickly and shut down before or shortly after the warmup. Repeat that over and over all day and all night and the furnace is always operating less efficiently than it should.

Life Expectancy

Over years of service, the on again/off again cycles will cause excess wear to system controls and ultimately shorten the lifespan of the large furnace. An optimally sized furnace is more efficient and will have a longer operational life. A well-maintained, high-quality, properly sized furnace should provide efficient heating for 15-20 years or more.

Short Cycling

A common problem with oversized furnaces is called short cycling. It happens when sensors in the furnace cause it to overheat and shut down before the house has warmed up. The oversized furnace produces more heat than the system needs. The most positive identifier of short cycling is when the thermostat’s two temperatures—room temperature and thermostat set temperature—never match. Short cycling is a safety hazard. If sensors fail to shut the furnace down, the furnace is a real fire hazard. The end result of short cycling is that the house is not comfortable, fire risks increase, and the life of the furnace is reduced.

Distribution of Heat Will Be Uneven

It isn’t unusual for one area of a house to be cooler or warmer than others. Replacing a properly sized furnace with an oversized furnace will not solve the uneven heat problem; it will make it a bigger problem. The comfortably warm areas in the house will become overly warm and the cool rooms may not get any warmer.

Part of the procedure of installing a new furnace is to check the size of the existing furnace to make sure it is properly sized. The professional, licensed technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling are experts in getting the right furnace for your home. They will spend the time necessary to recommend a high-quality replacement furnace. A truly optimized furnace will provide energy efficiency, long life, comfortable living space, and home safety. Give them a call today at 480-616-3636.

Fall/Winter Maintenance Checklist

In central Arizona, winter tends to arrive late and leave early. Even though freezing temperatures are extremely rare, winter does arrive every year, and your furnace needs service and preventative maintenance every winter. Here are five checklist tips to get you through the winter.

    1. Interior air qualityInterior air collects dust, allergens, and other pollutants. Does your furniture need dusting occasionally? The fine particles that you collect when you dust are the same that are circulating in your interior air day after day. In most cases, the quality of your interior air is much poorer than outside air. Your heating and cooling technician can measure your indoor air quality and recommend methods to clean it and reduce harmful pollutants.

      The first line of defense against dirty indoor air is your air filter. Change your furnace filter frequently, use a high-quality air filter, and change it often. If you remove a filter and it is noticeably darker from accumulated dust, you aren’t changing it as often as you should.

Over the years, dust and other pollutants accumulate in ductwork. Professional duct cleaning and sealing will remove years of accumulated grime and improve the quality of the air that is circulating in your home. Devices can be installed in ductwork to kill bacteria, viruses, mold, and other harmful materials in your air. Ask your technician for recommendations.

  1. Thermostat settingsA good rule of thumb for a thermostat is to set it at 68 degrees for the winter and 76 degrees for the summer. In winter, many homeowners choose to lower their thermostats overnight. Every one degree higher in winter or lower in summer will add about 1% to your utility bill. A programmable or smart thermostat will adjust the settings to accommodate your daily and weekly routine. In most cases, programmable and smart thermostats pay for themselves through reduced utility costs.
  2. Furnace maintenanceAn often-overlooked way in which programmable thermostats pay for themselves is that your furnace will run less often, usually giving it additional years of service before needing to be replaced. Regular tune-ups and preventative maintenance will also prolong the efficient operating life of your furnace. Annual service plans pay for themselves, but equally important is the peace of mind that you are not going to have a system breakdown on a cold night or when your family is gathering for the holidays.
  3. Unpleasant smellsWhen furnaces get turned on for the first time after not being used for months, it is not uncommon for homeowners to notice a burning smell. It is likely that the smell comes from the dust that has accumulated over the months of not being used. As the dust burns off, it emits a burning plastic smell. Allow 10-15 minutes for the dust to burn off, and the smell should go away. If the smell lingers longer, there might be a different problem and you should turn the furnace off and call Semper Fi Heating & Cooling. They will send a technician to check it out.
  4. InsulationGood insulation, properly installed, helps keep the cold air out in the winter and hot air out in the summer. Inadequate insulation—along with windows and doors that are not sealed properly—lets in the outside air and causes your heating and cooling system to work harder year-round. Good insulation allows your furnace and air conditioner to work less and with fewer repairs for longer.

For more information about furnace problems, tune-ups, or other heating and cooling problems, call the expert technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636.

Do You Have Problems with Your Heating and Cooling Ducts?

Your ductwork is probably the part of your heating and air conditioning system that you think about the least. You may have kept up with regular repairs and maintenance on your furnace and air conditioner. You may have even replaced your furnace or air conditioner in recent years, all the while giving little thought to your ductwork. However, there are heating and cooling problems that are caused by ductwork issues. The problems can develop whether your ductwork is newer or vintage. The technicians at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling can help you identify and repair ductwork issues that are keeping your system from operating as it should. Look for these ductwork-related issues:

  1. When your ducts develop air leaks, your systems need to run longer to provide the warm or cool air required. This will cause your energy bills to go up. If your system provided even heating and cooling when it was new, then it was properly sized for your home. If your air conditioner and furnace are in good working order, then the proper amount of air is going into your ducts. If the air coming out of your ducts is inadequate, it may very well be the result of leaking ducts.
  2. Uneven heating or cooling can often be traced back to leaking or improperly sized ducts. More air may reach some rooms more than others. Ask your service technician to evaluate your uneven heating and cooling problems. Repairing ducts to correct the problem is often the least-expensive as well as the best long-term solution.
  3. All of the air that circulates in your home comes through the ducts. If you have indoor air quality problems, as many homes do, it could be the result of dust and pollutants in your ducts. Air cleaning devices can make a big difference in contributing to removing the pollutants that cause health problems like asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections. Air cleaning devices plus duct cleaning will do even more to clean the air that you and your family breathe.
  4. Air that leaks out of your ducts contains moisture. The moisture condenses on the ducts and other surfaces and creates perfect places for hazardous biological substances to grow. Seal and clean the ducts and the biological growth goes away, making your home safer.
  5. If you frequently see insects or even rodents around your air vents, it may because they have found their way into your ductwork. Spraying for insects may not reach them; duct cleaning and sealing the leaks will eliminate them.
  6. Air conditioners and furnaces are hard-working home appliances. Most need to be replaced in less than 20 years. Keeping your ductwork clean and sealed will increase the life of your system. Leaks and dirt in your ducts will cause your heating and cooling system to run more often and longer, which will lead to total system failure.

If you are having duct problems, call the experts at Semper Fi Heating & Cooling at 480-616-3636.

Staying Cool in Summer Heat

Staying Cool in Summer Heat Improves Your Work Output and General Health

The first day of spring is just around the corner. In the Valley of the Sun that means higher temperatures are on the way. Our few months of milder temperatures are ending, and it is time to get ready for the heat. It’s time to make sure that your air conditioner is properly tuned up and ready to keep you cool through the long hot days of summer.

If your air conditioner is not keeping your home and remote workspace comfortable, your body and mind are likely not performing at peak output.

Peak Personal Performance

If you’re working from a home office, you are aware that your endurance and productivity is greater if the room temperature is in your comfort zone. A comfortable temperature not only supports good health, it makes you more efficient. A properly functioning air conditioner will keep your home comfortable, help your mind to think better and more clearly, and make your body function longer without fatigue. Whether it is remote working or doing daily home chores, you are more productive when you do your work without breaking a sweat.

There is widespread agreement among experts that a comfortable environment is important for healthy sleep. Our bodies cool down at night, and if it is too hot, we have trouble sleeping. After a night of poor sleep, we wake up tired and groggy. We move slower and have a stronger reaction to stressful situations. The ideal sleep temperature is considered to be around 65 degrees. For half of the year, the average night-time temperature in central Arizona is above 65 degrees and in the heat of summer it can easily be 15 to 25 degrees above the ideal sleep temperature.

The importance of your air conditioner to your overall health is not limited to the hot days of summer. Poor sleep conditions are bad for your health whenever they occur.

Timely Upkeep is Needed

Air conditioners are complex mechanical systems with many moving parts that need regular service to keep them in top operating condition and prevent future breakdowns. An air conditioning system that is kept in top condition will operate more efficiently, saving on utility costs. While all air conditioners have a limited lifespan, regular service will lengthen the life of a system and delay the need for replacement.

Much like the human body, an air conditioner that is not working properly should get quick attention. Small, easy-to-fix mechanical problems tend to grow into expensive breakdowns if not repaired quickly. The best way to extend the life and operating efficiency of an air conditioner is to get it serviced at least once a year. Don’t let a broken air conditioner just limp along in the early months of spring. When it gets even hotter and you really need it to work properly, the damage may be greater, the repair costs may be higher, and the availability of available HVAC technicians may be scarce.

Early spring is a good time to schedule an air conditioner tune-up. Contact Semper Fi Heating & Cooling for an air conditioner tune-up to improve your health and that of your air conditioning system.

Having Furnace Issues?

Furnace Repair and Maintenance

With proper furnace maintenance and occasional tune-ups, furnaces usually have a long and dependable life. And while things can go wrong, most can be fixed.

By the time a furnace needs to be replaced, high-efficiency improvements have been made in newer systems, and reduced utility costs will at least partially offset the cost of a new furnace. There are several signs that a furnace needs repair.

Pilot Light Issues

The pilot light should burn with a blue flame. If the flame is yellow or orange, there may be a carbon monoxide problem. Turn off your furnace and call a service technician. Carbon monoxide in your home can cause serious health issues, so don’t delay in getting the problem repaired. If the pilot light flame is burning blue but flickering, that could be a different problem. Most likely, the gas supply line is partially clogged and needs to be cleaned.

Heat Exchanger Problems

The heat exchanger is the part of a furnace that separates the air that a furnace circulates throughout a home from the hazardous gases in the air that have been heated in the combustion assembly. The air you breathe moves through tubes that pass through the combustion chamber. The harmful gases get exhausted from the chimney or vent, and the clean, heated air circulates around the home.

The most common problem with the heat exchanger is that after repeated expanding and contracting from heating and cooling, metal fatigue causes cracks or holes in the tubes. That allows the dangerous gases to mix with the warm air that circulates in the home. A service technician can check your furnace for a cracked heat exchanger.

Thermostat Problems

If the thermostat display is blank, check the batteries. If replacing batteries does not solve the problem, check the breaker box. If the breaker is not thrown, it may be time for a thermostat replacement. If the furnace is running continuously and not shutting off, try setting it to auto and then try it at different temperature settings. If it still runs continuously, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Limit Switch

The limit switch senses the temperature of the furnace and turns the furnace off and on during the normal heating cycle. It is usually very dependable, but occasionally it fails and will prevent the furnace and blower to turn off or on. The limit switch also has a high temperature limit that will shut off the heating burners and leave the blower working so that the heat exchanger does not overheat. Replacing the limit switch is a relatively inexpensive operation.

Cacophony of Rackets

Different noises indicate different types of problems with your furnace, and most of them need attention. A squealing noise is likely to be caused by a fan belt problem. There is an electric motor in a furnace that uses a fan belt to turn a fan that blows warm air through ductwork and into your home. If the belt is worn and damaged, it may slip and make a squealing noise. Turn off your furnace and have the belt replaced. A scraping sound is probably the result of worn bearings somewhere in the power assembly. Turn off your furnace and get the problem fixed to avoid additional damage.

Do you hear bangs and clangs in your ductwork when your furnace starts up and the warm air starts blowing? That is the result of cold ductwork expanding from the heat, not an operational problem that will cause damage. You may want to make sure the ducts and joints are adequately attached and secured.

Little or No Warm Air

If the amount of warm air is reduced, check to see if the air filter is dirty or clogged. Change the filter often. If clean air cannot get in the cold air vents and through the filter, warm air will not come out. If the full heating flame is burning and no warm air is moving through the ducts, there is a circulation fan problem. The cause is most likely a worn-out or broken fan belt. The motor and fan itself have other moving parts that can fail.

Some furnace problems are more urgent than others. Some problems are dangerous to the health of homeowners, and others need attention to avoid additional harm. All furnace problems need attention to keep your home comfortable and safe.

Call the professional service technicians at Semper Fi if you have furnace problems!

Click here or call (480) 616-3636

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