So you have an HVAC maintenance service scheduled, and you want to make the most of the appointment. If you’re not exactly sure how to do that, you’re not alone.

Should you ask questions? Stay out of the way?

An experienced, reputable HVAC technician won’t mind you paying close attention and asking lots of questions. It’s your house and your heating and cooling system, after all, and you should absolutely want to understand your system and how to properly care for it. Luckily, your technician is here to help. Use our guide to help you ask the important questions and gain some valuable insight into your house and how it functions.

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Questions for Your HVAC Technician

person lowering temperature on digital thermostat1. What temperature should I set my thermostat on during the summer and winter?

Thermostat wars have divided families for years. Get an expert to settle the matter and ask what temperature ranges are best for which season. This will save money and possibly, family bonds.

Your HVAC technician can also offer recommendations on other ways to keep the house comfortable without running up staggeringly high utility bills. During transitional seasons, for example, you may be able to rely solely on your HVAC system’s fan setting along with some open windows to create airflow.

2. What’s the deal with smart thermostats?

Your HVAC technician can help you wade through the options of smart thermostats and find the right one for your home, after explaining the benefits, installation process, and costs.

(Spoiler alert: Smart thermostats are awesome and very user friendly. You’ll find plenty of great options at a range of price points, too. And it’s so rewarding to see your energy costs go down once your thermostat is programmed and in use.)

3. How can I improve my indoor air quality?

Many HVAC companies offer indoor air quality solutions such as duct cleaning and air purifier or dehumidifier installation. If you and your family suffer from allergies, air quality is an important issue to address. At the very least, you’ll want to get a recommendation on air filters that capture allergens.

4. Should I get my air ducts cleaned?

Duct cleaning can really improve airflow and indoor air quality. Ask your tech to check out the situation in your ducts and let you know when they should be cleaned next.

5. What are the benefits of a maintenance plan with the company?

Specific maintenance plans vary from company to company, so make sure to find out what is included in your HVAC company’s maintenance plan. Sometimes there are different plan levels to choose from, and your tech can recommend which one is best for your system’s condition.

6. When should my next maintenance appointment be?

Schedule at least two maintenance appointments per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. However, some companies offer more frequent maintenance checks with their annual maintenance programs. And if you have an older system, you might want it checked a little more frequently than a brand-new unit.

7. Is there anything I need to know about my mature A/C unit?

Maybe your old unit is running fine for now, but you’ll want to know how far in the future you might need to replace it. Ask your A/C tech if a few repairs will keep it running smoothly for few more years or if you need to start looking for a new one before this one imminently bites the dust.

Another question to ask is whether your older unit uses R-22. This is a type of refrigerant that is being phased out due to environmental concerns. Once the ban on R-22 production and import is complete in 2020, R-22 needed for existing units will have to come from recycled or recovered sources. Decreased availability of R-22 will increase prices. If your mature unit uses this type of refrigerant, consider an upgrade soon to avoid expense and difficulty later.

8. How do I choose a new air conditioner?

If you know you’ll need to replace your unit soon, ask the tech for advice and guidelines to narrow down your choices. If you live in a relatively temperate climate, you might ask your HVAC technician about a heat pump and whether it would be a good option for both A/C and heat.

9. What are SEER ratings?

There are plenty of resources out there that explain SEER ratings, but if you want a quick and dirty explanation from a pro, just ask your tech. They can help you understand how SEER ratings fit into the big picture of selecting a new HVAC unit or evaluating the efficiency of your current unit.

How to Prepare for Your HVAC Appointment

outdoor condenser unit located by the side of a houseBasic DIY HVAC system check

If you’re not totally sure that your system needs a service appointment, try some basic A/C troubleshooting before you call your HVAC company. Once you’ve got an appointment scheduled, there are also a couple things you can do to prepare for the visit.

  1. Make a list of issues you’ve noticed. Weird noises? Odd smells? Take note of them all.
  2. Know where your equipment is located. This includes the air handler, the outdoor condenser unit, and the thermostat controls. You should also be able to point out the main electrical panel.
  3. Remove obstacles. This includes moving anything in the way of your indoor and outdoor equipment, throwing all those toys into a closet, and getting your pets out of the way so they’re safe during the visit.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Your HVAC technician is here to help you. Even if you feel like you have a silly question, ask it! These techs are experts, and everyone likes sharing their expertise. Your HVAC technician and you will benefit from knowledge sharing—it’ll make communicating about issues easier and help you properly care for your system.

HVAC Maintenance for the Homeowner

man changing air filter for HVAC systemTo keep your A/C system healthy, there are steps you can take on your own throughout the year:

  • Change your air filter regularly. Change it at least quarterly, but if you have pets or allergies you may want to change it monthly.
  • Reduce strain on your system. Use reasonable temperature settings throughout the year, and be sure to adjust temperatures according to the season. Don’t let the A/C run constantly while you’re away. Shade trees and curtains can keep the sun from heating up your house, too.
  • Keep plants and objects away from the outdoor unit. Make sure there is room for airflow on all sides. Give the unit a quick once-over after major storms to ensure that it isn’t damaged and that the grilles aren’t clogged with dirt or debris.

The Bottom Line

Your HVAC technician is a valuable resource, so take advantage of their visit to ask all your burning A/C questions. Call a Best Pick air conditioning and heating pro today to schedule a system checkup to keep everything in tip-top shape!