Whether your home uses forced air or hydronic heating, annual maintenance is an essential part of ensuring comfortable temperatures all winter long. During these check-ups, your HVAC contractor can perform routine maintenance necessary to keep your system healthy and inspect major components for signs of trouble. These visits help to reduce your overall costs by reducing the likelihood of failures, allowing you to repair problems before they become wildly expensive, and improving system efficiency to lower utility costs.
While you know that these visits are essential, you may not have a good feel for the best time to schedule one. Although planning a maintenance visit at any time of the year is better than never scheduling one at all, there are significant advantages to having your inspection performed early.
The Planner: Spring and Summer
You probably aren't thinking much about your furnace or your boiler when the days are warm and long, but this can often be the best time to schedule a quick check-up. During the warm season, many heating specialists are less busy and have greater availability. Even if you can't score a discount for scheduling during the off-season, it is more likely that your technician will be able to schedule an appointment at a time that works best for you. Another often overlooked advantage of summer inspections is that they give you more time to budget for repairs. If your technician discovers problems, you will likely have months to deal with it before turning your heating system on for the first time.
The Procrastinator: Fall
Did you miss your summer inspection? While having your inspection performed well before winter is often ideal, there's nothing wrong with a fall check-up. In many parts of the country, fall is already chilly enough that you may be using your heating on particularly cold nights. Having already turned your furnace on for the first time, you'll be able to let your technician know about any problems that you may have noticed. Since fall generally isn't too cold, this is still a relatively good time to take care of any necessary repairs, even if it means losing the use of your heat for a day or two.
The Last-Minute Wonder: Winter
If you've put off your annual inspection until the leaves have fallen and snow is on the ground, there's no reason to wait for next summer to get it done. Although winter inspections aren't ideal, they are still better than deferring this necessary maintenance task for even longer. If your technician discovers problems, you will still be able to deal with them on your own terms rather than waiting for the entire system to fail. Likewise, the upkeep portion of your annual inspection will help to ensure that you won't suffer when you need your heat the most.
So, when is the best time to handle your maintenance? While a spring or summer check-up is ideal, remember that there is no time like the present. If it has been more than a year since your last visit, scheduling an inspection as soon as possible is often the best option, no matter the season.