Top 5 in Real Estate Network® Members are dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date, helpful real estate information. This monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Matters," offers articles on a range of topics that will inform you in your real estate pursuits.

From Our Team: How to Avoid a Huge HVAC Mistake...and a Big Expense

As things heat up in our area, we wanted to take the chance to remind you of the importance of regularly caring for your HVAC system.
Failing to properly maintain your HVAC can cost you thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, we’ve had clients confronted with HVAC nightmares due to lack of consistent maintenance. And as a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I, along with my team, understand how important it is to keep your home’s value intact…especially in today’s market.
The good news is, while the cost to replace an HVAC system can be in the $10,000 range, simple maintenance is not costly at all. A filter is usually less than $10 and replacing it monthly keeps your air cleaner and your house less dusty.

Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as the original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning. If you're using a high-density filter such as an electrostatic filter, check with your local HVAC expert, who can raise the external static pressure of your system. If the external static pressure exceeds the design criteria of your system, it can negatively impact the performance and life of your equipment.

Your air filter should be located in either the blower compartment of the furnace, in an attached filter case, or in a return air grille in a wall of your home. If you cannot find the air filter, contact your local HVAC dealer for assistance.

Have your local HVAC dealer perform preventative maintenance before the start of a new season. Many companies offer service agreements that may include reduced rates on labor and parts and provide priority response. Service/maintenance agreements may also cover:

- Cleaning indoor and outdoor coils
- Tightening electrical connections
- Checking supply voltage and operating current
- Checking refrigerant charge
- Measuring temperature differential at supply and return registers
- Cleaning blower wheel and motor
- Inspecting and adjusting the burner
- Checking heat exchangers
- Cleaning drain lines and pan
- Checking ductwork for leaks and insulation
- Checking the thermostat

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