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Do You Need To Schedule Separate Preventative HVAC Maintenance Visits?

One of the best ways to keep your home's HVAC system smoothly running is to schedule an annual preventative maintenance visit with a qualified HVAC company. However, many homeowners may wonder whether it's necessary to schedule separate visits for their furnace and AC. Should you schedule a furnace visit in the winter and an AC visit in the summer?

The short answer is that you can schedule a single visit for all aspects of your home's heating and cooling systems. Still, there are a few small caveats that you'll need to consider if you're going to schedule a single, combined preventative maintenance visit. Understanding these issues will help you avoid frustration and ensure you can pick the perfect time to schedule your maintenance visit.

Can You Schedule a Maintenance Visit Year-Round?

You can schedule a preventative HVAC maintenance visit for your furnace any time during the year. An HVAC technician can turn your furnace on and check for proper operation, even if it's very warm outside. It's typically not necessary to run the furnace for long during a routine maintenance visit, so there are no serious worries about overheating the house. However, you may want to avoid visits on scorching hot days.

On the other hand, your air conditioner is a little more complex. The mechanical compressor lives outside, and cold temperatures can impact its operation. At low temperatures, the oil in the compressor will have a higher viscosity, creating more friction and causing wear. The compressor may not be able to operate at all at low temperatures and will likely have a safety switch to prevent turning it on.

Since a thorough inspection and maintenance visit requires your technician to run your air conditioning system, you should generally avoid scheduling an AC or combined visit during the coldest parts of winter. If you need to bundle up in a heavy jacket to go outside, it's probably too cold for a routine air conditioning maintenance appointment.

When Should You Schedule a Combined Visit?

Spring and fall are the best times of the year if you want to save money and time by combining your furnace and air conditioning visit into a single trip. While you can still service your furnace during the summer, testing the unit may make your home uncomfortable. Additionally, many contractors are much busier during the summer, so it may be harder to fit a maintenance visit into your schedule.

On the other hand, fall and spring offer perfect weather for a complete system tune-up. Both seasons are typically warm enough that you can run your air conditioner but not so warm that briefly running your furnace may be an issue. The warmer outdoor temperatures will also make it more convenient for the technician to inspect your condenser unit and clean the condenser coils.

However, the most important thing you can do is simply to schedule your annual visit. While picking a convenient time of the year can save you time and money, it's still better to choose a less convenient time (or schedule separate AC and furnace visits) than to defer these critical maintenance appointments.