Heating and Cooling Maintenance Yearly Inspections Explained for the DIYer

Maintaining your furnace at least once a year has been linked to a reduction in overall energy costs. Hence, if you want to be money and energy conscious you should check in on your heating and cooling systems at a regular yearly interval.

There is everything on the market from one-time maintenance deals to monthly subscription services including monthly inspection sheets. So what’s right for you?

Well to start, the yearly inspection is the first thing recommended unanimously by furnace and HVAC companies. While that is the topic of this article, there are also small things you can do and check regularly to ensure your hvac system is functioning correctly. After learning what inspections entail you will be able to tell if it is something you need and more importantly, if it is something you could do yourself.


Yearly furnace inspections are necessary, but when? Turns out it depends on what kind of heating and/or cooling system you have. If you have a heating AND cooling system it is recommended to actually get two inspections, one before the start of each of the seasons when you will be using it.

If it’s solely a heating system once a year before winter and for a cooling system once a year before summer. If your system is used year-round, and tied into your air quality, a general yearly inspection, one that takes the filtering of the air into account, is also important.


What happens during a maintenance schedule is dependent on if you have an indoor or outdoor unit. Though some tasks overlap obviously.

For indoor units the list is a lot longer, almost triple, everything will be inspected from the evaporation coil to the ignition controls. They do this while the system is off and when it is running. They measure outputs when it is running as well and of course clean and lubricate the motor.

Outdoor units similarly get a head to toe inspection but with a heavier emphasis on the cleaning as there will be more debris inside the cabinet. They also take care to look for any water damage, mold and other larger issues.

Monthly Maintenance

With so much covered in the yearly maintenance what could the monthly check cover? The monthly check is simply meant to briefly make sure the unit is working and to change the air filters if necessary. No in depth analysis and knowledge of controls is required hence why maintenance companies recommend you do it yourself.

Usually with the proper research you can learn to maintain your own HVAC system, and not only save money, but extend the life of your system. This is also useful knowledge to have so that when you have a real issue, you will have enough knowledge of your own system to not be taken to “the cleaners” by any less than honest “professional” HVAC tech.

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