What to Expect During Your Pre-Season HVAC Service Call

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated December 29, 2021
Mother and daughter hugging while having breakfast
Photo: Drobot Dean / Adobe Stock


  • Get HVAC service calls annually to ensure your HVAC system functions properly.

  • A pre-season HVAC service call usually includes both outdoor and indoor procedures.

  • Your HVAC technician will likely check several areas, including the filter, thermostat, and condensation drain.

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When one season transitions into the next, you’ll likely have many things going on at once. The last thing you’re thinking about is probably your HVAC system, and understandably so! However, getting regular HVAC services can benefit your system’s functionality. In reality, the trouble you’ll go to to get an HVAC service call is worth it since the last thing you want is a broken heater during the winter.

When Should You Schedule an HVAC Service Call?

Since HVAC services may get backed up, it’s important to schedule your service call ahead of time. You should think about scheduling your visits before peak seasons.

So, if you need a heater treatment, you should schedule a service call during the fall. Getting ahead of the changing season ensures that you’ll have a working heater when the cold months come around. For air conditioning systems, you should look into scheduling service in the spring, giving yourself time to get everything in order before heat waves roll in. 

It’s also important to know how often you should get HVAC service calls. In virtually all cases, you should schedule HVAC service calls at least once a year. 

Do some research on the various HVAC services near you and check out several reviews and quotes before you hire a technician. 

Outside Procedure

Your HVAC professional will likely first go for the outdoor procedure, which involves checking multiple exterior components of the A/C system. 

This usually involves cleaning the condenser fins. Your HVAC professional will inspect the fins—metal slats that run along the exterior of the A/C unit—for any debris accumulation. In addition, they will add oil to the motor oil ports. The technician will likely examine the electrical connections for loose or worn-down wires.

Inside Procedure

A pre-season HVAC maintenance call will also feature an indoor evaluation of the system to ensure everything is functioning properly. This inspection typically includes checking several components, which are listed below, along with steps included in HVAC maintenance calls

Looking For Mold

An HVAC technician will check each A/C component for mold or mildew growth. This is an important part of the evaluation since mold and mildew can cause potential health issues. 

Installing a New Filter

If necessary, the HVAC professional will recommend installing a new air filter. This may be the case if it’s extremely clogged. On average, you should be changing your filter every two to three months.

Changing the filter is important to ensure you maximize the efficiency of your A/C and heating systems. On the flip side, if you don’t change a malfunctioning or clogged filter, the system will likely become less efficient over time. 

Checking the Thermostat

Smart home digital thermostat
Photo: Maridav / Adobe Stock

During the service call, the technician will check the thermostat. They will ensure it’s working properly and calibrated correctly. An improperly-calibrated thermostat can result in difficulty maintaining temperature. A thermostat can become uncalibrated when dirt accumulates inside or if it gets jostled. 

Inspect Condensate Drain

You can expect your technician to inspect the condensate drain, which is the exit pathway for moisture that accumulates as air passes through the evaporator coil. This coil removes the humidity from the air and unloads it through the drain line, down to the exit pipe. 

An HVAC professional will look for clogs and debris or dust accumulation in the condensate drain. This can cause water backup and ultimately damage the HVAC unit. 

Written Report and Service Guarantee

Usually, the technician will provide you with a written report of his work. This typically includes recommendations for any necessary repairs or necessary maintenance jobs. 

In addition, the HVAC contractor will probably give you a service guarantee—this assures that they don’t anticipate a failure or breakdown within a specific period.

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