When summer temperatures start to skyrocket, Southern Californians seek relief in their homes with a cool, comfortable air conditioner. A dirty or neglected unit can reduce efficiency and raise your energy bills. Your HVAC unit is more than just a box that sits outside your house. It is an entire system that includes many internal components that need to be serviced. Just like your car, an air conditioning unit can operate efficiently for many years as long as it receives regular maintenance. That is why an air conditioner tune-up or service is so important to your home maintenance regimen.
Ignoring routine air conditioner maintenance can cause higher utility bills and reduced comfort. Even worse, it can make system components work harder, leading to reduced life expectancy and even total shutdown or system failure. While most average homeowners can handle cleaning or replacing their air filter, calling a qualified HVAC technician for a yearly air conditioning system tune-up can help ensure reliability and longevity.
Signs It Is Time For An AC Tune-Up
To help keep your AC system and all of its moving parts running as they should, we recommend an annual tune-up. This service is best performed every spring season, right before the summer season heats up. If it has been longer than a year between your last tune-up, your system might start showing signs that it is time to call your local Aire-Tech professional.
- Energy bill is higher than expected
- Air flow from cooling registers (vents) is less than normal
- Indoor temperatures higher than normal/AC not keeping up
- AC constantly running or turning on and off frequently
- Higher than normal humidity in the house
5 Reasons You Should Not Skip Your Annual Tune-Up
1. Your Unit Has Been Sitting Idle
Your air conditioner has likely been idle for months. Before you need it every day, it is a good idea to get it checked out. In the same way you would not drive your car cross-country without a tune-up and oil change, your HVAC unit needs the same level of care. In many cases, it will be just fine. However, taking that chance is not something you should do. Start the season with your system at peak function and efficiency.
2. Regular Maintenance Is Less Costly Than Repairs
A little preventive maintenance goes a long way toward eliminating or minimizing the need for repairs and helps prevent breakdowns. A certified technician can identify and address any issues while they are minor. Many times, simply cleaning and making simple adjustments is enough to prevent the excessive wear-and-tear that would otherwise shorten the life of your air conditioner.
3. Neglecting Regular Maintenance Could Void Your Warranty
Many manufacturers require annual maintenance to keep the warranty in force. When you maintain your HVAC unit, it is important that you keep documentation of the maintenance procedure with you and store the documents in a secure location. This is because when you call on the warranty provider for service, you will need documentation to prove that you’ve been having the unit maintained on a regular basis. Without this documentation, your HVAC warranty could easily be voided.
4. A Well-Maintained AC Lasts Longer
Keeping an air conditioner well-maintained can be crucial to improving its longevity. During an HVAC maintenance visit, you can thoroughly clean your customer’s system, check refrigerant levels, look for worn or damaged parts and look for any restrictions in airflow. Staying on top of cleaning and small repairs can prevent larger problems from occurring that can damage your customer’s unit and reduce the length of time it will function efficiently.
5. Increase Efficiency and Decrease Cooling Costs
If you could see what AC technicians see when they come to service a neglected air conditioner, you would understand why regular maintenance is so important. Cleaning the components, fixing electrical connections, and replacing worn parts make your system run more efficiently and use less electricity. In fact, studies show that air conditioning maintenance helps your unit to maintain up to 95% of its original efficiency.
What Does an AC Tune-Up Typically Include?
When you call your local Aire-Tech technician to schedule an AC tune-up, they can give you a good estimate of how long the appointment should last. You can expect a typical clean and check to last about an hour. If the service tech finds an issue that needs to be addressed, it may take longer.
During a routine maintenance service call, your Aire-Tech professional will likely evaluate air conditioner system performance in various modes of operation to determine its condition and evaluate whether repairs or adjustments are needed. Then they will shut off electrical power to execute a number of cleaning and inspection tasks. Our professionals will perform these tasks as part of a standard “clean and check” appointment, including:
- Check refrigerant charge levels and air flow, check for refrigerant leaks
- Make sure all electrical connections are sound and components are working properly
- Check for secure physical connections of individual parts
- Check the run capacitor for bulging and/or unusual markings or color
- Check and clean outdoor condenser coil
- Check indoor evaporator coil for blockage and apply self-rinsing cleaner when possible
- Check and clean the condensate drainage system
- Clean and adjust blower components
- Check the air filter, and replace or clean, if needed
Benefits of an Air Conditioning Tune-Up
The best time of year to tune up your air conditioner is right before turning the unit on for the first time in the spring. During the winter, AC systems are exposed to snow, ice, rain, dirt and debris that can cause damage and prevent the air conditioner from operating properly.
A spring tune-up will take care of necessary maintenance so it will run efficiently all year long. Some of the other benefits of an annual AC inspection include:
1. Increased Life Expectancy
On average, an air conditioner will last about 12 to 15 years. But a regularly maintained unit can survive much longer – sometimes 20 years or more.
2. Decrease in Repairs
Air conditioning unit components work hard and are prone to wearing down over time. An annual inspection can catch these issues before they lead to the need for an expensive repair. Some of these problems are more likely to appear later in the summer when the cooling system is being used more frequently and put under more stress. It is best to catch them early with a spring tune up.
3. Protect Your Warranty
Many manufacturers require annual maintenance to be performed on the unit by a qualified technician and will ask for proof. If you neglect to do this, your warranty could be voided, and you will be responsible to pay for any expensive repairs or break downs.
4. Save Money
An annual air conditioner tune-up can lower your energy bills by up to 15%. Cleaning the unit and ensuring that it is in top operating condition helps it run more efficiently, which lowers your bill and helps the environment. An annual tune-up in the spring also helps your air conditioner get to peak efficiency faster.
As the weather begins to warm up and winter starts to die away, it is important to take a few preventative measures to protect your home through the warmer months when windows start to open and birds begin to sing. Air conditioner tune-ups can seem like a frivolous thing to have done for someone who is unaware of their benefits and the importance. But the truth is, you will be stopping problems before they get out of hand. And while it may seem like you’re paying extra money for the tune-up, you’re actually saving on repairs, replacements, and energy costs by having it done.
If your system needs repair or inspection before winter, call Aire-Tech on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.