As Southern Californians, we know all too well the importance of our air conditioner and the frustration that comes from one that breaks down when needed the most. But do you know when the perfect time to schedule AC maintenance is? Most importantly, you need to understand that maintenance is an essential service, not just one you do whenever it is convenient. You should be scheduling an air conditioner tune-up annually.
So, how do you ensure that your system will be capable of fending off those rising temperatures? If you are ready to schedule that beneficial AC maintenance your system needs, count on Aire Tech to be ready to help. Our team of HVAC specialists has all the information for when and why AC tune-ups are most beneficial to your AC unit.
Let’s go through AC tune-ups: what they are and why they are important.
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
Why Does an Air Conditioner Need a Tune-Up?
Your Air Conditioning unit goes through a lot during the scorching Southern California summers and needs regular tune-ups to keep it working for a good portion of the year. A neglected A/C unit will break down more frequently, need costly repairs, and may also have a need to be replaced prematurely. By keeping a check on your A/C Tune-Up, your air conditioning unit will require fewer expensive repairs.
Regular tune-ups will also reduce your heating and cooling costs, as well as add a couple of years to your air conditioning system’s life. A tune-up service also improves the reliability of the A/C unit by detecting any possible problems before they can lead to failure of the particular part.
When Should You Get An AC Tune-Up?
When it comes to AC maintenance, the golden rule is that your unit should be evaluated at least once a year for maximum efficiency. Within that 365-day time span a wide range of parts can wear down or break, slowly causing your unit to run less effectively and possibly form more serious problems.
As for a specific time during the year that you should schedule AC maintenance, Spring is the top recommendation by our HVAC professionals. You count on your AC system most during the summer and many times as early as Spring, so it makes sense to check out the function in the months before you really need your system in prime condition. Plus, HVAC technicians are more likely to get emergency repair calls in the summer so availability might be more limited.
Signs That Your A/C Unit Requires a Tune-Up
To maintain the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, a minimum of one annual tune-up service is recommended by experts. The best time to have a tune-up service is during the spring season. Your air conditioning unit will start showing these signs if it has been quite a long time since your last tune-up service:
- Rise in Energy Bills
If your utility bills suddenly spike, it could be an indication that there is an underlying problem with your air conditioner. A rise in energy bills usually signifies that your air conditioner is using much more energy than usual. If an air conditioning system is not maintained, over time it will require more energy to work. This will then result in an unaccounted raise in your bill.
- Strange Noises
It is not uncommon for air conditioners to make noise when they are turned on. However, if the noises increase or you begin to notice some that are out of the ordinary, this usually means there is a bigger problem at hand.
Some common sounds that indicate a problem are:
- Not Cooling Properly
An air conditioner that is blowing out warm air is not fulfilling its purpose. Your home’s comfort depends on your AC unit functioning properly. If it is blowing out warm or room temperature air, it will only create an uncomfortable environment. Cleaning the air conditioner’s coils could also solve the problem.
- Bad Odor
A foul odor coming from your air conditioner could indicate a number of probable issues. It could be due to wet filters, a faulty wire, or clogged vents. Whatever the problem may be, it will require a thorough inspection and cleaning.
- Weak Flow
A consistent airflow is necessary for your house to be maintained at the right temperature. If you begin to notice weak airflow from your air conditioner, this means your AC is working harder to cool. If you notice a poor flow of air from your air conditioner, it is probably time to schedule a tune-up to clear any dirt or debris from your air conditioner’s vents.
- Time Since Your Last Tune Up
If it has been a while since your last tune up, this is also a sign that it is time to call in a professional. Getting an AC tune up at least once a year will save you from the hassle of future problems. Aire-Tech offers several AC maintenance plans that will keep your air conditioner in check throughout the year.
Benefits of AC Tune-Up
- Reduced Repair Needs
It would be impossible to eliminate all repair needs that an air conditioner may need throughout its lifetime. However, maintenance tune-ups can prevent up to 85% of the repairs an average air conditioner may need since air conditioners experience wear and tear. During maintenance, we can catch a small issue and repair it before it turns into a big issue.
- Longer Useful Service Life
The average, well-maintained air conditioner can last 10-15 years. The truth is, an air conditioner can probably continue to run past this time, but this does not mean it is cooling you effectively or efficiently. Without maintenance, that useful service life could even be cut in half!
- Improved Energy Efficiency
Your air conditioner has an energy efficiency rating referred to as SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and is the maximum efficiency the system can actually achieve. With regular, annual maintenance, your air conditioner can retain about 95% of its original SEER rating.
- Reliable Operation
The last thing any homeowner needs is for their air conditioner to break down on them right when they need it the most. Unfortunately, this is a risk you take if you skip maintenance–and the most likely time for it to happen is at the peak of summer when it is working its hardest. Professional maintenance tune-ups are essential to keeping your air conditioner in great working order! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about this service.
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.