Do I need to have my AC checked even when everything is functioning as it should? The truth is that you still need regular maintenance, even if nothing is obviously wrong.
Getting an AC tune-up ensures your system is running efficiently and functioning as it should. Furthermore, routine maintenance saves you on the costs of expensive repairs and increases the longevity of your unit.
If it’s your first time scheduling AC maintenance, you may be wondering what to expect. Here are some signs that you need a tune-up, and some of the most important things your HVAC tech should be doing during the maintenance call.
Signs That You Need to Schedule a Tune-up
Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Frozen coils
- A unit that’s making strange noises
- The AC won’t turn on
- A leaking drain line
What To Expect During an AC Tune-Up
Here are three critical things to expect during an HVAC tune-up.
1. Conduct an Inspection
The first step your HVAC technician will do is conduct a visual inspection of your unit. Each part will be checked, performance measured, and several different tests will be conducted to identify any potential hazards.
Your contractor will check the refrigerant levels, thermostat settings, ductwork, safety controls, flue-heat cycle, blower motor/belts, service valves, AC drain pan, and the surrounding equipment. He will also look for wear-and-tear in those parts and recommend either repairing or replacing the parts.
Tests like checking for oil leaks, exposed wiring, airflow, and the temperature differences will also be conducted.
2. Cleaning the System
Most HVAC units tend to accumulate dirt and debris over time, and that can cause your system to break down. Your HVAC contractor needs to clean and flush the system to remove any accumulated dirt.
The service person will clean the AC interior, blowers, condensate drains, furnace ignition assembly, outdoor condenser and evaporator coils, burners, and the drain line. Cleaning the unit not only improves your system’s efficiency, but also uses less power as it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home.
3. Fixing Serious Issues Detected at the Inspection Stage
Your HVAC technician also needs to fix any issues he may have detected in the inspection stage. Although some minor repairs may be required, fixing them ensures your system runs efficiently. Sometimes specific parts may need to be replaced, and your contractor will advise you on the process for this if it is necessary.
A few of the repairs and adjustments your technician can make include:
- Changing out air filters
- Replacing old parts, such as capacitors or fan blades
- Adjusting gas pressure and pilot light
- Recharging the unit
- Fixing small refrigerant leaks
- Fine-tuning the blower motor and belts
How Much Does an AC Tune-Up Cost?
A complete AC maintenance’s cost varies based on your contractor, season, and the complexity of the job. Other factors that could affect the cost include:
- The model of your AC system
- Age of the air conditioner
- Square footage of the house
- The number of times you need the tune-ups
- The extent of ductwork
Your HVAC system needs routine maintenance to ensure it performs well throughout the year. Furthermore, AC tune-ups lower your energy costs, reduce expensive repairs, and prolong the lifespan of your system.
Experts recommend scheduling maintenance once or twice a year. It’s also advisable to have a tune-up if you moved into a new house.