Time to schedule AC maintenance

  • Annual maintenance will reduce your utility bills and prolong the life of your air conditioning unit. Dreamstime—TNS

Published: 5/24/2018 9:56:04 PM

With summer's higher temperatures just around the corner, now is the ideal time to schedule an air conditioning tune-up. Early air conditioner maintenance can prevent many small problems from becoming bigger, more expensive problems in the long run. Furthermore, scheduling your air conditioner checkup now will save you the long waits and higher prices that come with peak season heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) repair visits.

Scheduling an annual air conditioner maintenance appointment with an HVAC professional will save you money. For starters, you'll increase the chances that your technician will catch small problems before they become bigger issues that necessitate costly repair work. Repairing a small refrigerant leak, for example, won't cost much more than the service call itself. But buying a new compressor when low refrigerant levels burn out the existing piece can cost $1,000 dollars or more. An annual checkup will also save you money by ensuring that your air conditioning unit is working at optimal efficiency. When your air conditioner is running well, it uses less energy to cool your house. And lower energy use means bigger savings on your monthly utility bills.

It's easy to schedule an air conditioner checkup. Simply contact a local HVAC technician about coming out to perform basic air conditioner maintenance. Spring or early summer is the best time to schedule this appointment. Not only will you ensure that your unit is in good working order to beat the coming heat, but you'll also get in before everyone else realizes they need air conditioning service as well. If you call early enough, an HVAC contractor will be able to come out when it's most convenient for you. Wait until later in the summer, and you may find all of the pros are booked (and, in some cases, charging more for emergency appointments).

An air conditioner tune-up will help to ensure that you get long-lasting, efficient performance from your air conditioner. Here's a short checklist of the maintenance procedures your HVAC contractor should include in a routine maintenance call:

Check for proper refrigerant levels. Low levels indicate a leak that needs to be found and repaired immediately. Low refrigerant levels can burn out your compressor, resulting in the most expensive kinds of air conditioner repairs.

Check all electrical components and controls to make sure they're working properly.

Clean evaporator and condenser coils. Dirty evaporators and coils reduce the energy efficiency and cooling ability of your unit.

Oil motors as needed.

Calibrate the thermostat to make sure your air conditioner isn't working overtime.

Check the condenser for any possible problems.

Check, clean and/or replace filters. An annual air conditioner check-up is the easiest way to ensure you'll get worry-free, money-saving performance from your air conditioner — and to keep your unit working at top efficiency for years to come.


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