With the weather warming up so early this year, some homeowners are surprised to find out that their air conditioner isn’t ready. The best way to make sure your air conditioner is in top shape is to schedule your tune up NOW. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the number one cause of breakdowns in air conditioning units is the buildup of dust and dirt, which is easily removed during a tune-up.
Keeping your cooling system in good working order by giving it a timely tune-up allows you to:
- Lower your utility bill; an efficiently running air conditioner uses less energy than one that hasn’t been tuned up and properly maintained.
- Have a more comfortable home; your air conditioner may be struggling to keep up with your cooling needs if it’s not running at peak efficiency.
- Eliminate the worry of your system breaking down on the hottest day of the year, resulting in several days of waiting for your repairman to have time to fit you into his busy schedule.
- Help the environment; when you’re using less energy, you’re preventing air pollution and limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
- Ensure it will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty; all major manufacturers require annual maintenance as part of their warranty.
Many homeowners use the excuses of convenience and cost when explaining why they don’t have their air conditioners tuned up.
The truth is, if you schedule your tune-up early, you have more options for scheduling your appointment at a time that is convenient for you. The tune-up should take no more than 90 minutes.
As for cost, tune-ups can be about $100-$150, and even less if your favorite heating and cooling company has a special price; many do this time of year. No matter how much you pay, a tune-up pays for itself in increased energy efficiency over the course of the cooling season and in the knowledge that if there is any part in your unit that is nearing the end of its lifespan, you’ll know about it in advance, not when the thermometer is nearing the triple digits and your air conditioner is blowing hot air. In the long term, having annual tune-ups done on your equipment can add up to four years to its lifespan.
A typical air conditioner tune-up should include at least the following:
- Evaporator and condenser coil inspection
- Ensuring the condensate drain is clear
- Lubrication of all moving parts
- Checking that all electrical connections are tight
- System controls check
- Refrigerant level check
- Blower cleaning
Now is the time to schedule your air conditioner’s annual checkup—before the mercury climbs above 90. Once it gets truly hot, there will be a long line of air conditioners ahead of yours, waiting to give their homes reliable, and energy-efficient, cool air.