What to Know About AC Servicing: Timing, Frequency, and Maintenance Tasks
Even if you purchased the highest-rated AC unit on the market, it will require service at some point. Otherwise, the quality of its performance decreases as it struggles to function well enough to keep you and your family comfortable.
The result is durability issues and poor energy efficiency that can cost you more long-term. The harder the unit works, the higher your electricity bill. Alternately, maintaining your AC unit helps to keep the system running smoothly year after year.
The question becomes how often should you have your air conditioner serviced? Some experts recommend yearly checkups. Others recommend having your AC unit serviced every six months. Regardless of the frequency, there are common maintenance standards to improve efficiency.
Benefits of Regular AC Unit Service
There are many benefits to scheduling regular maintenance for your AC unit. For one, you will enjoy utility bill savings. An air conditioner that performs properly improves the cooling of your home. The reduction of energy consumption translates to reduced power rates and a lower utility bill.
You will also enjoy repair bill savings. Since your AC could stop working at any time, regular checkups let you know of any issues with parts or system functions that should be addressed. Regular maintenance protects you from excessively expensive repairs.
Maintenance is the best way to avoid a total system breakdown as well. The key to turning on a functional AC unit to cool your home is getting it checked. You can avoid surprises by letting a professional technician identify issues before they become major problems.
Finally, if you want to extend the life of your AC unit, it is critical to stay on top of maintaining it. This will help to ensure it performs for a long time. Fixing problems during a regular checkup uncovers potential system failure in one area that could create problems in other areas.
How Often Should You Service Your AC Unit?
Generally, you should service your air conditioner at least twice yearly. The ideal times to schedule service are in the spring and fall. Frequent maintenance can catch minor performance issues before they become major expensive problems.
Springtime is a chance to ensure your AC is ready for summer’s heat and humidity. Since your AC is part of the heating system, fall service guarantees the unit is ready for the cold months ahead.
Avoid Service During Winter and Summer Months
Having your AC unit serviced during the winter months is not an ideal situation. Damage can occur from running cold air in cold weather. Exposing the oil inside the unit to cooler external temperatures can cause it to thicken. The unit could malfunction from an interruption of oil circulation.
It is also not recommended to have the unit serviced during hot summer months. This is the busiest time of year for AC service. Not only must you endure sweltering heat waiting for a technician, but also you could pay a higher price for repairs.
Tasks Performed During AC Unit Servicing
Whether your unit is serviced in the fall or spring, you can expect the technician to perform the same tasks. It is important to make sure your AC system is in optimal condition. Each task will add to the lifespan and efficiency level of your AC unit.
Bi-annual AC unit service typically covers:
- Lubrication of parts
- Making sure the thermostat works properly
- Inspection and cleaning of outdoor and indoor coils
- Air filter replacement
- Refrigerant operating pressure
- System control checks
- Inspection of the condensate pump, cleaning it of debris and dirt
- Inspection of contactors for burned contacts
- Cleaning the entire HVAC unit of debris, dirt, and dust
- Visual inspection of the entire HVAC system
Another important task that is performed during AC unit service is checking for potential electrical problems. A trained HVAC technician can identify specific symptoms such as no cool air blowing out, a tripping circuit breaker, or an abrupt system shutdown.
If there is a problem with the circuit breaker that requires more than turning it on or off, the technician can replace it. Additionally, a skilled technician can remove any faulty electrical parts to avoid short circuits or fire hazards.
DIY Maintenance Between Professional Service Visits
Even with bi-annual service, there are ways for you to maintain your AC unit throughout the year. Doing so helps to optimize the unit and ensure it works at its best.
It is a good idea to replace or clean the air filter every three months. This is especially true if you, your family, or your pets suffer from asthma or allergies. There are filters that can remove tiny allergen particles.
Additionally, it is easy for air filters to get clogged. This will reduce airflow and efficiency and make the unit work harder to keep your house cool.
Vents are another part of your AC unit that should be cleaned. Cleaning involves unscrewing and removing the vents. Use a soft cloth to wipe away the buildup that blocks the unit’s efficiency.
Next, vacuum the ducts to remove dust. Reach inside the ducts as far as possible. This will help reduce the amount of allergen and dust particles that circulate throughout the house.
Winterize the AC Unit
Basic winterization of your AC unit is another step towards ensuring it is ready for summer. Winterization keeps wildlife from eating mechanical parts or nesting inside the unit. This will also help to reduce weather damage and rust.
Additional Maintenance Tasks
Other tasks to include in your maintenance routine include using a garden hose to rinse off bird droppings, insects, and dirt accumulation. Let the unit dry completely. You also want to clear the condenser of leaves, twigs, weeds, and any other debris throughout the summer and winter months.
Prevent pipes from freezing by insulating them with foam tubing, and use a close-fitting cover to protect the exterior part of your AC unit. Removing ice and snow accumulation as the winter months progress is important as well. This ensures that the weight of winter precipitation does not cause any damage.
Call for Quality Service to Extend Your AC Unit’s Lifespan
Extending the lifespan of your AC unit requires a regular maintenance schedule. Not only can you make sure it runs smoothly, but you will also know in advance if there are problems. Additionally, DIY maintenance fills the gap between scheduling appointments with an AC unit professional.
Hoff Heating & AC can service your AC unit to ensure it is ready for the summer months in O’Fallon. We offer top-notch repair, maintenance, and installation services for both air conditioners and heating systems. We also provide indoor air quality services and solutions, including air purifiers and humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Our dedicated team of professionals contributes to our BBB A+ rating and an Angie’s List Super Service Award. If you are hearing strange noises, have an AC unit that does not work or it is time for a service appointment, Hoff Heating & AC can help you weather the summer heat. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services.