Did You Tune-Up Your Air Conditioner for Summer?06/15/16
The summer heat has arrived, but the hottest weeks are yet to come. Is your air conditioning system cooling as effectively as it was this time last year? Was your first summertime energy bill comparable to last year’s? If the answer to either is no, the time to schedule an air conditioner tune-up is now.
Even if everything seems to be going well, it’s a good idea to have your A/C system tuned up at least once per year. An annual tune-up can save you money in both the short and long-term:
- Increased energy efficiency through thorough cleaning of condenser coils
- Avoiding emergency repairs by proactively replacing worn parts
- Improved safety by replacing loose or worn wiring, contacts or capacitors that could potentially start a fire
- Extending the lifespan of the unit as a whole by fixing small problems before they can turn into large ones
Air conditioning tune-ups include a thorough cleaning and inspection of all parts, a coolant level check, thermostat adjustment, lubrication of moving parts and instrument testing of motors, fans, belts and other components. At the end of your tune-up, you should expect a detailed report that includes any recommended maintenance or repairs, as well as system data you can use to track your system’s performance year-over-year.
Don’t Forget the Filters
You should already be in the habit of changing your HVAC filters at regular intervals, as often as once per month depending on the filter type. If you haven’t been maintaining your filters, an HVAC professional will be able to show you where they’re located and how you can change them during the course of any tune-up inspection.
This is also a great opportunity to have an expert explain the various filter types that are compatible with your system. If you’re using disposable fiberglass filters, you might find better value and performance with the alternatives:
- Pleated air filters feature more filtration material and a different design from fiberglass filters, allowing them to filter smaller particles out of the air. This design is ideal for households with people who are sensitive to allergens, but they do force air conditioning systems to work a little harder, contributing to increased wear on components.
- Electrostatic filters are washable and reusable, saving you from having to replace them every month. They use a static charge to attract additional particles that fiberglass filters won’t catch.
- Electronic filters are the most expensive option, but also the most effective. They create an electrical field that attracts airborne particles like a magnet, and are an important part of any robust indoor air quality system.
If you haven’t yet scheduled your air conditioner tune-up for this summer, take a moment to call your local HVAC experts before the hottest temperatures arrive.