As a homeowner, you want to make sure that your air conditioning system is running smoothly and efficiently, especially during the hot summer months. However, many homeowners are unsure of what a tune-up entails and when it should be performed. That's where One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning comes in!

In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about AC tune-ups, including why they're important and what to expect during your appointment. Whether you're a new homeowner or have been living in your house for years, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to keep your AC running like a champ!

What Is an AC Tune-Up and Why Do I Need One?

There are many parts that make up your air conditioning system, and they all work together to keep your home cool and comfortable. Like any HVAC system, though, proper operation of your AC unit requires regular maintenance and inspection.

Annual maintenance performed on your air conditioning unit, often referred to as an AC tune-up, is a vital part of keeping your air conditioning system running at peak performance. It is also the primary way your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technician is able to catch small problems before they become bigger — and more expensive — problems.

This regular maintenance helps ensure your unit runs efficiently throughout its entire lifespan, which will save you both time and money in the long run.

What Does an AC Tune-Up Include & How Often Should I Get One?

To achieve the best performance from your AC system, it is recommended that you schedule annual maintenance calls, at the minimum. When one of our HVAC Comfort Specialists visits your home to perform an AC tune-up, they will perform the following maintenance tasks:

  1. Conduct a multi-port test
  2. Look for common maintenance issues, including:
    1. Dirty evaporator coils
    2. Old air filters
    3. Clogged condensate drains
    4. Blower motor wear and tear
  3. Lubricate the system’s mechanical parts
  4. Recharge your refrigerant if refrigerant levels are low
  5. Remove any debris or blockages near your AC unit
  6. Notify you of any repair needs

The best time to schedule your annual AC tune-up is in the spring, so you can beat the rush.

What Are the Benefits of Scheduling an AC Tune-Up?

An air conditioner tune-up is a maintenance that pays you back. Here are the most important ways you can save by being proactive:

Improve Your System's Efficiency

A thorough tune-up involves cleaning, testing, and adjusting the entire system for peak efficiency. All air conditioners lose efficiency as they age, and units that aren’t maintained become inefficient much faster. Maximizing your system’s efficiency is the key to controlling your utility bills — and it helps your home cool in a faster and more evenly distributed way!

Avoid Emergency Service Calls

Many unexpected system breakdowns can be avoided altogether with preventative maintenance. By scheduling an air conditioner tune-up every year, you’ll stay one step ahead of emergency repairs, which can often cost you a pretty penny.

Fix Small Problems, Skip Big Ones

Air conditioners are complex systems, and small, cheap-to-fix problems can grow into big, expensive ones if left unaddressed. Even if your system seems to be working just fine, there could be internal problems brewing. But if you tune up your system every year, you’ll catch these problems early and save big on future AC repairs.

Give Your Air Conditioner a Long Life

Lack of maintenance can take its toll on your system, shaving years off the life of an air conditioner. But with annual tune-up appointments, you can make your unit last longer than average. This has the potential to save you thousands of dollars over the many years you’ll own your home.

Can I Tune-Up my AC Unit Myself?

No, you should not try to tune up your AC unit on your own. To properly perform an AC tune-up, an HVAC technician is required. While you can aid in keeping your unit working properly by regularly replacing your air filters and removing the debris around your outdoor AC unit, the majority of the AC tune-up requires a skilled, qualified professional.

You Could Damage Parts or Get Injured

A lot can go wrong in a DIY attempt at a tune-up. Even something as simple as cleaning the condenser is best left to the professionals because delicate coils and fins inside the system can be inadvertently damaged in a way that will affect system performance. And that’s not to mention the risk of accidental electrical shock!

Trained Professionals Can Foresee Problems Before They Arise

What’s more, the trained eye of your HVAC technician is what will allow you to get ahead of bigger problems that are coming down the pike. We strongly advise you to call an HVAC professional for all of your AC maintenance needs and ask them questions about the condition of your unit and what you should expect in the years to come.

If you are looking to save money, read our article on The Top 5 Ways to Save With Your AC.

How Long Does an AC Tune-Up Take?

Average Length

When it comes to AC tune-up appointments, the average technician can complete the process in about one hour. This is assuming there are no major issues with your system.

Longer Than Average

There are a few circumstances in which your tune-up could take an hour and a half to two hours. This typically occurs when the system has not been maintained for some time and is in need of a deeper, more involved servicing or if the system’s refrigerant is low and must be recharged.

Be Suspicious of Short Tune-Ups

While an experienced technician will be about to complete their tune-up in an efficient manner, it’s important to know that these appointments should not be brief. Companies that advertise 15-minute tune-ups should be avoided as their service will not be as thorough or beneficial. Proper operation only comes through careful maintenance.

What's the Best Time of Year for an AC Tune--Up? 

We recommend scheduling your AC tune-up in the spring in order to beat the heat and the summertime rush. Taking care of this appointment before the weather changes drastically will set you up for a more comfortable and efficient summer. Generally speaking, you want to have your unit checked out before the weather starts to reach the 70 to 75 degrees fahrenheit range.

For homeowners in sunnier and Southern climates, get it checked in March. For Northern climates, get it checked in April or May.

Is It Necessary to Service AC Every Year? 

Most HVAC technicians recommend getting an air conditioning tune up once a year at a minimum.

Some Reasons Why It's a Good Idea to Have Your AC Unit Checked Every Year

Get It Checked So You Don’t Void Your Warranty

Failure to regularly maintain your system could result in a void of your warranty. This could cause a big headache should your system fail down the line.

Get It Checked To Maintain Good Indoor Air Quality

Good air quality not only impacts your health and the cleanliness of your home — it can also affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. During your service appointment, your tech will thoroughly clean coils and filters, removing all the dust and grime that has been continuously circulating through your home.

The U.S. Department of Energy Recommends It

Finally, you should keep up with yearly tune-ups because the U.S. Department of Energy highly recommends them!

Why Choose One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning for Your AC Maintenance?

Choosing One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning for AC maintenance means choosing a company that is completely committed to keeping your home comfortable. All of our HVAC technicians are licensed, highly trained, and familiar with the latest HVAC technology. Plus, we’re always on time, or you don’t pay a dime!

To find out more about air conditioner maintenance, contact us today! We’ll do what we can to make sure your air conditioner lasts for many years to come.