Air Conditioner Check-Up

by Matt Goering

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Any time is better than never, but spring is the ideal time to budget for an air conditioning tune-up. Early air conditioner maintenance can prevent many small problems from becoming more expensive problems later on. Furthermore, if your air conditioner check up is scheduled for spring, you'll also beat the long waits and higher prices that come with peak season HVAC repair visits.

Reasons to Schedule an Air Conditioner Check Up
There are two main reasons to schedule annual air conditioner maintenance with your local HVAC contractor: saving money and saving money (no that isn't a typo). For starters, you greatly increase the chances that your A/C technician will catch small problems before they become big ones by schedules regular check ups. Repairing a small refrigerant leak shouldn't cost much more than the service call. Buying a new compressor when low refrigerant levels burn your current one out, however, can cost a thousand dollars or more. The other way an annual check up saves you money is by ensuring that your A/C unit is working at optimal efficiency. When your A/C is running well it uses less energy to cool your house, and lower energy use means bigger savings for you on your monthly utility bills.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Scheduling an Air Conditioner Check Up
An air conditioner check up is easy to schedule. All you have to do is contact a local HVAC technician about coming out to perform basic air conditioner maintenance. As mentioned before, the best time to do this is in the spring or early summer, before everyone else turns on their air conditioner and realizes it needs to be worked on. If you call early enough, an HVAC contractor will be able to come out when it's most convenient to you in order to make sure your unit has been serviced and is running properly. Wait until later in the summer, however, and you'll find all of the pros are booked, and if need them desperately, it'll cost you..

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Air Conditioner Check Up 101
An air conditioner check up is an important part of making sure you get long lasting, and efficient performance from your air conditioner, as is knowing which services to insist on when your technician arrives. Here's a short checklist of common maintenance procedures your HVAC contractor should include with 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 costly repair when it comes to A/C, period.
  • 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 thermostat to make sure your A/C 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 keep your air conditioner in top condition for years to come. To ensure you'll get worry free, and money saving, performance from your A/C, schedule a regular maintenance call today.

    Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.