In these trying times, it seems that there is always something vying for our attention and many of these things seem to require money. So, it’s not surprising that most of us are looking at any way to save money. But, when we have invested in something, it makes sense to take care of it and neglect may cost more in the medium to long-term. This is very applicable when it comes to HVAC equipment, which represents a significant investment in home comfort. Heating and cooling systems are complex, there are electrical, mechanical, and electronic components. These parts need to work in harmony to ensure performance at optimal efficiency. In this article, we will look at four ways that a regular AC tune-up can prevent breakdowns and save you money.
1. Improving the Indoor Air Quality
Many people believe that the primary function of an AC air filter is to clean their indoor air. To a certain extent that is true, but it should be regarded as a fringe benefit. The true purpose of the air filter is to prevent dirt, dust, and other particulates from entering the system. The HVAC system has a number of sensitive components that can be damaged by exposure to these materials.
It is possible to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters but this is not possible with every HVAC system. But, even regular cleaning and air filter changes can help to prevent the spread of dust into the ducts. Once the air is dirty it will be circulated throughout the home multiple times per day. You may even notice that you need to clean and vacuum more to stay on top of the situation.
When the IAQ is poor, the first people to notice are those with asthma, allergies, and pre-existing respiratory ailments. The exact allergy symptoms and the frequency may vary depending on the weather and activity in your local area. But, the health effects can worsen and it’s important to clean or replace the air filter.
The air filter should be replaced every 30-60 days depending on the AC unit model you have. The owner’s manual for your system will have more exact information on the filter type, model number, and the frequency of changes needed. If you have pets in the home you may need to replace the air filter more frequently. The full details on how to replace the air filter are in your manual and this is included in the annual tune-up.
When the airflow is maintained and the air is cleaner you can enjoy higher levels of IAQ in your home. The system will also work more efficiently and the frequency of breakdowns will be lowered. Many people are surprised at the number of potential HVAC problems that can be avoided with a simple air filter change.
2. Maintaining or Improving AC System Efficiency
Regular AC tune-ups will help you to maintain or even improve the efficiency of your AC system. The home will feel cooler and yet your energy bills will be lowered. During the tune-up, the AC technician will clean the evaporator and condenser coils thoroughly. They will then monitor the efficiency of the AC system to ensure that it works optimally. The system will be checked and the technician can give you some useful tips on how to improve the performance and energy efficiency. When the AC system is working well, the incidence of breakdowns is lowered and your energy bills are reduced at the same time.
3. Proactive Fault Finding
As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, an air conditioning system is complex. Early identification of minor issues can help you to avoid an expensive repair bill later. Smaller problems tend to get worse over time and what could be a simple fix may develop into something far worse. In many cases, a simple adjustment or minor repair can keep the system running smoothly, improve energy efficiency and even extend the lifespan. Every AC component is interconnected, when one fails, it can affect others nearby and this domino effect of failures can be expensive.
During a maintenance and tune-up visit the technician will check the following internal and external components to ensure that they are working as intended:
- The thermostat sensor.
- Defrosting iced components in the AC system.
- Any refrigerant leaks.
- Leaky ducts and pipes.
- The air filter integrity and quality.
- Any dry moving parts will be lubricated.
- The performance of the indoor and outdoor coils.
- The voltage supplied to the compressor and blower units.
- The correct drainage at the condensate drain pan.
These and other preventative maintenance checks will mitigate the risks of an AC system breakdown when you need essential cooling.
4. Extending the Useful Lifespan of Your AC System
Let’s face it, an AC system represents a significant investment, and if it’s well maintained, it could deliver 10-15 years of dedicated service. But, if the regular maintenance needs are ignored it will have a shorter lifespan and there will be more frequent breakdowns. When a failure occurs and/or the AC system stops running there is an increased chance that a total replacement is required. When you consider the higher costs of new equipment and compare that to the price of a biannual or annual checkup the choice is clear. A regular health check and tune-up for your AC system is a bargain. In many cases, an earlier than expected replacement can be avoided and this can save a lot of money.
We rely on our air conditioning systems to keep our homes comfortable when the weather turns hotter outdoors. An annual or biannual checkup before each cooling season begins is the best way to prepare for the warmer weather. But, demand is higher during the hotter months when AC systems that have been neglected fail. To ensure that your air conditioner continues to work at optimal efficiency throughout the summer, it makes sense to invest in a check and tune-up.
If you want to schedule some essential maintenance for your AC system, contact your local cooling and heating specialist today.