Spring is almost here and routine air conditioning tune-ups are among the best home investments you can make. That’s because tune-ups improve your system’s efficiency and increase its lifespan, saving you operating dollars and keeping you comfortable at the same time. Not only that, you can avoid problems with mold build-up that can harm your breathing space.
It’s the same principle as routine dental cleaning and annual medical appointments. Nothing’s wrong, and you want to keep it that way. But some folks let the “ounce of prevention” opportunity pass right on by, thanks to a misguided impression that it’s just too much trouble.
Yet tune-ups are simple and quick and very much worth a very minor inconvenience that can save you a good bit of time and money in the long run. Basically, a licensed professional will:
1: Clean evaporator and condenser coils, as needed, and straighten bent fins.
2: Check all the electrical components and controls.
3: Oil motor and shaft bearings.
4: Check the condenser.
5: Examine fan belts and replace if frayed or worn.
6: Calibrate the thermostat.
7: Check to see if the system is properly charged with refrigerant and that there are no leaks.
8: Check filters. (Ask your local HVAC dealer to see how often your filters need replaced)
Oh, and you can keep a watch on this on your own. While many homeowners choose to shade their condensers with trees and shrubs to improve efficiency, you’ll want to watch to make sure vegetation doesn’t grow around the condenser and restrict the air flow.
Most tune-up tasks are too extensive for the average homeowner – because of the risk of electrical shock and potential for shorting in the electrical components. But one of your techs can tend to these things in a very short time. Also, there is additional maintenance that can be advantageous to your system. When a tech comes to do your maintenance, ask if it would be beneficial to you to get some additional equipment maintenance.
Think of it as a way to save money while avoiding a whole lot more trouble later on. Equipment failure in the heat of August is never as fun as a preventive measure taken in springtime!