You never fully appreciate your AC until it stops working. That is the moment when you are reminded of the gift it gives you every minute of every day, allowing you to enjoy pleasant temperatures in your home, regardless of how scorching the heat is outside. Still, it is important to remember that air conditioning units contain coils, condenser drains, filters, and other parts that should receive regular maintenance to function effectively throughout the year. Not carrying out this required maintenance means a steady decline in your equipment’s performance and an increase in the energy it uses.
Annual Air Conditioner Maintenance Programs
A good way to remember to perform annual maintenance checks on your air conditioning equipment is to ask your AC repair service to enroll you in their regular maintenance program. It is recommended that you have your unit inspected every six months for optimal performance. This way, you will be able to have the peace of mind that the required maintenance will always be performed and that the lifespan of your equipment will not be compromised. Also, working with the same AC repair company every year means you will not have to deal with people coming into your home who are not familiar with your equipment and have no information as to what has been done to the unit in the past or what issues needed to be fixed.
What should a regular air conditioning maintenance service include?
Every time your AC maintenance company stops by for a regular checkup, they should:
- Lubricate all parts
- Tighten all connections
- Remove any debris
- Clean the drain line
- Clean the condenser and evaporator coils
- Clean or swap out the air filters
- Check the level of the refrigerant
- Comb the coil fins
- Check all seals and the capacitor
- Inspect the compressor
Is there anything a homeowner can do to preserve their AC?
Unfortunately, air conditioning maintenance is not something a homeowner can fully tackle on their own, mostly because testing and inspection of an HVAC unit must be performed by a trained and licensed professional. These systems contain dangerous gases and high-pressure lines that may endanger a homeowner with no experience. Yet, you can certainly make sure that the area around your unit is always free of debris. Pull out any weeds, get rid of any leaves that have fallen on it or around it, and always confirm that nothing has fallen inside the unit.
How much can you be expected to pay for an annual AC maintenance service?
On average, you can expect an annual AC checkup to run you between $75 and $200, depending on what needs to be fixed. If you sign up for an extended service contract, you will pay between $150 and $500. The higher amount would include both heating and cooling. If you require repair that falls outside standard service, HVAC technicians usually charge between $50 and $150 an hour.
When you are told that there is a major issue with your unit, it is always worth your time to compare how much you are being charged for the repair and how much a new unit would cost. If the problem is big enough, a replacement might be your best option.