How Often Should You Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced?
Even if your air conditioning unit does not exhibit any problem, it is always a good idea to have it cleaned, inspected, and serviced at least once a year. Servicing air conditioners ensures that they operate with high efficiency and can regulate your home temperature adequately during the hot months. As the HVAC system functions, it accumulates dirt and dust in the hidden areas such as air filters and condensing coils. When not checked, the system could lose up to 5 percent of its functioning efficiency due to the clogging, thus, affecting its cooling ability. Most air conditioner service companies offer maintenance services, in which they offer cleaning and repair services to your HVAC system and repair any noticed fault. Some service providers even go to the extent of offering discounts when customers consider an annual plan that would warrant a regular maintenance schedule. However, below are some of the questions to ask yourself before considering an air conditioner service.
Is It Necessary To Service The AC Every Year?
YES! Servicing your AC unit every year would mean that the maintenance costs pay themselves through enhanced energy efficiency that helps in saving utility bill money. An annual maintenance service by a professional HVAC company will ensure that you reduce your monthly electricity bill by approximately 15 percent and prevent frequent breakdowns. On the contrary, replacing your air conditioner will mean spending thousands of dollars on a new one. Even small repairs, which could otherwise be prevented by annual check-ups, could cost you several hundreds of dollars. An HVAC expert can always identify and address possible AC unit problems that could grow into costly problems if left unnoticed.
The air filters should be cleaned or replaced every month. If your air filters are clogged with dirt or dust, the AC unit will not work efficiently. A clogged filter would also hold contaminants that mix with the circulated indoor air. Replace or clean the filters every month, particularly when living in a dusty environment or living with pets.
What Happens If It Is Not Serviced?
One of the expected outcomes of an unserviced AC unit is the shortened lifespan. The average lifespan of an AC is between 10 and 20 years, but some can even operate up to 30 years. Cooling systems that do not receive regular maintenance services may not even last for 10 years. It is also likely that an older air conditioner that goes unchecked can be inefficient as it will use more energy, costing you more in the long run. Additionally, an AC unit that is not serviced increases the electricity bills. The HVAC system will not perform efficiently, which will mean more consumption of energy utilities. Alternatively, the AC unit would potentially break down due to unnoticed problems, thus, causing high repair costs.
An air conditioner that is not maintained may still function, but it won’t operate efficiently as expected. This would create a greater indoor discomfort, particularly when the temperatures are high.
How Much Does It Cost For Air Conditioner Maintenance?
Most AC service companies provide low-cost maintenance inspections at a range of $75-$200, including cleaning of the AC and replacing the unit’s air filter. The inspections are absolutely necessary because they improve efficiency while also making the unit to last longer. You will also need to recharge the AC refrigerant, which costs between $100 and $350. However, this is never done every year, except when there is leakage or a part of it needs to be replaced.
What Should Be Serviced?
An AC maintenance service should involve maintaining the blower, coils, motor, drain line, operating temperatures and pressures, refrigerant levels, supply lines and return, and connections. During the maintenance visits, the following activities should be done to ensure efficient functioning of the AC unit:
• Check the outdoor unit for any damages and free the area from debris, leaves, gunk, or weeds.
• When not at home, turn up the thermostat to lessen the load on the AC system.
• Always confirm if the indoor air vents do not harbor any obstructions.
• Call for repair whenever you notice water leaks, weird noises, and abnormal air temperatures.
How Often Should AC Coils Be Cleaned?
You should have your AC coils cleaned at least once every year. This is because dirty condenser coils can increase the AC system’s energy consumption by up to 30 percent. Additionally, dirty coils slow down heat transfer, causing other problems like frozen evaporator coils, poor cooling performance, and overheating of the compressor.
When cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils, an air conditioner expert will gently clean the coils during a routine maintenance visit. The coils will be cleaned by removing debris and dirt and rinsing the coils using a hose. Although the evaporator is usually challenging to access, it can still be cleaned professionally.
An AC unit is an important gadget at home, more so in areas where temperatures are high. It is essential to hire a maintenance service company that can check your unit’s condition at least once a year. Always check for an expert who is licensed as an HVAC contractor, and should have liability insurance to protect you when your AC unit gets damaged in the process or an injury occurs. In case your system appears to be working normally, but your contractor proposes expensive repair charges, it is vital to seek a second opinion from other companies with similar experience. A well maintained AC unit will last at least 15 years.