If you made it through the summer without running into any air conditioner issues, count yourself lucky. When temperatures rise, your A/C unit shoulders a heavy burden in trying to keep your home cool—and this hard work can leave a lasting mark on your appliance as temperatures start to drop.
For this reason, the fall season is a popular time to schedule A/C tune-ups before covering the appliance or storing it away for the winter months. If you've never scheduled a fall A/C tune-up—or even if you haven't been consistent in providing this maintenance every year—you could be setting yourself up for some big headaches in the future.
Read on to learn about the importance of regular air conditioner maintenance, as well as the value of fall tune-ups and where you can go to schedule this service.
What Is an A/C Tune-Up?
An A/C tune-up is one of the best ways to extend the life and performance of your air conditioner, while also helping you avoid costly repairs in the future. Like the tune-up you give to your car or furnace, an A/C tune-up involves a service visit from an HVAC technician to inspect your unit and address any urgent maintenance needs.
This maintenance may include:
- Adding refrigerant
- Adding lubricant to moving parts of the unit
- Flushing and cleaning the drain line
- Cleaning the unit's condenser coils
- Cleaning the radiator
- Replacing air filters
Most HVAC experts recommend an annual A/C tuneup to make sure the appliance is in proper working order.
The Importance of Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance Service
While you might be able to get away with neglecting HVAC maintenance on your air conditioner for a year or two, eventually your lack of tune-ups will catch up with your appliance—and homeowners will pay the price.
After steady wear and tear over the course of the summer, fall is a great time to give your A/C unit a tune-up, and to determine whether any repairs are needed before next spring and summer roll around. Without regular central air service appointments to tune up your unit and monitor its overall health, you could become exposed to the following problems:
- Reduced air conditioner efficiency. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, your A/C unit has to work harder to cool your home. This increases your utility bills, as well as wear and tear on the appliance.
- Lower indoor air quality. Mold and other pollutants will inevitably enter into your home if filters and other A/C components aren't properly cleaned.
- Overheating concerns. When outdoor debris clogs the air conditioner's radiator and other components, it increases the risk of overheating, which impacts your air conditioner's performance and can damage critical components in the unit.
- Mechanical breakdowns and disrepair. A regular tune-up can help spot and address impending mechanical failures before they strike. This ultimately saves your home from situations where your air conditioner breaks down during use—leaving you unable to regulate the temperature in your home.
The Benefits of an HVAC Maintenance Plan
To simplify and streamline the costs and scheduling for your A/C tune-ups, many heating and cooling companies offer an HVAC maintenance plan that bundles tuneups and other service visits into a fixed-rate cost for homeowners.
While a HVAC preventative maintenance plan doesn't cover every cost you may face when servicing your air conditioner, it can offer value to homeowners who stay on top of tune-ups and take advantage of the services that come with this plan. By investing in a maintenance plan, you can also incentivize yourself to schedule regular appointments, since you've already paid for those services.
How Can I Find an HVAC Inspection Near Me?
If you're in need of central air service but don't know where to turn for a local heating and cooling expert, you might start with recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors in your local area. You can also use an online search engine to seek out potential HVAC inspection providers in your area, and to consult past customer reviews to find a business with a strong local reputation.
If you're interested in purchasing an ongoing HVAC maintenance plan, you will also want to check with any potential provider to see if they offer this service, as well as the cost and benefits of this program. Keep in mind that service offerings and costs may vary from one HVAC company to the next.
By scheduling a consistent fall A/C tune-up, you can fix any problems that have developed over the summer and prep your unit to hit the ground running once temperatures start to rise next year.