For most homeowners, there comes a time every year where you air conditioner becomes essential to your daily comfort. The last thing you want is for that time to roll around and discover your air conditioner is no longer functioning optimally. Luckily, there is one way to almost guarantee your unit is always working at peak performance, and that is through regular professional servicing.
Most experts recommend that the average air conditioner be serviced once a year, typically around the spring. However, if you live in a region where your air conditioner is operating for a majority of the year, it would be beneficial to have it service twice a year, once in fall and once in the spring.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of having your air conditioner serviced regularly, both for the system’s components and for your wallet. Additionally, we’ll detail what an annual or biannual servicing entails and what you can do to make this process more convenient and cost-effective.
Benefits of Servicing Your Air Conditioner Regularly
It isn’t uncommon for homeowners to take their working air conditioner for granted and underestimate the benefits of ensuring their system gets a little TLC every year, and we’re here to change that.
Having your air conditioner serviced regularly is crucial to its longevity, functionality, and efficiency.
When you have your air conditioner serviced, expert HVAC contractors arrive who are specially trained to identify and repair potential issues before they become major (and costly) problems. They’ll also use their expertise to make minor modifications to your system that will help increase its efficiency and lifespan.
In essence, the up-front cost of this annual or biannual maintenance essentially pays itself in time since it helps ensure small issues are identified quickly and resolved before they become larger issues that cost more, both in repairs and the money you lose on electricity as your system attempts to overcompensate for its reduced performance.
There is also the added factor that a brand-new air-conditioning system can be extremely expensive, so the better condition you can keep your current system, the longer it will last and the less likely you’ll need to invest in a replacement any time soon.
What Does an Air Conditioning Service Entail?
Those of you who are unfamiliar with the idea of paying for your air conditioner to be serviced regularly will, understandably, want to know what your money is going towards.
A typical annual air conditioner service conducted by professional HVAC employees will include:
- Thermostat calibration
- Replacement of air filters
- Assessment of equipment condition
- Cleaning and inspection of indoor and outdoor coils
- Analysis of airflow
- Safety control testing
- Inspection of the condensate pump, electrical connections, and blower components
Generally speaking, these individuals will inspect, test, and clean all of the major and minor components within your air conditioning system to assess its performance, promote longevity, and identify (and sometimes immediately resolve) any potential issues. If there are issues present that they cannot immediately fix, they will bring it to your attention to be addressed in the future.
Tips For Making Regular Air Conditioning Services Cost-Effective
While it is highly recommended to have your air conditioner service at least once, if not twice a year, many homeowners might look at the service’s price tag and hesitate. On average, an annual air conditioner service will cost anywhere between $75-$2000 for simple tune-ups or $150-$500 for more extensive service (this usually includes both your AC and heating systems). Luckily, there are ways to potentially reduce these costs.
The two predominant methods you can utilize for making your annual air conditioner services more cost effective are to:
- Pay of an annual HVAC service plan
- Perform some of the servicing yourself
Signing up for an annual HVAC service plan with a trusted company can be beneficial for multiple reasons. The overarching advantage is that most companies will offer this service at a discounted rate that is usually cheaper than paying for individual services that only include your AC. The second benefit is the peace of mind that the company will prioritize servicing your system annually over customers without a plan, and you know that your unit is receiving the necessary maintenance required without your assistance.
That being said, another way to potentially reduce the cost of an AC service is to give the employees less to do by taking on some of the simpler maintenance tasks yourself. These include:
- Cleaning and replacing the filter
- Cleaning the vents
- Winterizing the system
- Keeping the condensate drain clear
- Keeping the condenser area clean
All of these are simple things you can keep an eye on and perform yourself without expert knowledge.
That AC unit cooling your house is the unsung hero of the summer, so give it the appreciation it deserves by ensuring it stays in optimal condition through annual servicing. Remember that the up-front cost of these services is nothing compared to the discomfort of a broken system and the pricy bill of replacing crucial components or the entire air condition, all of which can been avoided with regular maintenance.