Regular HVAC service can be compared to regular car maintenance: you can pay a little bit for routine service or wait and pay a hefty amount for major repairs. Many people wait until their air conditioner is making a strange noise or isn’t running properly before they call for service. However, did you know that even if your air conditioner seems to be running smoothly, it can lose about 5% of its operational efficiency every year?
According to energy.gov regularly servicing a unit will maintain up to 95% of its original efficiency. This means that the cost of a regular service is quickly recovered in savings on your monthly electricity bill and in reduced repair costs. A properly serviced air conditioner will also do a better job of dehumidifying your home.
What does regular HVAC maintenance entail?
A service technician looks at and listens to your air conditioning system closely. Typically, maintenance includes:
- Check for correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wea
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat
What are the benefits of regular service?
All major equipment needs routine maintenance to keep it running reliably. Regular servicing of your air conditioner will provide you with a number of benefits, such as:
- Improved efficiency
- Chances of a costly, major breakdown at the worse time will be reduced
- Lifespan of the unit will be prolonged
- Your comfort will be increased
- Energy efficiency that translates to lower bills
When should you have a HVAC “tune-up”?
A good maintenance plan calls for a comprehensive check on your entire AC system by an experienced contractor every three to six months. There are 2 main reasons regular maintenance is recommended:
- You want to make sure your system is running smoothly, at its maximum capacity and its minimum energy consumption, BEFORE you really need to use it.
- You are likely to get a more timely service if you arrange it for before service technicians get busy in heavy air conditioning season.
While it may be tempting to investigate and fix things yourself, more often than not, taking matters into your own hands can cause more harm than good. Have more questions about maintenance? Contact Gator Air and Energy for more information or to schedule your next maintenance appointment.