Having your air conditioner serviced by an experienced and knowledgeable HVAC technician is essential for keeping it in great shape throughout its working life. If it's been a while since you last had your A/C system serviced or if it's your first time dealing with A/C service, then here are a few things you need to know before you make that service call.
How Often Should You Have Your A/C System Serviced?
Before you have your A/C system serviced, it's important to know how often you'll need to have it professionally checked out. Most A/C manufacturers have their own recommendations as to how often you should have your system serviced. Other factors, including age and current operating condition, can also influence how often you'll need to have your A/C system serviced.
In most cases, an annual inspection by your HVAC technician is all your A/C system needs to stay in peak form. Older A/C systems should be inspected on a semiannual basis, as these systems normally require a bit more attention due to their age. If you rely on a heat pump for your cooling and heating needs, then you'll need to have it checked out semiannually as well.
When is the Best Time to Plan Your A/C Service?
The next step towards having your A/C serviced is planning exactly when you want to have it serviced. The best time to schedule an A/C inspection is usually during the late winter months. Around this time, most HVAC technicians won't be as busy with A/C work as they would during the height of summer. Early spring is also a good time to have service done, as it's just before the cooling season begins in earnest.
If you want to have your A/C system inspected twice a year, then it's a good idea to schedule the first inspection during the early spring and have the second inspection done during the fall. There's a good chance you might not need your air conditioning during these times, making it easier for you to schedule service without running the risk of being without air conditioning during that time.
What Should You Expect from Your HVAC Technician?
There's plenty to look forward to during a typical A/C service. Here's a list of tasks that you can expect your HVAC technician to perform throughout the service:
- Visually assess the A/C system for signs of damage or excessive wear and tear
- Measure A/C refrigerant charge and perform a recharge, if deemed necessary
- Inspect the A/C compressor, checking for leaks as well as signs of overheating or bearing failure
- Inspect and clean the evaporator and condenser coils
- Check and replace the air filter
- Inspect the blower fan and motor for signs of wear and tear
- Inspect the condenser fan and motor for damage and general wear
- Inspect all refrigerant lines for signs of corrosion and leakage
- Test the thermostat to ensure flawless operation
- Check and clean the condensate catch pan and drainage lines
After the inspection, your HVAC technician may offer a few pointers on how you can better care for your A/C system and also suggest a few helpful upgrades. For example, your technician may suggest you have an ultraviolet (UV) lamp installed as a way to curtail mold and mildew growth within your A/C system. Your HVAC technician may also recommend you have your HVAC ductwork thoroughly cleaned for improved A/C system efficiency.
Should You Invest in a Service Agreement?
A service agreement may be handy to have if you rely on a particular company for your HVAC service needs. Not only do these long-term contracts offer several helpful perks (such as priority emergency HVAC service), but they also save you the trouble of finding an HVAC technician on short notice.
On the other hand, the cost of a service agreement contract could be more than what you'd ordinarily spend on service calls throughout the year. It all depends on how much work your A/C system normally needs throughout the year and the average cost of a non-contract service call.
For more information, contact a professional HVAC business, such as Enright and Sons.