1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric of Amarillo
AC Maintenance Checklist
Are you interested in saving hundreds of dollars each year and reducing any air conditioning system breakdowns up to 95%?
Just like your car and your washing machine, your central air conditioning needs periodic check-ups and performed maintenance.
Proper maintenance means your system will run at top-performance—and you'll have a lower energy bill to pay each month. After all, 50% of the average homeowner's energy costs go towards heating and cooling their home.
Keep reading as we discuss the ideal air conditioner maintenance schedule, complete with an in-depth AC maintenance checklist.
The Ideal AC Maintenance Schedule
If maintained properly, a new air conditioner should last between 12 and 15 years. In some cases, one can last even longer than that.
With air conditioning units, it's essential to perform routine maintenance. The best time to call a technician to schedule maintenance is obviously before you need to use the system the most. For your air conditioner, you'll want to schedule maintenance in the early spring. During this time, HVAC professionals are least likely to be busy with emergency calls.
What's more essential than how you determine when to schedule maintenance is how often you schedule it. Your system should be checked by a professional at least once per year. If you have a heat pump system that you use all year, you'll need to schedule maintenance every six months.
In between service, you should do the following to maintain your unit on your own:
Change the air filter every 4-6 weeks.
Clean off the outside air compressor with water (a garden hose is great for this)
Keep anything and everything away from the compressor so that nothing blocks the flow of air
Also essential is to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned every 3 to 4 years. Not only will you breathe a little better, but you'll also experience less dust in your home. If you have hardwood floors, this process is particularly effective. Carpets and rugs usually grab and hide any dust bunnies.
Why Perform Air Conditioner Maintenance?
Keeping your air conditioner maintenance schedule will save you more than just time and money—it can save your health and sanity, too.
Imagine inviting guests over for cocktails in the summer when your air conditioner suddenly malfunctions. Scrambling to schedule maintenance during a busy season means that you'll have to endure the discomfort until help arrives.
Indoor levels of airborne pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels—and sometimes up to 100 times higher! For this reason, proper AC maintenance can be particularly significant for you or any members of your family that suffer from respiratory issues.
Finally, if you're concerned about your green footprint, remember that a well-maintained AC system will consume considerably less fuel, and that's good for the planet.
What Does Air Conditioner Maintenance Service Cost?
Air conditioner maintenance varies by area but averages from $75 to $200 for tune-ups. For repairs outside of a simple tuneup, expect to pay $50 to $150 per hour on labor, depending on the issue.
A professional service call will include running a series of checks to ensure your system is working properly and cleaning the condenser. They'll also check for other maintenance issues included in the checklist below. Typically, AC tune-ups don't involve duct or coil cleaning.
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Professional AC Maintenance Checklist
Scheduling a check-up or tune-up for your air conditioner is an important part of maintenance. You should also know which services to expect your technician to perform when they arrive.
Here's a checklist of common processes and procedures that HVAC professionals will perform during a maintenance call.
Clean Outdoor Coils and Indoor Units
Your technician will inspect and clean the coils on your AC unit.
Condenser coils consist of refrigerant lines and the surrounding fins that outline the cabinet of your outdoor unit. The evaporator is the indoor counterpart to your outdoor unit and has its own coil.
Any dirt or debris on the coils will reduce efficiency and stress your air conditioning system's mechanical parts.
Check Refrigerant Level
Your AC's refrigerant level must meet the manufacturer's specifications. Having too much or too little refrigerant may cause issues with your system's moving parts, including the condenser and compressor.
An incorrect amount of refrigerant will make your compressor work too hard, which will reduce the system's efficiency and longevity.
Run a General System Test
Your HVAC technician will turn on your AC system to check certain operating functions, such as the starting cycle and shut-off switch. They will also check for unusual odors or noises and measure the system pressures and temperatures as needed.
Inspect Drain Pans and Condensate Drains
Next, inspect the drain pans and condensate drains to ensure that your condensate drain line is clear. If this line becomes clogged, it can cause water leaks as well as other moisture problems.
Call your technician to check and clear this drain line if you don't want water, bacteria, and mold in and around your AC unit. If you have a crack in your drain pan, this can also cause a leak. Your technician can repair or replace any leaking drain pans that they may discover.
Check Outdoor Fan Motor and Indoor Blower Assembly
The outdoor unit has a fan that pulls air through its coil fins, while the indoor blower is the fan unit on your furnace. If your blower is older, your technician will inspect and adjust or replace as needed.
Also, make sure your outdoor unit isn't blocked by weeds, high-grasses, or other lawn and garden features. If the unit cannot pull enough outside air into the system, it won't be able to cool and circulate air inside of your house. It's unnecessary to cover your condenser in the winter to protect it from the elements—they are designed to be outside.
Check Compressor and Tubing
If your unit's refrigerant tubing is leaking or blocked, it won't deliver enough coolant to the compressor. This lack of coolant will cause the compressor to work harder, which will cause compressor failure.
Lubricate Moving Parts
Your technician will lubricate moving parts if required. Older units will often include ports on fan motors, compressors, and other parts. These ports are designed for adding lubrication.
Newer units don't always have these ports because they don't need lubrication.
Inspect Electrical Wiring and Connections
All electrical wiring, hookups, and connections should be checked for wear and tear, damage, and soundness. Taking the time to check and tighten each of these connections will extend the lifespan of your AC system.
Inspect Air Filters
A clogged air filter will restrict airflow to the AC unit, which will cause the motor to run without producing results.
Air filters should be cleaned and replaced as necessary. New filters need to be inspected once a month. This is essential, as using clean filters can reduce your AC costs by as much as 15%!
A dirty air filter will destroy your AC unit's energy-efficiency if it doesn't cause your evaporator to ice over first. If you don't trust yourself to change your air filter each month, consider installing a permanent filter that you will clean each year.
Check Ductwork for Leaks
While a ductwork inspection may not be included in a standard maintenance call, ductwork air leakage is one of the main inefficiency drivers in a forced-air conditioning system.
It's smart to have a technician check your ductwork, ensuring that it is sealed and insulated in the right areas.
Double-Check the Thermostat
Finally, when you're using your air conditioner, don't forget to make sure it's in cooling mode! Setting the dial below room temperature is not enough to activate the AC unit if it's still set to heat mode.
Programmable thermostats are handy because you can customize your settings for various times throughout the day.
Amarillo, TX - AC Maintenance
As a homeowner in Amarillo or encompassing areas, you know how important it is to have a proper defense mechanism against adverse weather conditions.
Air conditioning units are expensive, so the last thing you want to do is avoid maintenance and have to replace a broken one. While repairing a unit is an option, sometimes older units must be replaced.
Whatever the case is, 1-800-Plumber +Air & Electric of Amarillo has you covered. We've been serving families in Amarillo since 1995—meeting all of our customers' plumbing, electric, heating, and cooling needs. Our mission is to take care of your customers with the highest level of customer service and expertise.
Please don't take the chance of sweating it out next summer. Have a professional perform this AC maintenance checklist today. Contact us today to schedule a service.