Your air conditioning system has many moving parts that need to be serviced on a regular basis to keep it working reliably, safely and efficiently. You don’t want to be stuck on the hottest day this summer waiting for the service technician (during their busiest time) to come fix your air conditioning unit, when a simple tune-up could have prevented the need for this emergency service call.
You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to get your air conditioner tuned up every year, but have you ever thought to yourself, “Yes, but what if my AC system is running just fine – is an annual tune up absolutely necessary?
No, not absolutely.
But, is “just fine” really good enough? Is your comfort, energy efficiency, even your warranty, worth risking?
Here are some good reasons why you won’t want to skip your annual tune up.
A spring tune up will give your air conditioner a head start
If you started the process early enough, this step would have been completed by now. In the spring, it’s probably been a couple of months since you last ran your air conditioner for any length of time., so, can you expect your system to run at peak efficiency once you need it again every day?
Give your system a head start by making sure it’s ready, or, you’ll run the risk of having lower operating efficiency or even a break down that would have been preventable.
Regular maintenance is almost always less costly than a repair
No one can guarantee that your air conditioner will break down if you skip your tune up this time. But if you air conditioner does malfunction, you can bet that the repair will cost more than a tune up would have.
Tune ups can’t stop all AC problems from happening, but research shows that 50% of cooling problems could have been prevented by annual maintenance.
During a tune up, your technician can detect small problems and fix them before they become big problems. You will have saved yourself the higher cost – and the bigger hassle – of a repair service call down the road.
But what if most major parts of your air conditioner are covered under warranty? Well, there is something you should know about your warranty.
Neglecting regular maintenance can void your warranty
Most new air conditioners come with a limited warranty from the manufacturer. But did you know that your warranty might require you to keep your AC maintained?
Warranty certificates from Lennox, Trane and Comfortmaker all make this clear. These companies won’t provide replacement parts unless your air conditioner was regularly maintained by an HVAC professional.
Check your warranty certificate for yourself. You can find this clause under a section called “Eligibility Requirements”, “Exclusions” or something similar.
This policy is a win-win. HVAC manufacturers know that a well-maintained air conditioner is less likely to need a warranty part in the first place.
A well-maintained air conditioner lasts longer than one that isn’t
Regular maintenance leads to fewer repairs and can prolong your air conditioner’s lifespan. The reverse is also true. Neglecting proper AC maintenance can reduce its lifespan.
Keeping your air conditioner maintained will help make it last as long as possible. It will also run at higher efficiency throughout its lifespan, keeping your home cool and your family comfortable.
A tune up can increase efficiency and decrease cooling costs
Every year you skip maintenance, your air conditioner’s operating efficiency can decrease by 5%.
Over time dust and debris collects on the coils. The evaporator coils, being indoors, attract mostly dust. But the outdoor condenser coils can become full of dirt, grass trimmings and even leaves. This build-up impedes airflow and blocks heat transfer. Meaning that your air conditioner won’t be able to cool your home as efficiently.
Your condensate drain needs to be checked for clogs. A clog can hinder your system’s ability to control humidity. In extreme cases, a clogged condensate drain could even cause water damage to your home.
Motor parts need lubrication. Lack of lubrication can cause friction which reduces operating efficiency.
Blower components need periodic cleaning and adjustment. Otherwise, they can cause airflow problems which can result in up to a 15% efficiency loss.
These and other standard tune up procedures can increase your air conditioner’s operating efficiency. This can translate cooling cost savings of up to 15%.
The EPA, EnergyStar and the USDE all recommend regular maintenance
The EPA, EnergyStar, and the U.S. Department of Energy all recommend regular or annual air conditioner maintenance. Mostly because of the energy efficiency benefits we mentioned above.
You’ll get faster service with more flexible scheduling in the spring
Many people don’t think about their air conditioners until there is a problem. This means that summer is the busiest time for technicians because of the volume of service calls and new installations. So, you might have to wait a while for your tune up – now might be a good time to set a reminder in your phone for next spring.