How often should air conditioners be serviced? The answer to that question depends on how frequently you use your AC. Air conditioners are obviously essential for keeping your home at a comfortable temperature during the warmer months of the year. They also reduce humidity, remove smoke particles, and provide you with crisp, clean air when you need it most.
However, there is a complex process behind these benefits, and the results depend on your air conditioner’s ability to function properly.
Sure, this equipment has gotten more sophisticated and advanced over the years, but air conditioners aren’t exactly self-sufficient, and when they break down, they won’t be able to fix themselves. Air conditioners get dirty, they collect dust, and they lose efficiency for all sorts of reasons, but servicing your equipment can help you keep these things to a minimum. If you know how to, you could service your own equipment, but most people rely on a skilled HVAC technician.
Regardless, this should be something you do for as long as you have your air conditioner, but how often should i service my air conditioner?
Why You Need to Service Your Air Conditioner
To put it simply, the purpose of servicing your air conditioner is to keep it running efficiently for as long as possible.
Just because your air conditioner is functional doesn’t mean that it’s efficient. Servicing your AC allows you to discover the things that are hurting performance and driving up your energy bills. The efficiency levels of your AC decrease every year, so servicing your equipment ensures that it is running at optimal levels.
Over time, the system may get dirty or lose refrigerant, the electrical connections may weaken, and certain parts may wear in a way that hurts performance. Your HVAC technician inspects the system to find these problem areas, cleaning and repairing the unit as it becomes necessary, and the cleaning aspect is actually one of the more important things.
Remember that air is constantly cycling through your system, and all of the air passes through filters and coils, carrying with it dirt, dust, and other debris. If these coils and air filters get clogged, you’ll choke your system, which creates all sorts of problems ranging from lack of air flow to a complete shutdown.
Servicing your AC also ensures that you have the right amount of refrigerant in your system. Both excess refrigerant and a lack of refrigerant can hurt efficiency, and a technician would also check for leaks.
By maintaining your air conditioner, you’re potentially saving money. You keep your energy bills at a minimum, and this is also preventative maintenance, so technicians can uncover small issues before they become a huge problem and ultimately save you from having to pay for more extensive repairs in the future.
How Often Should Air Conditioners Be Serviced?
How often to service your air conditioner sort of depends on how often you use it. For example, somebody living in a place with warmer average temperatures who runs their AC eight or nine months out of the year might service their equipment more often than somebody who only runs their AC four or five months out of the year.
In general, though, you should service your equipment about once a year.
This annual servicing will include a thorough inspection and cleaning, as well as minor repairs. This one is essential, but many experts would also recommend that you have your system inspected and quickly tuned every few months, especially if you run your AC for the entire year. Periodic inspections up to four times a year will definitely keep your system operating as efficiently as possible, but they aren’t always necessary. The biggest thing to pay attention to is actually your air filters.
Air filters need to be changed regularly, but how often you change your air filter will depend on what type of air filter you have. Some air filters will last for several months, while others will need to be changed once a month. If you aren’t sure about yours, you should ask your HVAC expert the next time he services your equipment.
How often you change your air filter could also depend on how dirty it’s getting. For example, homes with pets and buildings with a lot of dust might change their filters more frequently.
How Does Your System Benefit?
Servicing your AC, benefits the system in a number of ways. Most importantly, it extends the life of your system so that you can go longer without paying thousands of dollars for a new one. More specifically, it benefits your system in all of the following ways.
- Increases dependability
- Reduces the risk of breakdown
- Maintains safe and healthy operation
- Efficiency protects the environment
- Your system doesn’t have to work as hard
All of these things, of course, benefit you as well. Servicing your AC means that your system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home, which means maximum comfort and minimal costs.
Your air conditioner is a machine just like any other. Parts break, come loose, or leak all of the time. Sometimes, it doesn’t cause a lot of problems, and other times, a simple issue can affect the performance of the entire system. Either way, servicing your equipment tells you what you need to know about your AC.
When Is the Best Time to Service Your Equipment?
It’s very common for homeowners to turn their air conditioner on for the first time in several months and find out that it doesn’t work. This is why you should service your AC before you need it.
In the spring, air conditioners may run here and there, but it’s not usually a constant operation. It’s the summertime where your AC has to work hard to cool your home, so you want it to be working right before summer actually arrives.
If there is an issue with your air conditioner, you want to know about it before it’s critical. A breakdown in the summer means that your home is going to be hot until the AC is fixed, but servicing your equipment in the spring can prevent this breakdown altogether.
Your technicians inspect, clean, and service your air conditioner, and in doing so, they ensure that it’s ready for warmest months of the year.
If repairs need to be made, you’ll have these taken care of before summer arrives, and in extreme cases, your AC may need to be replaced altogether. If you learn this in the spring, you’ll have a window to replace your old unit with a new one. If you wait until summer to do this, you could go several days without AC.
What Does an AC Service Cost?
The great thing about servicing your air conditioner is that it’s reasonably priced. A typical maintenance visit would usually be under $100.
That being said, many HVAC companies offer maintenance contracts that ensure you always get the service you need. They’ll clean and service your equipment regularly, always making sure you have clean air filters. You may even get a discount if you sign up for an annual plan, and you wouldn’t have to worry about scheduling these services.
Remember that the cost of many AC repairs is rather high in comparison, so you can potentially save hundreds, if not thousands, in the long term when you have your air conditioner serviced regularly.