Houston Heating, Cooling, and Electrical

What Is Included In An AC Maintenance Checkup?

Air conditioners are complicated pieces of technology, and they are subjected to constant wear and tear. Yet, with regular maintenance, they can last for many years. Without regular maintenance, though, the risk of early failure climbs, and if the A/C does fail, the only solution is an expensive replacement. Consider that more than 80 percent of air conditioner repairs could’ve been avoided with regular maintenance, and it’s easy to see why opting for maintenance makes sense.

Regular A/C maintenance ensures the system operates efficiently, safely and effectively. It is also useful for spotting emerging trouble before it becomes a system-threatening issue. It’s always better to prevent than repair, as this will save property owners money in the long run.

What an AC Maintenance Checkup Should Address

Reputable A/C technicians will inspect the system thoroughly to verify that it is operating within normal parameters. Some technicians will also inspect the air conditioner for any issues related to a poor installation, as these can also predict early failure if not addressed.

Every A/C business has their own approach to maintenance, but no matter who you work with, these services should be part of an A/C maintenance checkup:

  1. Inspect and tighten electrical contacts – A/C systems are built with many electrical contacts, and they resemble standard hardware like nuts and screws. Like other forms of hardware, electrical contacts have a tendency to loosen with time, so the technician should tighten them. Doing so will minimize the chances of electrical damage.
  2. Check the thermostat – With time, the thermostat can lose its calibration, which means it can no longer get an accurate assessment of the room’s temperature. The result is an air conditioner that either cools too much or not enough. During a maintenance checkup, the technician will calibrate the thermostat and check for any nearby sources of heat that could be affecting it. This ensures the thermostat responds properly to programming and temperature settings.
  3. Clear the condensate drain line – The condensate drain line is responsible for carrying moisture from inside the home to outside. If it’s not inspected and cleaned regularly, it can become clogged, and when this occurs, moisture can build up inside the home and inside the air conditioner. Excess moisture is difficult for appliances to handle, and it may threaten the A/C unit if it’s not addressed.
    During a maintenance checkup, the technician will flush out the condensate drain line and take care of any clogging. This will restore the humidity-removing power of the system.
  4. Lubricate all moving parts – Compressors are filled with moving parts, and all of them should be lubricated regularly to reduce wear on the system. This is something a technician should definitely handle, as there are several compressor designs, each of which requires its own lubricant. The chosen lubricant will need to be compatible with the system’s refrigerant to prevent equipment failure.
  5. Check the air filter – Although air filters are easy and inexpensive to switch out, they remain a principle reason why air conditioners fail early. If the filter is mostly clogged, then the air conditioner has to work harder to keep the flow of cool air going. Ideally, the filter should be switched out every month or two, but if it hasn’t, the technician can manage it.
  6. Take a close look at the system’s controls – The air conditioner’s controls are responsible for cycling the system and ensuring it is operating like it should. The technician will verify that these controls are intact and functioning properly.
  7. Clean the condenser coils and the evaporator – Dirt and debris are the enemy of air conditioners and will gradually reduce the system’s efficiency and durability if left unchecked. One of the more reliable ways to extend the system’s life is by keeping its components clean. This is why the technician will inspect the condenser and evaporator coils for any dirt. If dirt is a problem, the technician will clean the coils.
  8. Evaluate refrigerant levels – Refrigerant leaks and poorly controlled refrigerant levels are common issues with air conditioning systems. If there is too much or too little refrigerant, the system’s performance will suffer and may lead to damage. A refrigerant leak is particularly troublesome, because the refrigerant may be charged over and over, only for it to go to waste.
    The technician will verify that there are no leaks present and will check refrigerant levels for optimal performance.

An A/C maintenance checkup will extend the system’s life, protect its components from early decline, keep efficiency up and help property owners save money. It’s something every home and business owner should seriously consider.

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