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How Often Should My Home’s Air Conditioner Be Serviced?

How Often Should My Home’s Air Conditioner Be Serviced?

Your air conditioning system is probably one of those home appliances you don’t think about until it’s not working. However, it’s more like a car, a finely tuned machine that is calibrated to reduce the humidity in your home while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Similar to vehicle maintenance, having your A/C serviced yearly will ensure it runs efficiently, and the technician will check the system for any potential issues that need attention before they become a problem.

What is Preventive Air Conditioning Maintenance?

This comprehensive check of your HVAC system is performed once or twice a year. Many companies list what the service technician will inspect and test during your scheduled maintenance. The system checklist often includes all of the following:

  • Filter replacement
  • Clean drain lines and empty drain pan
  • Add algaecide to drain pans
  • Check refrigerant levels and possible leaks
  • Check all connections and wiring
  • Test thermostat and controls
  • Inspect blowers and airflow
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Clean evaporator coils and condensers
  • Check the heat pump (if applicable)
  • Check fan belts

*Note: Checklists may vary by company or factors such as system age, size or brand.

Benefits of Scheduled Residential HVAC System Checks

Lower energy bills – Annual A/C service may reduce your monthly energy bill by up to 15%.

More efficient operation – Keeping your A/C system free of accumulated dust and dirt allows it to operate efficiently.

Reduced repairs and breakdowns – Annual checks reveal issues before they become a significant problem resulting in high repair or replacement costs.

Extended equipment life – Keep your central air in service longer with yearly cleanings and maintenance.

Improved air quality – Your indoor air is better when your air conditioner is clean and functioning correctly. This is especially important if your household has asthma or allergy sufferers.

What Can Homeowners Do Themselves To Maintain Their Central Heating and Cooling System?

While having your system looked over once or twice a year by a trained HVAC professional is essential, you can do a few simple things between scheduled services. Use good air filters and change them every 30 to 90 days. Ensure nothing is blocking the outside unit’s airflow (at least 2 feet of clearance is needed). Don’t close too many vents or doors so your system doesn’t have to work harder to push air through your home. Please pay attention to unusual odors or odd noises from your system, as they may indicate a problem.

Additional Ways To Lower Your AC Energy Usage

When it comes to cooling and heating our homes, we may overlook things such as too many closed vents or a poorly insulated attic. Along with these suggestions to keep cooling costs down, discuss what other recommendations your HVAC company may have:

Install a Digital Thermostat

Thermostats can be programmed according to your schedule, so you’re not cooling an empty house.

Add Insulation

Make sure your home and attic are properly insulated and ventilated. Use your ceiling fans to cool or warm an occupied space.
If you’re having a large gathering, turn your thermostat down before the guests arrive so your A/C doesn’t have to work overtime once the body heat gets turned up.

Don’t Block Air Vents

Blocking air vents disrupts proper airflow in your HVAC system. This can lead to uneven temperature distribution, reduced efficiency, and potential strain on the system, ultimately increasing energy consumption and decreasing comfort.

Sign Up for an HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program

The last thing anyone wants when it’s hot and humid is for their air conditioning to stop working. With yearly or bi-yearly scheduled maintenance from a licensed HVAC company, many common issues can be avoided saving you both time and money. Keeping your system clean and operating optimally will keep your electric bill costs down and ensure you and your family stay comfortable year-round.

When scheduling your preventive maintenance, ask if any service programs are available. Many A/C repair companies offer preferred customer service agreements with savings built-in with discounts on diagnostics, repairs and parts. Preferred program customers may also receive priority when an emergency arises. If it’s been a while since your system has been attended to, consider this your reminder that a well-maintained air conditioning system runs better, cools better and saves you money!