The hot summer months are upon us. In this warm weather, there are few things better than coming in from a day at the pool with the family and relaxing at home out of the sun. In-home air conditioners keep the air at the perfect temperature, so you can lounge in comfort, no matter how hot it gets outside..
But, like all things, your air conditioner needs occasional maintenance to keep it running in perfect form and to prevent costly and inconvenient mechanical failures in the long run.
A regular tune-up for your AC is the key not only to having a long-lasting unit, but also comes with a host of benefits that you, and your wallet, will surely appreciate.
Signs Your Unit Is Past Due For An AC Tune-Up
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to forget regular maintenance for your in-home appliances. Life is busy, and scheduling appointments with technicians is just one more thing on a long list of to-dos. But, if your air conditioner is showing any of these worrying signs it’s probably time to make getting a tune-up a priority.
Your Utility Bill Is More Than You Expected
It’s normal for your utility bill to increase a little when you first turn on your air conditioner, especially if you were lucky enough to have a mild spring and haven’t used your heater for a few months. However, an abnormally high bill compared to last year, or even last month, can be a sign that your AC could use some TLC.
Just like low gas mileage can be a sign of something wrong with your car, a high electricity bill is a sign that your air conditioner is having to work harder for the same results.
A technician can take a look at your unit and quickly determine what’s causing the problem and advise you about options for how to fix it. It may be a simple problem they can take care of the same day, or it may be a sign of impending part failure, in which case your technician will provide options for repair or replacement.
It Just Doesn’t Seem To Work The Way It Used To
A good home air conditioner responds quickly to changing temperatures outside and new settings on your home thermostat. It’s easy to make quick adjustments in anticipation of an especially warm day, inviting friends over to visit, or helping cool off after a long day in the sun.
But if you start to notice that it’s taking longer and longer for your AC to catch up to those adjustments, or if it can’t quite seem to keep things cool on the hottest days, that’s a good indicator that it needs a tune-up.
You Don’t Remember The Last Time You Had An AC Tune-Up
As a general rule of thumb, you should get an AC tune-up once a year, preferably before the weather really starts to heat up.
Now, that’s a general rule. Your AC isn’t necessarily going to break down on the hottest day of the year just because you skipped a year. Most units are designed to be durable long-lasting machines and manufacturers know that most of their customers are going to skip or forget maintenance now and again.
However, if you don’t remember the last time you had a tune-up, it’s time to get one. This is especially true for new homeowners. Unless the previous owner provided you with records of the maintenance done on your new home’s air conditioning you should have a technician come take a look.
Not only is an annual tune-up a good idea, but the technician will also be able to tell you if your unit needs any preventive maintenance before a small issue turns into a costly repair.
Long-time homeowners should also think about the last time they got a tune-up. If you can’t remember the last time it’s probably been a couple of years and you’re likely overdue. Even if your AC seems to be functioning normally you may have an undiagnosed problem getting worse over time.
You may also have a creeping utility bill that’s never enough higher to catch your attention, but that has still gotten to be more expensive than it needs to be.
It Seems Louder Than It Used To Be, Or Makes Loud Banging Noises When You Turn It On
No AC unit is going to be perfectly silent. Not only do they have a motor producing sound, but even the air current moving through your ducts will produce some slight sound. However, hose normal operational noises should be minimal and unobtrusive.
A loud AC is a classic sign that something needs to be taken care of, but it takes an experienced technician to know for sure what is causing the problem.
Even if your AC quiets down after a few minutes it’s still a good idea to have it looked at. After all, that loud start-up noise means, if nothing else, that your unit is working much harder than normal to get started, which means it’s using more electricity every time it kicks on.
Your Air Quality Has Decreased
More dust and debris in the air in your home can come from a lot of different sources. Especially if you live in a metro area with variable air quality it can be difficult to know what is causing it.
However, if you’re noticing consistently low air quality at home, especially in the summer, your air conditioner may be contributing to the problem.
Even if your air conditioner turns out not to be the problem, your technician will most likely be able to recommend the next steps. Some will even help assess whether your ducts need cleaning or other common problems.
Benefits Of A Well Maintained Air-Conditioner
Let’s not concentrate too long on the negatives. There are real benefits to a well-maintained air conditioner and reaping the most from your equipment is just as important as preventing problems.
Eco and Energy Efficient
Getting a regular tune-up is environmentally friendly. A regular tune-up reduces energy costs from an overworked unit.
Your technician may also be able to help you make eco-conscious decisions about when and how to use your air conditioner. They can also recommend new products like a smart-thermostat that give you additional control and reduce your electricity bills even further.
As A/C experts, technicians are there to make sure you get the most out of your unit, so a regular tune-up also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about efficient-use practices and what you can do on your own to maintain your unit.
Peace of Mind
The past few years have seen massive heatwaves striking much of the USA, making it more important than ever to have peace of mind when it comes to your in-home air conditioning.
The comfort of your home for your family and pets depends on your AC functioning as intended through the summer. Even other appliances like your refrigerator and freezer benefit from having a functioning air conditioner because they don’t have to work as hard to maintain their optimum temperature when they aren’t fighting the temperature of your kitchen.
Regular tune-ups give you the confidence and peace of mind when you’re at work or away on vacation that your loved ones at home will be comfortable. Knowing that your AC is in great condition helps you know that it’ll be working in any conditions short of a power outage, and even then, it’ll kick back on as soon as power is restored.
Constant background noise, especially if that noise has gotten louder and louder over time, contributes to your stress and discomfort at home. Sometimes you just need some peace and quiet to relax and unwind.
Regular tune-ups keep your air conditioning unit operating quietly, letting you enjoy a good book or movie undisturbed. It’s also a benefit to your family members, especially small children and pets, because constant low-grade noise isn’t good for anyone.
Even if you subconsciously tune out the noise it still can have an impact on your stress and long-term hearing. Small children and animals, especially, can have hearing consequences if they are exposed to chronic noise. Keeping your AC operating efficiently protects your peace of mind and your health.
Tune-Ups Protect Your Warranty and Save On Repair and Replacement Costs
You just installed a new air conditioner last year, so this spring you go ahead and skip the regular maintenance thinking it can’t possibly need anything so soon after you got it. You might be right, but you may also be voiding your warranty.
Even new AC units should receive regular inspection and maintenance. While not all units will come with a warranty, and skipping maintenance won’t always void an existing warranty, the very least you can expect from regular tune-ups is that they will extend the life of your appliance.
Most problems with your air conditioner are preventable, either through regular maintenance or by catching a developing problem before it can seriously impact the function of your appliance.
It can’t be said often enough, it is cheaper to perform minor repairs early than to outright replace broken parts or the whole unit.
ECM Air Conditioning can help you with performing a a 21 Pt. AC Tune-up! Check out our current AC Tune-Up offers on our coupons page. Give us a call to schedule your air conditioning estimate today at 561-406-4458 or click here to request an appointment.