Spring Tune-Up Checklist for Your AC
As the winter winds down, our furnaces are slowly being turned off and set aside for the season. And while the weather is not quite yet ready for air conditioning to be turned on, preparing your system for the new season is always a good idea.
And, as AC maintenance experts at Howell’s Heating & Air Conditioning like to say, the earlier in spring you schedule your tune-up, the better deal you are going to get. Not only can you pick the day and time the technician will visit you (because they are not too busy), and you will probably get a good deal – early bird discounts are always available.
Here’s what you can expect from a spring air conditioner tune-up.
Checking for Leaks and Refrigerant Levels
The main purpose of a tune-up is to prolong the life of your device by regularly maintaining the parts and the whole system. Additionally, the checkup will also improve the efficiency of your AC – saving you money over time.
The first thing that the technician is going to do is check the pipes of the system for leaks. Once they determine that there is no leak, the next thing is checking the levels of refrigerant. This gas is typically contained in the closed system, but over time small leaks can cause levels to drop. If that happens, your system will lose efficiency.
Alongside with checking the pipes for leaks, the technician will also check the ducts for similar problems, as leaks in the ducts also make the system less efficient and increase your electricity bill. While they are checking the ducts, they will also clean the ducts from the accumulated dust and any potential debris which might block the airflow.
Checking the Electronics
As what is perhaps the most important part of the check-up, electronics maintenance will ensure that all of your connections are healthy and properly tightened. This step is aimed at preventing power outages, as well as safety hazards such as an electrical fire which can occur if the electrical system is covered in dirt or improperly connected.
Another electronic component that needs to be checked is the motor which powers the whole system. Making sure that all of the moving parts are properly lubricated and healthy prolongs the expected lifespan of those parts.
Air Filter Inspection or Change
One of the most common suggestions that AC technicians have for anyone who asks about AC maintenance is to regularly replace or clean the air filter, depending on the device. A clogged air filter means that there is less airflow, making the AC work much harder to achieve the same result – therefore consuming more electricity and reducing its own lifespan.
Even worse, a dirty AC filter is an ideal environment for a variety of pathogens including mold spores, bacteria and viruses, all of which can cause various health problems.
Checking the Outdoor Unit
Once every indoor part has been inspected and approved by the technician, it is time to see how the outdoor unit is faring. The primary problem that these outdoor units is dirt accumulating on the condensers. In order to ensure that doesn’t happen, most homeowners shield the outdoor unit, but it should still be checked every once in a while.
Another major issue to look for is physical damage to the condenser coils. These thin metal fins are used to effectively cool the air inside your home. If damaged, these fins cannot perform their task as effectively, making your AC system work harder, with all the negative consequences mentioned before.
There are additional tests that your AC technician may perform to ensure that your AC is ready for another full season of cooling your home, but these are the basics. And remember, the sooner you tune up your system, the sooner you will have peace of mind and reassurance that you are all set for another year.