With the scorching summer months fast approaching, you should consider scheduling your air conditioning tune-up soon. While you can accomplish some care tasks yourself, it’s still safest to bring in a professional once a year. Expert HVAC technicians have the experience and training to spot issues you may have otherwise missed. Preventive maintenance is the most effective way to preserve your system’s efficiency over the years and lengthen its lifespan. Here’s everything you need to know about AC tune-ups.

When to Schedule

Like many homeowners, you may be reluctant to call for expert service if you haven’t noticed anything wrong with your system. However, many common AC problems start nearly unnoticeable. You may not realize your air conditioner is struggling until it can’t produce enough cool air or refuses to turn on. At this point, the internal problem will have already spread to other components, increasing the cost of your repair.

To make the most of your AC, it’s recommended to schedule an expert tune-up at least once a year. Spring is the best time for maintenance because it prepares your AC for the upcoming summer. If you wait until the warm season, you may not be able to easily find an available technician. Summer is a peak time for HVAC contractors who are often busy with air conditioner repairs and installations. Scheduling your appointment in the winter isn’t recommended as your AC’s delicate components and fluids may be inadvertently exposed to freezing temperatures.

Signs You Require Maintenance

A lack of maintenance can leave your AC inefficient and unprepared to tackle the summer heat. When you turn your system on, you may find it can only blow out warm air. This could relate to a potential refrigerant leak or a malfunctioning compressor. Weakened airflow is another common concern that may originate from a ductwork blockage or internal AC issue. Even if your air conditioner can still produce cool air, a decrease in airflow will ultimately affect its efficiency in meeting your temperature needs.

When an AC system turns on, it’s not unusual to hear a low hum or whoosh. Changes in how your air conditioner sounds could mean the system requires service. For example, a hissing or bubbling noise may indicate a refrigerant leak. Metallic screeching or clanking can point to an issue with the fan blades. In addition to strange noises, a compromised AC may also emit new odors. A stale, musty scent tends to signify a mold or mildew outbreak. If you notice a burning or smoky odor, your system could be overheating.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on how your AC cycles. On average, an air conditioner will run through a full 15-minute cycle a few times an hour. How long your AC stays on can change depending on your settings and the outside temperature. Short cycling occurs when your AC turns on and off before it reaches your set temperature. Your system may also stay on for too long if it can’t efficiently meet your comfort preferences. Fluctuations in your AC’s cycles will put a lot of strain on the system and may result in temperature inconsistencies and high energy bills.

What’s Included

Standard HVAC maintenance includes a full inspection of your air conditioner. Your technician will survey the indoor and outdoor units, ductwork and thermostat. The goal of this inspection is to spot signs of excessive wear and tear as well as new damage.

Your HVAC expert will check the health of the AC’s electrical connections, coils and refrigerant. The wiring within your AC ensures smooth communication between various components. When these wires develop faults, they can disrupt the system’s processes and pose a potential safety risk. Your technician will thoroughly search for any corrosion, fraying or loose wires.

They’ll also make sure your evaporator and condenser coils are clean of any built-up grime. Over time, they can accumulate filth and ice that negatively impact their efficiency. Keeping them clear of obstructions prevents them from freezing up or struggling with corrosion.

In addition to tightening your system’s belts and checking airflow, your expert will assess the refrigerant level. This chemical routinely absorbs and releases heat during the cooling process. In a healthy system, it won’t naturally deplete over time. However, leaks in the refrigerant line can allow this chemical to spill into the system, compromising the AC’s performance. HVAC experts are skillfully trained in finding these leaks and sealing them to prevent future damage.

Other tune-up services may include inspecting your drain line and condensate pan. They’ll assess your thermostat and recalibrate its settings to address any temperature disparities. If necessary, your expert can lubricate your blower motor and other moving parts. Limiting friction within the system will reduce strain and significantly reduce your risk of needing repairs.

Homeowner Care Tips

Along with scheduling professional service, you can also do your part to maintain your system’s good health. Be sure to clear the area around your outside unit. Cut back vegetation and remove any loose branches or leaves. Keeping a few feet of clearance can improve airflow and prevent overheating.

Get into the habit of changing your air filters every one to three months. You may need to change them more frequently if you live with pets or those with high air quality requirements. Another great way to decrease allergens in the home and boost airflow is to regularly vacuum your vents and registers.

Always pay attention to your AC’s performance during the summer. Take note of any strange noises, smells or changes in your utility bills. Quickly address these issues to stop them from spreading and causing more harm to your air conditioner.

Benefits of Yearly Service

Scheduling at least one annual professional AC tune-up will boost the system’s efficiency and performance. You’ll enjoy decreased monthly energy consumption and improved home climate control. Tune-ups are the best way to maximize your system’s lifespan and ensure it lasts over a decade. Maintenance is also key to protecting your manufacturer’s warranty. Without this warranty, you would have to pay for all repairs and replacement parts out of pocket.

You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to schedule a tune-up when you sign up for a maintenance agreement. These comprehensive care plans include yearly furnace and AC appointments and priority care. Many agreements also offer lower repair fees and access to 24/7 emergency repair service.

Peotone Heating and Cooling Experts

When you need a reliable indoor comfort contractor, look no further than Kulacz & Sons Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Peotone, IL. For more than 40 years, our family-owned business has upheld the highest service quality standards. Our NATE-certified technicians have experience working with the latest HVAC equipment. We offer free estimates and in-home consultations as well as second opinions. Depend on us to maintain or repair your furnace and air conditioner. Our experts will troubleshoot your ductless HVAC issue and help you with new ductwork. We also provide commercial heating and cooling services. Schedule your AC tune-up with Kulacz & Sons Heating & Cooling, Inc. in Peotone today.

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