For many of us, out of sight is out of mind when it comes to our air-conditioner. Yes, it lives in the background as it keeps us cool while we go about our day-to-day activities at home and at the office.
But the moment it falters, a general sense of misery sets in. A misery that oftentimes hits the pocketbook and can ruin your day (or days) as you attempt to stay cool, sweat dripping down your face, your kids getting fussier by the minute, and you have to leave your house to cool off.
Heating and cooling costs gobble up at least one-third of your utility bill. When your air-conditioning starts acting up, it is working harder (or not at all), isn’t keeping you as cool as it could be, and is driving up your utility bill. Then what could have been a simple maintenance fix had it been caught in time morphs into a costly repair.
Each year you should hire a HVAC contractor to provide an air-conditioning tune-up. The best time is in the early spring before it really starts to heat up to ensure it’s ready to go when the days heat up.
Some of the benefits of scheduling a regular tune-up or maintenance for your air conditioner include:
- Making sure your refrigerant levels are where they should be. If they’re below the manufacturer’s prescribed level, your HVAC contractor will fix the leak. A 10 percent refrigerant loss can result in a 20 percent reduction in system efficiency.
- Cleaning the inside coil, condensate pans, condensate traps, and condensate lines to prevent obstructions.
- Determining the life expectancy and SEER rating of your system. This will help give you an idea of when to plan for replacement. Most systems should be replaced about every 10-15 years. A SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is a numeric value assigned to your system that shows how energy efficient your unit is. Air conditioners made after 2006 need to be at 13 or higher. The higher your SEER number, the more efficient your unit.
- Extending the life of your system. For many of us, the air conditioner is something that’s ignored until it’s not working. Regular maintenance can ultimately make your unit last longer.
- Allowing a particular contractor to become familiar with the ins and outs of your air conditioner. Once you establish a relationship with your contractor, it can be beneficial to have continuity so your HVAC contractor knows the quirks and habits of your particular unit.
- Priority service. It’s certainly likely that if you hire a HVAC company for regular maintenance and tune-ups, they’ll be there for you in a heartbeat, should, heaven forbid, your air conditioner hiccup in the middle of the summer.
- Savings. Air-conditioner tune-ups generally pay for themselves in what you’ll save in utility costs when your system is running at its most efficient.
Peace of mind. Perhaps the most convincing reason of all is to put your mind at ease and know that you should be able to sail through the summer without an air-conditioning crisis. You’ll also know that you’ve done all you can to ensure your system is running as efficient as possible. If your unit is past due or you don’t remember the last time you had an air conditioning tune up call your friends at Scottsdale Air at (480) 359-7141.