Air conditioners are built to thrive through years and years of use. That said, they’re far from indestructible.

If you want to get the most out of your AC system, you have to have them tuned up on a regular basis.

If you’re wondering what goes into an air conditioning tune up, then keep reading. We’re going to get into the specifics.

Refrigerant Charge and Pressure Check

In order for an air conditioner to run properly, it must be filled with adequate amounts of refrigerant.

Unfortunately, over time, refrigerant pressure can become reduced, resulting in a less functional and less efficient AC unit overall.

To ensure that the pressure and charge of your refrigerant are adequate, your AC technician will assess both during your AC tune-up.

This is done with an electronic device that gauges both metrics from the exterior of the condenser.

Should your technician find that your refrigerant levels are low, he or she will replace your refrigerant, ensuring that your system is equipped to operate as needed.

Important note: As of 2020, the EPA is phasing out R22 coolant. Learn more about this topic here.

Refrigerant Line Insulation

Because it exists on the outside of the house, the refrigerant line is subject to all kinds of abuse.

As such, the insulation that surrounds it tends to wear down throughout the year.

This is why, during your AC tune-up, your AC specialist will re-insulate your refrigerant line, ensuring that it’s properly protected from external elements.

Should your AC technician come across any leaks in the refrigerant line, he or she will patch those up as well.

Condenser Starter Component Inspection

The condenser is the heart of any air conditioner.

It’s filled with a variety of components, each of which assists in making the air conditioner a functional entity.

These components include but aren’t limited to the evaporator, the condenser, the sensors, and the expansion valve.

During each AC tune-up, your AC technician will inspect these entities, making sure that they’re still functional and that they’re still good to go for the foreseeable future.

If any of the components have experienced severe wear and tear, they will be replaced.

If any of the components are particularly dirty, they will be cleaned.

Condenser Power Draw Test

As you probably know, air conditioners require a great deal of electricity in order to run.

As such, if they become reduced in their ability to draw electricity, their functionality can suffer mightily.

For this reason, during every one of your AC tune-ups, your AC specialist will test your condenser’s ability to draw power.

This is done by measuring amps, in particular. See, each AC unit is designed to draw its own individual number of amps; most will draw between 15 and 20 amps, specifically.

If your technician finds that your AC is drawing less than this (or more, of course), he or she will make necessary repairs until the AC is functioning as expected.

Coil Cleaning

In order for an air conditioner to operate, it makes use of two sets of coils.

The first set of these coils is called the condenser coils; it exists within the AC condenser and is responsible for releasing heat captured from the inside of the home.

The second set is called the evaporator coils; it exists inside of the home and is responsible for capturing hot air and transporting it to the condenser coils.

Unfortunately, over time, these two sets of coils can become excessively dirty, usually due to the inward flow of dust and other debris.

As such, in order for the AC to operate in the way that it’s intended to, these coils need to be cleaned.

Your AC technician will clean your coils during every AC tuneup, ridding them of residue and ensuring that they’re operating at max capacity.

This will result in optimal AC efficiency, allowing for top-notch performance.

Drain Pan Inspection

When hot air passes through the evaporator coils, it causes condensation to form. Where does this condensation end up? In the AC drain pans.

Because of this, during every AC tune-up, the AC technician will inspect the drain pans (both the primary and secondary pans) carefully.

This is done to ensure that they’re still in good shape (ie. not broken, clogged or collecting mold), and that they’re still performing their job as intended.

During this step, the AC’s drain line will be checked as well.

The drain line works in tandem with the drain pans, ensuring that water doesn’t back up into the system.

Unfortunately, over time, the drain line can become clogged which can cause water damage depending on where your AC system is located.

A condensate safety switch can be installed as a safety measure to avoid overflows and prevent water damage.

Motor Capacitor Test

To run effectively and reliably, AC motors make use of a set of capacitors.

These capacitors transfer charge throughout the AC, allowing it to run optimally.

However, over time, capacitors can break down and deteriorate.

As such, during tune-ups, AC technicians like to test them, ensuring that they’re still getting the job done.

This testing is performed with an electronic device, one which reliably gauges the charge in every capacitor.

Indoor Cabinet Insulation Inspection

If you want your AC to run as efficiently as possible, you must effectively insulate its air handler cabinet.

The inability to do so will put added strain on the evaporator coils, causing the system to work harder than it would otherwise.

Unfortunately, however, cabinet insulation tends to deteriorate over time.

As such, during your AC tune-ups, your AC technician will check for deteriorated insulation.

If the insulation has passed the point of no return, it will be replaced.

In Need of an Air Conditioning Tune-Up?

Now that we’ve discussed the main facets of an air conditioning tune up, you might be in need of one yourself.

If so, and if you’re looking for an air conditioning company in the Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, Tempe, and Chandler Arizona (and other cities and towns in the Valley of the Sun), we here at Scottsdale Air, Heating & Cooling are the people to call.

We’re the premier air conditioning service in the Phoenix area and have performed maintenance on countless AC units since we’ve been open since 1947. Give our team a call, we’ll have your system running like new in no time.

Contact us now to schedule your next service or to become a member of our S.A.F.E. Maintenance Program!


Contact the Surprisingly Affordable AC experts at Scottsdale Air Heating & Cooling to schedule your AC Tune-Up Today ~ 480-359-7141.

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