Another hot summer is just around the corner, which means your home’s HVAC system will need to transition from keeping you warm inside to keeping you cool.
More than just a luxury, maintaining a cool home with good indoor air quality is essential to your health. That’s because your home’s temperature directly impacts the quality of your sleep, which leads to a host of benefits—from enhanced mood and reduced stress levels to bodily recovery and immune system health.
Getting your equipment tuned up and ready for the hot days ahead with AC preventative maintenance is important not only for your comfort and overall well-being, but also beneficial for the reliability, efficiency, and longevity of your system.
Think about it this way: If you had a car that sat in place all winter, would you feel confident taking it on a long road trip without getting it checked out first? If you did, you could be risking an unexpected breakdown and a major headache. By abruptly starting up your air conditioning system on the first warm day, without any AC preventative maintenance, you’re taking the same risk.
Here are 5 reasons why showing your air conditioner some love before summer arrives will ensure you can greet the heat with cool confidence.
1. Prevent future breakdowns
If your HVAC system has been hibernating since last fall, this period of dormancy has opened up opportunities for dust and debris build-up, or the development of a mechanical or electrical problem. Having it tuned up before summer can prevent a breakdown from occurring, as the technician will inspect more than a dozen safety points and identify any potential problems. Preventative maintenance is almost always far less costly than fixing a breakdown after the fact.
2. Save money on energy bills
An inefficient air conditioner raises your cooling costs. The build-up of dust and debris on the air conditioner coils can cause your system to work less efficiently. The coils in the evaporator and condenser also collect dirt and dust and need periodic cleaning. By cleaning the coils and other critical mechanical parts, your technician can increase the operating efficiency of your air conditioner, which can save you money on your energy bill.
A clogged or dirty filter blocks airflow and also reduces the efficiency of the unit. The Department of Energy recommends cleaning or replacing the filter in your AC unit every month or two during summer. Filters may need more frequent cleaning or replacing if there is a lot of dust or if you have furry pets in the house.
3. Improve air quality
A well-functioning air conditioner not only provides comfort in the warm weather but also contributes to better indoor air quality. The dust and debris that build up during the winter in your AC unit can end up circulating through your home, causing an allergy flare-up. Removing these pesky allergens with a new, high quality filter will boost indoor air quality, improving your family’s comfort. We also have supplemental options we can discuss for enhanced filtration and purification for your system.
A quality cooling system also regulates the relative humidity inside your home, which helps improve the air you breathe. Excessive humidity can lead to the presence of mold, mildew, fungus, bacteria, and viruses.
4. Increase the lifespan of your AC system
Not only will your air conditioner run more efficiently as a result of regular maintenance, but it will likely also last longer. If you’re deciding between continued maintenance and a replacement model, a factory-trained and certified air conditioner technician will be able to estimate how much more life your older air conditioner has in it. As a rule of thumb, most air conditioners regularly last 15 to 20 years. That said, according to the Department of Energy, newer models (since 2015) reflect higher efficiency standards and can operate with reduced energy consumption and at a greater cost savings.
5. Maintain peak performance
For the reasons we’ve outlined above — prevention of future breakdowns and unanticipated repair costs — Energy Star recommends that homeowners schedule an annual pre-season check-up. According to Energy Star, an expert technician should cover the following during their visit:
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and can cause the system to run excessively, increasing energy costs and reducing the lifespan of the equipment.
- Check the central air conditioner’s refrigerant level.
- Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for optimal comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
- System safety check and visual inspection.
Consider no-hassle peace of mind
These are just some of the issues that an factory-trained and certified service technician can address and prevent with a thorough inspection and AC preventative maintenance. One service call in the spring can save you from a dreaded breakdown on the hottest days of the season.
Poor maintenance can be much more expensive in the long run (and even in the short run) than the cost of routine preventative service. And if remembering to schedule regular maintenance is low on your priority list, consider choosing a maintenance plan that can proactively schedule your AC, heating, and plumbing service checks annually—along with priority scheduling and additional discounts.