March 13, 2024
What is included in a cooling tune-up and is it necessary every year?

If you’re like most homeowners, you know the real value of a cooling tune-up. It works like an auto tune-up in that it keeps everything running smoothly for your air conditioner. A routine tune-up reduces the risk of unexpected breakdowns, safety issues, and costly repairs.

An annual tune-up is a good preventive strategy for keeping your AC going. The best time to have one is either the spring or fall, when HVAC professionals are least busy. You can schedule a tune-up in the winter, but you may be waiting for days or weeks before you can get an appointment. Due to the high demand for heater repairs, winter is a busy time.

Every tune-up should start with a thorough inspection. A professional needs to check the evaporator coils, the evaporator drain, and the filter. All parts must be cleaned as necessary so they can continue to function properly. Refrigerant levels need to be checked and refilled according to the size of your AC and the length of your refrigerant pipes.

What Is Included in a Cooling Tune-Up and Is It Necessary Every Year?

It’s easy to overlook your AC because it usually sits in a window, near the wall, or even outside the home. If you start to notice anything amiss, you should have the unit checked immediately.

Problems with a unit in poor condition include frequent breakdowns and hot air blowing out. Your AC may fail to kick in, or it may not start at all. And if it runs, it won’t be as efficient. An annual tune-up can solve a lot of these issues.

A good tune-up has the following benefits. You can:

  • Save on utility costs
  • Prevent frequent breakdowns
  • Extend the life of your AC

During the tune-up, your technician will also check the space around your unit and seal it up if necessary. An inspection of your safety controls is typically included as well. For safety reasons, your technician may need to check your unit to see if it has been installed properly.

Why Good AC Installation Matters

An air conditioner that’s installed properly will protect your home from pollutants and allergens. Units that are installed securely are safer and more efficient. They let in cool air without overloading your electric circuits, and they help reduce your monthly utility costs.

Safety Controls

Safety controls are another vital component of your AC system. They are responsible for keeping your entire unit in check because they prevent overheating and guard against electrical surges. Good safety controls give you dominion over the temperature settings you need to keep cool.

The idea behind good controls is moderation, both for security and efficiency. Getting them checked during an annual tune-up helps you stay on top of your unit. A good set of controls can keep you and your home safe from damage due to electrical fires.

If your safety controls are broken, you’ll need to get them replaced immediately. A professional HVAC contractor can help you with this.

What Else Is Included in an Annual Tune-up?

An annual AC tune-up should be comprehensive enough to cover all parts of your unit. These items include condenser coils, your thermostat, and your blower motor. Each component is vital to keeping your air conditioner running smoothly during warm weather.

Check and Clean Condenser Coils

Condenser coils consist of two coils that work together through a heat exchanger cycle to keep your indoor temperature at a steady level. During this process, your refrigerant releases excess heat and allows cool air to circulate throughout your home.

But like most parts, condenser coils are impacted by certain elements. Dirt, debris, grease, and grime build up from the outside. Consequently, your condenser coils won’t be able to reject enough heat to keep your home cool.

A thorough cleaning of your condenser coils is vital to the life of your air conditioner. It will help you increase energy efficiency, reduce maintenance and utility costs, and decrease wear and tear.

Test Your Thermostat

Your thermostat works with your HVAC to provide the best indoor temperatures for your home. But if you have one that doesn’t work, you may start feeling uncomfortable. Rising temperatures are uncomfortable for many of us and can cause sleepless nights. In extreme cases, you may even run the risk of heat-related health issues.

Things like rising energy costs without the benefits of cool air are associated with a faulty thermostat. You may be tweaking it constantly without positive results, thus causing the unit to run often without actually cooling you down.

These events call for a thermostat calibration. Getting one begins with checking temperature accuracy. Let your air conditioner run for 15 minutes and take a reading using a thermometer. Compare that reading with your indoor thermostat and check the degrees on both. Any difference of more than one degree calls for thermostat calibration as a part of your annual tune-up.

Some thermostats come with a mercury vial that’s supposed to measure temperature accuracy. A thorough tune-up should involve straightening this vial so that it stands perfectly erect. All it takes is a minor adjustment. Any thermostat without a mercury vial will have a calibration screw in its place. A technician can turn the screw back and forth and reset all contacts. This keeps your connections strong enough to maintain good calibration and an accurate reading.

Thermostat cleaning is another important part of an annual tune-up. Your HVAC specialist should remove the cover and wipe all components down using a damp cloth. Doing so allows your thermostat to keep your indoor temperature at a reasonable level.

Have Your Wires Checked

If all other efforts fail, your technician may need to check your wiring. Any loose connections will result in temperature discrepancies in your home. Dirt, rust, and corrosion are the leading causes of loose wires within a system. A damp swab can remove most of this. However, you’ll need to have a technician adjust your wires for a better connection.

Have Ductwork Checked

Another critical item on the annual tune-up list is having your ductwork checked. Ductwork that’s clogged with debris restricts your airflow, so it’s important to have it cleaned as needed. Your HVAC technician can also check for any leaks and seal them if necessary. In some cases, you may need to have new ductwork installed.

Call the Pros!

A good AC tune-up allows you to save money, remain comfortable, and breathe easier during summer. At Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning, we serve Bellevue, Glenwood, and the surrounding areas. Our goal is to provide quality HVAC services that keep your Nebraska home safe from extreme temperatures.

Our professionals offer prompt and courteous service in several areas, including heat pumps, furnace installation and repair, and furnace maintenance. We also provide new AC installation, maintenance, and repair. Our team can work with ductless systems as well as systems that use ductwork. For more information on AC tune-ups, installation, or repair, call or visit Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning online today.

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