As a certified and licensed Home Inspector I get the opportunity to evaluate a lot of Air Conditioning units here in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.
If you’re like a lot of us in Northern FL, you might not even think about your air conditioner, or the need for an AC tune up, until the temperatures start to rise. But, before you know it, you will call upon your air conditioner to battle the high heat and harsh humidity of the summer. You won’t be sweating it, if you beat the heat and get your air conditioner tuned up before a hot spring and even hotter, humid summer arrive.
It is best to have your air conditioner tuned up before the warmer weather hits, and here are a few reasons why you should be thinking about your A/C now.
1. Save Money on Your Tune Up: Often the big box DIY stores as well as many local air conditioning repair companies offer lower rate specials on A/C tune-ups, if you have them done out of peak season. This means you can get the same job done for less.
2. Less frequent need for repairs: The major benefit of scheduling an air conditioner tune-up or maintenance, is you’ll need fewer costly repairs. With proper maintenance and tune-ups, air conditioner breakdowns are far less likely to happen, and you’ll stay cooler and have more money in your wallet. Your air conditioner has probably not been switched on during the winter season, and this inactivity has provided the opportunities for dust and debris build-up; or to develop a mechanical or electrical problem. A licensed HVAC technician will clean your system and check for any issues, giving you’re A/C an advantage on the hot season ahead.
3. Reduced energy bills: The build-up of dust and debris on the air conditioner coils during the winter months can cause your system to not operate at peak performance. By cleaning the coils and other critical mechanical parts, the technician can increase the operating efficiency of your air conditioner, and save you money on your energy bill. If the air conditioner isn’t cleaned and maintained, it will strain to generate cool air, resulting in high energy bills.
4. Regular maintenance can extend unit lifespan: Have you ever had the air conditioner just quit working, right when you needed it most? Having it tuned up before the summer can prevent this type of breakdown from occurring. Preventative maintenance is almost always much less expensive than fixing an actual breakdown. A benefit of having your air conditioner maintained and tuned up, is that it will most likely increase the lifespan of the unit. New air conditioners tend to cost several thousands of dollars. If you have the system maintained and tuned-up regularly, you should enjoy efficient cooling for a long time.
A couple of important and simple things you can do during you’re A/C tune-up to help improve the efficiency of the unit as well as improve your indoor air quality.
Change the air filter: It is recommended you change your air filter every 3-4 months. At the beginning of every season is usually a good time to replace your air filter. During the inactivity of the winter it is likely that your air filter has gathered a lot of debris and dust. This dust and debris can end up circulating throughout your home, causing allergy flare-ups for those susceptible. Removing the allergens will not only increase indoor air quality, but improve your family’s comfort as well.
Clean the vents and grills: Make sure both the supply and return air grills/vents are open and free of dust and debris. Use the vacuum to remove any pet hair and dust that might have accumulated. In general, both changing the filter and cleaning all grills and vents at the beginning of every weather season is a good idea.
In summary, an A/C tune up now and changing the filter, could help keep your system running worry-free through the heat of the summer, extend the life or the A/C system, and save you money.