How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?

A man working on an air conditioner representing HVAC Maintenance in Parker, CO.

Neglecting your air conditioner is bad for your health and your bottom line.  Let’s explore the question, “How often should I service my Air Conditioner?”

It seems like your to-do list is never quite finished when you own a home.  While you are tackling all your quarantine cleaning projects, make sure you add AC maintenance to the to-do list.  We all know Front Range of Colorado summers are hot, and this summer threatens to be a record-setter.  With summer right around the corner, you want to make sure your AC is in the best condition.  You are probably wondering, “how often should I service my air conditioner?”  Ideally, you want to hire a professional for AC service at least one time a year.

Maintaining your air conditioning unit is an important part of responsible home ownership.  Regular AC maintenance will keep your system running smoothly for years, and it will save your money on your cooling costs.  Over time your system becomes less efficient.  Leaks develop and debris piles up in your unit.  All these things make your AC work harder and raise your electricity bills.

Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance

Image of two Better Built Heating and Cooling techs repairing an HVAC unit in parker CO representing our HVAC Services in the southeast Denver areas.

Professional AC maintenance is an important part of home ownership.

There are a lot of things you can DIY as a homeowner, but you should consult a professional for your regular HVAC tune-up. HVAC professionals have the experience and expertise you need to keep your system running for years to come.

How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?

Your air conditioning unit needs to be serviced annually by a professional technician.  There are plenty of things you can do to keep your unit running in the meantime, but your unit needs a professional inspection at least once a year.

It is best to schedule your maintenance two times a year. Once in the Spring, that way it is ready for the hot summer months. Your AC works hardest during the summertime, so as spring fades to hotter days you should make sure your unit is in top shape. And the second would be in the fall, that way your unit is ready for the cold winter months. 

How Much Does AC Maintenance Cost?

Better Built Heating and Cooling offers a Maintenance Program. The price is only $16 a month if you only have one unit. If you have 2 plus units it is only $22 a month. This price will also allow you to receive a 15% discount on any repairs or parts you may need throughout the year.  You can find more information on our web site at [email protected] or call (720) 615-4699. 

You know that you should invest in regular AC maintenance, but you may be wondering what that maintenance will include.

What is annual AC maintenance, and what are the benefits of these services?

Thermostat Calibration

You need to make sure that your thermostat is working properly.  If your thermostat is out of whack, your home won’t be cooled efficiently. Your technician will calibrate and test your thermostat to ensure it is accurate.

They will also make sure that your thermostat is located away from any heat sources.  A thermostat located too close to a light bulb or other heat source won’t read an accurate temperature for your home.

Ensure Electrical Connection

One of the benefits of hiring an HVAC professional is having someone trained to sure up your electrical wires.

Your HVAC technician will check all your electrical wiring to prevent any potential electrical fire hazards.  They will also make sure that your wires are properly insulated, and your electrical connections are tightened. 

Lubricate Moving Parts

Your air conditioning unit has a lot of moving parts that need to be properly lubricated.  Without proper lubrication, your AC components will grind against each other and cause permanent damage. 

Your HVAC tech will rub-down the central fan with oil and the motor.  They are experienced and they know how to properly lubricate your AC unit without using too much oil.

Service Your Air Conditioner’s Condensate Drain Line

Your condensate drain line must be regularly cleared.  Your condensate drain eliminates moisture collected by the evaporator coil.  The evaporator coil converts humidity into water that needs to be removed from your system.

If your condensate line becomes clogged it can cause leaks, moisture, and mold.  Your technician will check your line to make sure it is free of leaks or cracks.  They will also repair any cracks or leaks there may be in your lines to prevent future damage to your system.

They will also clean your condensate drain line to make sure there isn’t any bacteria or mold lurking in your unit. 

Inspect Coils

Your condenser coil is an important part of your AC unit, and if it is dirty or obstructed your unit won’t operate as efficiently.  This puts undue stress on your AC unit which can lead to it malfunctioning. 

Dirty or clogged coils also reduce the efficiency of your system, which increases your cooling bill.  Your AC technician will remove any dirt and debris from your coils so that your while system can run smoothly.

Your technician will also inspect and clean your evaporator coil to make sure it is working properly.  The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the air crating cool air to recirculate in the house.

A dirty evaporator coil needs to work harder to cool air, which puts additional strain on your HVAC system.  It also makes your system less efficient, so your cooling coasts will be more expensive.

Inspect Parts for Wear and Tear

Your AC tech will also do a full evaluation of your HVAC system to look for signs of damage.  It is important to repair damaged HVAC components before they cause major damage to your system.

Your AC technician’s full system evaluation will keep your cooling system in good condition for years to come.

Inspect Duct Work

Your duct system is your HVAC’s cooling and heating superhighway.  Cold air is carried through your home’s duct system.  So, if your ducts are leaking or damaged you could be losing valuable cool air. 

Your annual inspection is the perfect time to have your ducts inspected.  AC technicians will ensure your ducts are airtight and working well. 

How to Clean Your AC Unit Between Professional AC Service

image of 2 HVAC service techs working on an air conditioner representing How Often Should I Service My Air Conditioner?

Annual AC service is an important part of maintaining your HVAC system.  However, a lot can happen between your annual AC maintenance.  It is important to do your regular tune-ups to keep your system running smoothly.

Change your Filter

Changing your air filter is one of the easiest ways to keep your air conditioning unit running in tip-top shape.  You need to regularly change all the air conditioning filters in your home.

A dirty air filter obstructs your air conditioner’s normal airflow.  This makes your system less efficient which increases your cooling costs.  In fact, replacing your dirty filter with a clean one can improve energy efficiency.

Plus, a dirty filter can carry dirt into your air conditioner’s evaporator coil. This will prevent your AC from properly sensing temperatures so it can adjust and keep your home cool.

So, how often should I change my air conditioner filter?  It depends on the quality of your filter.  Cheaper fiberglass filters should be replaced every month. Some higher-end filters can last up to 6 months.

You may need to change your AC more often in the summer months.  Check on your air filters every couple of weeks.  If it starts to look dirty or clogged, it is time for a new filter.

Clean Your Coils

Over time your air conditioner’s condenser and evaporator coils will accumulate dirt.  It is important to clean your coils every so often and remove any debris from them to encourage proper airflow and optimal unit functioning. 

The first line of defense against dirty coils is changing your air conditioner filters on regular basis.  However, even if you are diligent about changing your AC filters regularly you still need to clean your coils every so often. 

If your home is in a dusty environment, you want to clean your coils more frequently.

Deep Clean Your HVAC Unit

Another great way to keep your AC running smoothly is by doing a deep clean on your system from time to time.

A good deep clean will do wonders for your AC unit in between professional maintenance : 

  • Begin by turning off your unit to keep you safe
  • Then take a vacuum and a soft-bristle brush attachment to clean the exterior of your AC unit. You need to be very gently when you are vacuuming the fins, they are very delicate, and they can be easily bent
  • Then you need to remove the top grille and carefully remove the fan
  • Put the fan to the side and don’t put unnecessary stress on the electric wires 
  • Take your hose and spray the fin from the inside to clean out any extra    debris
  • Then replace the fan

Unbend Coil Fins

Straightening your coil fins is an easy way to improve your AC’s airflow.  There are aluminum fins on the exterior of your AC unit and they allow air to freely move around the unit.

Over time these sensitive fins become bent, which restricts airflow to your AC unit.  Luckily for you, there is a way to straighten out those pesky fins and increase airflow to your AC unit.

You can buy a coil fin comb to straighten coil fins.  Make sure to ware protective gloves before you begin the process.  The fins can be very sharp, especially if they are bent.

Maintain the Foliage Around Your Unit

Did you know your landscaping can affect your AC unit?  Overgrown foliage or bushes surrounding your unit can obstruct airflow and limit your AC unit’s efficiency.

Make sure you keep the landscaping around your unit neat and clean to prevent it from blocking airflow.  Make sure that there is a 2-foot circumference cleared around your AC unit.

You should also make sure the AC unit is on a level surface.  Over time the concrete surface your AC unit is resting on may begin to sink into the ground.  A level air conditioner will function better and last longer.

An unlevel AC will not operate properly, and the uneven distribution of weight will cause your AC to malfunction.  Save money on future repairs by making sure your unit is on level ground.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a great option for extending the life of your AC.  Programmable thermostats help your HVAC system run more efficiently.  You can schedule different temperatures for different times of the day or areas of your home.

You can also keep a closer eye on your energy consumption, which will help you save money on your electric bill. 

Most programmable thermostats come with additional temperature sensors, which helps the thermostat better calibrate the entire home’s temperature throughout the day.

This means your AC doesn’t have to work as hard which helps the entire HVAC system last longer.

Hire Better Built Heating and Cooling

We all know that on the front range of Colorado summers are hot.  Your home should be a cool retreat.

If your air conditioner has not been serviced in a while, you could be looking at some expensive cooling costs this summer.  

Everyone should service their air conditioner at least once a year. We suggest twice a year. A spring tune-up for the hot summer months and a fall-tune up for the cold winter months. 

We are happy to help you get ready to weather the summer heat at home.  Contact us today for a high-quality air conditioning service. 

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