Millions of people love calling Miami and Ft. Lauderdale their home for many reasons, including vibrant culture and great food. One big draw is the warm weather that blesses this area most of the year. Millions more flock here for vacations and travel for the same reason. For all the sunshine, however, there are plenty of hot days where it’s necessary to just head inside and stay in the air conditioning for a while. If you own a home here, you might wonder how often your AC unit needs to be serviced. Knowing that helps you keep it maintained.
One Question, Two Answers
How frequently should your AC be serviced? There are actually two answers to this question. At a minimum, your AC unit should have annual servicing. In many cases, two service calls per year are even better.
Regular AC servicing means that your technician has a chance to find problems when they’re still small. At that point, they’re cheaper to fix and deal with. These visits usually only take an hour or two, so your schedule shouldn’t be impacted all that much. It’s certainly a lot less inconvenient than if the system breaks down entirely.
An AC that isn’t serviced might actually lose 5% of its efficiency every year that it doesn’t get serviced. That can cost you more on your monthly energy bill. Lack of service might also cut its lifespan in half. You’ll have to get a new AC sooner, and those cost thousands of dollars.
If you get your AC serviced only once a year, it should happen in either the spring or fall. Spring is best because it gives your system a chance to be ready for the long, hot summer that you likely have looming over. Fall would be the second-best time for servicing because summer and winter aren’t ideal.
Summer is a very busy time for AC businesses and technicians. You might have to wait a while before one is even available, parts will be in high demand, and labor rates are usually at seasonal highs.
Winter isn’t a good time for AC maintenance because the system has to run for at least some of the servicing. Running an AC when the weather is cold can actually hurt the components. Thicker oil because of lower temperatures might result in system malfunctions.
If you opt for two service calls per year, then spring and fall are the two ideal times to do it. The early- to mid-spring call gets your system ready for the summer workload ahead, whereas the fall service call can help restore it after the hot weather. A fall appointment can also mean the technician has a chance to winterize the system before its hibernation.
What AC Servicing Covers
Your AC technician will usually have a thorough checklist of things to cover, whether they seem warranted or not.
- Air filter replacements
- Condensate pump inspection
- Visual inspection of entire HVAC system
- Inspect and clean all coils
- Verify proper function of thermostat
- Clean condensate pump and the entire system of debris, dust, and dirt
5 Advantages to Regular AC Maintenance
Whether your AC unit still has some new sparkle to it or is an old reliable workhorse that’s powered through the years, it needs regular maintenance and servicing. Doing that will provide your AC system and home with as many as five different advantages you can enjoy.
1. Better Comfort
Part of the maintenance process is inspecting system components for abnormalities, issues, and irregularities. The next phase is correcting anything that’s found that could be a problem. The result is you having uninterrupted comfort when inside your own home.
2. Extend Your System Life
Keeping your AC system functional means it will run longer. That won’t make it cheaper, but it can lower the per-year cost of the system. It also means you get to hold off longer before your buy your next AC.
3. Improved Air Quality
An experienced technician knows your AC system inside and out. They’ll know how to find and remove particles of dirt and debris, so they don’t accumulate and spread through your home. Everyone will breathe easier as a result.
4. More Efficiency
Routine maintenance includes the inspection and cleaning of cooling coils, blades, and other crucial parts of the system. This results in cooler air in your home without as much energy being expended. That keeps you more comfortable when it gets hot outside, but it also means you won’t get hot when you open your utility bill since it will be lower.
5. You Won’t See Your Technician as Often
Scheduling maintenance for your AC might be a brief inconvenience to your schedule, but it’s better than the major inconvenience of something breaking down at an hour you didn’t schedule. Regular maintenance makes it far less likely that your system will break down and need an emergency service call. Deterioration can be prevented, and problems can be addressed before they get climactic.
Problems You Risk Without Regular Servicing
If you don’t get your AC system serviced on a regular basis, then you run the risk of a number of different issues. Decreased efficiency is one issue because system components will wear down with cleaning or repairs. Water leaks can also spoil walls, create puddles, and be a risk for bacterial growth or rust.
Your utility bills will be higher than they need to be. Systems that run harder than they need to will need more power to do it, and you’ll pay that each month before you also pay for repairs that you could have avoided.
You’ll also have to deal with noises you don’t want to put up with. Foul smells might also enter your home. You and your family deserve a comfortable home to spend time in.
If you feel strong vibrations, this might be due to work your AC unit is putting into transferring water, refrigerant, or air. Ice formations can also be something normal but problematic if they happen quite often. Both issues might indicate looming system malfunctions.
Making sure your AC unit is serviced frequently enough is one of many responsibilities you have as a homeowner. However, the actual servicing itself should be left up to industry professionals in your community. They know what to look for and how to do it. The right technicians will get the servicing done promptly, properly, and with the right tools. Regular service calls can keep your system running optimally, prevent stoppages and breakdowns, and help your system run longer than it would otherwise.
At Quality Air Of America, we offer both heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance. Residents of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale also trust us for indoor air quality testing and solutions such as air purifiers, UV light systems, and more. We also offer duct sealing and replacement, attic insulation, and dryer vent cleaning. Our family-owned and -operated company strives for excellence. We carry all major brands and are a Rheem Pro Partner.
Contact Quality Air Of America today for more information about how often you should have your AC serviced and to schedule a maintenance visit.