Is AC Maintenance Worth it?
Regularly cleaning and servicing air conditioning equipment is the only way to ensure that it continues functioning at peak-efficiency for many years. Unaddressed issues and wear will only worsen over time, costing you on higher monthly utility bills in the short term and on full air conditioning replacement in the long term. Not to mention the effects that a poorly maintained unit can have on your indoor air quality, quality of life, and safety.
With an annual service appointment from an HVAC expert employed by Aire Serv of Dallas, you can avoid all the common AC problems and reduce your chances of experiencing malfunctions during high-use periods.
Benefits for Dallas Homeowners
- Increased efficiency
- Fewer repair calls
- Improved air quality
- Extended system lifespans
- Higher home comfort
We've chosen to highlight this benefit because of its significant impact on the lives of Dallas homeowners. Many people disregard air conditioner efficiency because of other industries disingenuously using terms like "energy efficient" to push sales. However, high energy efficiency is an important factor when it comes to HVAC systems. Not only will a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also reduce your personal energy costs.
Over time, wear and contaminants that put pressure on struggling AC units will reduce their ability to effectively cool your home. As this happens, they'll start needing ever-increasing amounts of power to do their job—which they won't even be able to do well at that point. Efficient air conditioning uses less power to cool your home, which means that you'll pay less for high-quality comfort from your cooling solutions in Dallas.
Improved Health & Safety
What you breathe has a direct impact on your personal health, and that means your HVAC equipment does too. A poorly maintained system, clogged with dust, dirt, and other contaminants, can have a negative impact on your personal health. Dirty air filters and other components choked with pollutants pass on their contamination directly to you, potentially creating uncomfortable health conditions.
A well-maintained AC unit can help you get relief from:
- Sinus congestion
- Irritated allergies
- Worsening respiratory issues
Alongside those various health benefits, your personal safety will also be improved with regular maintenance appointments. It's possible that poorly maintained HVAC systems will start a fire in your home. Preventative maintenance doesn't just protect you from needing AC repair services in the future. It also protects you from dangerous situations caused by faulty equipment. You'll have peace of mind knowing that you're protected from all the issues related to poorly maintained HVAC systems if you take advantage of everything that routine maintenance includes.
What is Included in AC Servicing?
An experienced, thorough HVAC service professional should check all your system's vital components during an air conditioning tune-up appointment. Not all units work the same way—split air conditioning and central AC have different parts and pieces than smaller options like window units—but all air conditioner equipment will benefit from regular inspections and service.
Routinely replacing or cleaning filters is the most important task for regular maintenance on air conditioning units. If you do nothing else, you should at least do that. Filthy filters obstruct air flow and significantly reduce system efficiency. Plus, anything that passes through can carry dirty or harmful contaminants into your home.
Reusable filters can simply be cleaned and reinserted, but standard options should be replaced outright. Filters come in a wide variety of options, so it's also important to choose a replacement filter that's suited for your system. Dallas homeowners sometimes attempt to use HEPA filters, which end up restricting air flow enough to cause freezing inside a system. Always confirm that any new filter is well-suited for your needs and your air conditioning systems.
These are those thin aluminum fins covering AC units. They're easily bent or damaged, which blocks airflow to your coil. There are specialized tools called fin combs that are specifically designed to straighten out fins. This basic maintenance step makes a big impact that adds increased protection against future AC repairs.
Clogged drain channels prevent units from properly reducing humidity inside Dallas homes. All that extra humidity wreaks havoc on your property. Excess moisture inside homes can cause discoloration on walls and carpets, reduce your comfort levels, and contribute to other potentially serious issues.
If you have a window unit, part of what makes it effective is its functioning seal. That seal between your unit and your window ensures that your model's efficiency isn't threatened and your home is adequately cooled. Over time, moisture and other external factors can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape and reducing your unit's efficiency.
What to Expect from Professional AC Maintenance
When you hire an HVAC service professional for routine air conditioning inspections and maintenance, you can expect that your system will be well-maintained and restored. Any air conditioning tune-up should address all the common component challenges associated with your system, as well as more niche requirements for your specific situation. Depending on what type of cooling solution you have, you can expect your service appointment to include some of the areas written above, as well as additional checks.
Routine air conditioning services include:
- Checking all essential components
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Testing for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Capturing any leaking refrigerant & repairing leaks
- Checking for seal duct leaks in central air conditioning systems
- Measuring air flow through your evaporator coil
- Verifying your electric control sequence
- Confirming that heating & cooling systems do not operate simultaneously
- Inspecting terminals, cleaning connections, and possibly applying non-conductive coatings
- Oiling motors
- Checking fan belts for wear
- Calibrating your thermostat
Common AC Problems You Can Avoid With Maintenance
Regular wear on AC units occurs every year as hot, humid weather hits Dallas homes. During these high-use periods, constant demands on your unit increase the need for air conditioning maintenance as parts start becoming weaker and more susceptible to failure. If these issues go undetected, you're more likely to experience any of these common cooling issues in Dallas homes during the next heat wave:
- AC that won't turn on
- AC not blowing cold air
- Freezing units or coils
- Refrigerant leaks
- Disruptive noises
- Electric control failure
- Water leaks
- Drainage failure
- Sensor problems
What You Can Do to Maintain Your System
Maintenance and repairs from an HVAC expert will always provide a superior level of safety, security, and protection, but there are several things that you can do yourself throughout the year. These simple maintenance chores will help further avoid air conditioning system malfunctions and damage that reduces efficiency.
Turn off the power to your AC unit before starting any maintenance to avoid personal injury and system damage.
Remove Debris: Clear any leaves, branches, or other dust and debris away from your unit. If you have an outdoor unit, it's helpful to keep all your plants trimmed back at least one foot away to prevent any foreign objects from creating issues. During this step, you can go the extra mile by removing your fan cage and using a wet/dry shop vacuum to clear away everything collected inside.
Clean Your Fins: Remove their outer covers to get rid of all exterior dirt and grime. Using a powerful shop vacuum for this step works well. Afterward, you can use a garden hose to spray a gentle stream of water through your fins from inside to clear out anything built up between them. Be careful and avoid using high-pressure water, as fins are easily damaged.
Change Your Filter: Ideally, this should be done at least twice a year—before and after summer. If there has been a particularly high level of smoke or other particulate pollution throughout the year in Dallas, you may want to change your filter more often. You can usually find your filter enclosure near your main unit, where large fresh air ducts connect to it. When you install your replacement, ensure that the flow-direction arrows on your new filter match those on your unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Lifespan of an Air Conditioner?
A well-maintained air conditioner will generally last for 15 to 20 years. However, this isn't always the case. Exact lifespans vary depending on the type of AC unit and the factors that impact its daily operation—central air conditioners have different needs and durability levels than window units and other systems.
Factors that affect lifespan include:
- Your unit's size, BTU output, and efficiency rating compared to the size of your room or home
- How often you use your unit & how long it continually operates
- Dallas' climate & any unusual temperature fluctuations
- Frequency of regular maintenance services
How Much Does AC Maintenance Cost?
An air conditioning tune-up's cost will vary based on several factors, including the size of your home, your specific system, and how long it's been since your last service appointment. Without talking to you or taking a close look at your cooling system, it's difficult to provide an exact cost figure, but we'd be happy to chat more with you any time.
What Type of AC System Do I Have?
There are several types of units used by homeowners in Dallas. The simplest, smallest options are portable AC units that can be carried from room to room and set up with window seal exhausts, but there are more common options in Dallas.
- Window units: These are easy to identify. As their name suggests, they attach directly to your window and stay there, secured inside a seal that stops escaping air.
- Split systems: Split air conditioning is common in garages and other isolated rooms or spaces. They use both an internal vent and an exterior condenser unit.
- Ductless split systems: These are like traditional split systems, except that they don't make use of any existing ducts to deliver cooling effects. Instead, your indoor units connect directly to your outdoor unit for more efficient operation.
- Package / traditional air conditioning units: These are central systems that sit outside and connect to your existing vents to completely cool your entire home.
How Often Do You Need Maintenance?
Manufacturer recommendations vary. Some say that you should get service every year, while others say that if you regularly change your filter and follow instructions, you only need service if you need AC repairs. Our recommendation is to get annual service either before or after summer's hot weather periods to ensure that you're well protected from future issues.
Repair or Replace?
This is a common question, and it doesn't have a simple answer. When you're deciding whether you need to replace an existing system there are several factors that you should compare and consider before you commit to spending money on air conditioning installations. We'd be happy to provide advice and help you weigh your options.
Factors you should consider are:
- Your unit's age
- How often you're getting repairs
- Your current utility rates
- Your existing unit's efficiency
- The investment costs of a new replacement
- Your current operating costs vs. operating costs for new units
Why Choose Aire Serv for AC Maintenance in Dallas?
We're Dallas' local, reliable HVAC experts. Our service professionals are dedicated to providing exceptional, friendly, courteous customer service at all times, and they're all completely bonded, insured, and licensed to work on your home.
In addition to our experienced, knowledgeable experts, we also have service available 24/7 for convenient appointment times and emergency services. We guarantee that your maintenance will be completed correctly and that you'll be satisfied with the results.
Whatever you need us for, you can trust our upfront, honest pricing model to keep you protected from hidden fees and surprise charges. Plus, our team members are always happy to explain their work and answer any questions you might have.
Call our friendly, local team or request an appointment online.