Your home's air conditioning system plays a key role in keeping you and your family cool and comfortable throughout the hot summer months. Not only is fixing a broken air conditioning system costly and frustrating, but it can also leave you sweating in the sweltering heat while you wait for a technician to be available to conduct repairs. Even worse, you may be stuck waiting days longer if a replacement part is unavailable or if the work required is serious. While not all HVAC malfunctions are avoidable, many are. One of the best ways to make sure that you aren't taken by surprise is to schedule annual inspections for your HVAC system.
What does an Inspection Include?
A full AC services inspection is fairly thorough and you should expect the technician to be on-site at your house for at least an hour. Although the exact details of the inspection will vary slightly from contractor to contractor, you should expect most inspections to include the following items:
- A full check for proper operation of the system, including thermostat operation
- Inspection of all electrical connections and electrical equipment in the condenser unit
- A condition check of the filter as well as filter replacement recommendations
- Inspection of both the condenser and evaporator coils
- A refrigerant pressure check
The purpose of these items is to ensure that there are no early warning signs for failing components and also to confirm that maintenance is up-to-date. Once the inspection is complete, your technician should provide you with a detailed explanation of what they found along with any recommendations for maintenance or repairs.
How Can Inspections Save You Money?
Most AC system inspections cost about a hundred dollars, and they can potentially save you much more. By checking for overdue maintenance, the inspection technician can recommend steps (or even perform them immediately) that can help to keep your air conditioning system running at peak efficiency. A system that is running efficiently will save you money on your energy bills, but it will also last longer. Problems that lead to an HVAC system running inefficiently almost always put more strain on components such as the compressor, ultimately leading to additional wear and premature failure.
Inspections can also allow you to deal with problems on your own terms. If you have your inspection conducted before the summer, you can usually wait a while to repair any problems if your budget is too tight. Even if you are ready to conduct repairs, you'll still save money by avoiding an emergency last-minute call. And, of course, you'll avoid stewing in the heat as you wait for the technician to arrive.
How Often Should You Schedule Inspections?
You should have your AC system checked at least once per year. In some cases, it may make sense to have the system checked more often. For example, if you've recently renovated your home, then it may be a good idea to have the system inspected to confirm that nothing was disrupted by the renovations and that the introduction of a large amount of dust and construction debris didn't disturb any part of it.
Inspections are one of the most important services you can perform for your AC. Conduct them regularly, and your HVAC system will keep your home cool for years.