What Is an Air Conditioner Tune-Up, Anyway?
An air conditioning tune-up is what responsible homeowners do to maintain their home’s HVAC system. It’s a thorough cleaning and testing of the air conditioning system, to ensure that it’ll work when you need it this summer. We operate with the understanding that a clean system will run longer than a dirty system. To read more about keeping your system running during the summer, check out our blog post on this topic.
Not every HVAC company in town will perform an Air conditioning tune-up. I would say it’s because they feel they’re not very good money generators for them. I get it, wiping down air conditioners and testing parts aren’t very exciting for some. But I don’t think they understand the opportunity they have to create a relationship with someone and their HVAC system.
I like to develop relationships with my customers by taking care of their AC system every spring. If we can perform an air conditioning tune-up every spring, for years and years, I know my customers will, at the very least, allow us to provide a quote for a new system when the time comes. At the same time, our customers get to work with Sacramento’s most honest air conditioning company. Our technicians will only bring up parts or repairs that will make the system return to factory standards, help it last longer, and make it safer for their families.
What Happens at My Air Conditoning Tune-Up?
When we are on the way, our technician will call you and let you know. We are proud to park on the street in our bright white vans with the Fox Family logo on them. After you open the door and allow us to come in, we usually start at the air filter and thermostat.
I like to ask if there are any areas of the house that need any attention. Do any rooms not get the right amount of air? Does it cool the house down to your satisfaction in the middle of summer? Questions like this can establish how you like your system to run. Because not every homeowner is the same, right?
Once I know what’s going on in your mind as a homeowner, we will turn on the AC system, together, at the thermostat, listen for the air to come on, and walk outside to make sure everything out there is at least running. Now we all know the system was running when we arrived!
From here, you’ll be able to sit back and do whatever you need to do while the tech goes out and runs through a list specifically designed for your type of air conditioning system.
Step One of Your Air Conditioning Tune-Up
We usually start out at the air handler in the attic or closet. As a responsible business owner, if the furnace is in the attic, I need my techs to get in and out quickly. It’s hard to ask a tech to spend time cleaning a furnace in a hot attic. The furnace gets physically cleaned during the furnace tune-up, rather than during an AC tune-up, but there are some really important things to check here, so we try to get in and get out effectively and safely.
The most important thing we’re testing is the temperature difference between your supply and return air ducts. If it’s not where it needs to be, we have a series of checks we will do to get it right. A quick look at the evaporator coil can make a huge difference in the comfort of your home this summer. If it’s dirty or clogged it will make your system underperform.
As part of the AC tune-up, we also need to make sure your blower and the flywheel is clean and ready to run a lot in the coming summer months. The tech will pour water down the drain lines to make sure the condensate drains properly.
We always offer the option of a condensate safety switch to protect your home from potential damage. The secondary drain pan under the evaporator coil in the attic is a potential source of problems as well, so we make sure it’s ready for any emergencies.
Additionally, we’ll make sure the metering device for your refrigeration system is mounted properly while checking for any obvious refrigerant leaks in the copper tubing. We’ll also check for proper insulation levels in your attic because it creates such an effective barrier between the hot air in the attic and the cool air you’re trying to keep in your house. It pays to have a thick layer of insulation up there!
Step Two of the Air Conditioning Tune-Up
Once we’re done in the attic — and I really only want my techs up there maybe fifteen minutes on warmer days — we’ll head to the outdoor unit where the majority of the AC tune-up is done. Here, we test the components inside the panel, focusing on things like your refrigerant levels to ensure your system isn’t running too long, unnecessarily. The high and low voltage electrical running the AC needs to maintain a certain sizing, workmanship, and integrity.
Checking Items During Your AC Tune-Up
All in all, we check about 35 items on the outdoor unit and 20 items on the indoor unit. If you happen to have a packaged unit that sits on the side of the house or even on the rooftop, we still check all 55 items.
After we check the entire AC system, we’ll let you know if there are any parts that need to be replaced. Our trucks are stocked with almost every part you need for your AC to get back up and running properly the same day.
If your system is running well, we get right to work washing your AC. Many air conditioning manufacturers are switching to materials like micro-channel which can’t be washed with soapy or chemical solutions, and we pay attention to things like that. If you have a dog that runs around in your back yard, we try not to use soapy solutions that drain into the area around the AC, so your best friend doesn’t get sick.
We are so thorough cleaning the AC, it’s not uncommon to see a tech vacuuming out your AC to get rid of the sticks and other debris that can be a nuisance to a healthy air conditioner.
What’s the Benefit of an AC Tune-Up?
When the air conditioning tune-up is complete, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your system is in tip-top shape. Making sure a professional completes these steps every year will really pay off in the later years of your HVAC system’s life. As a technician, my 20-year-old system is so clean, it runs like a champ. It’s old and loud, but it keeps my house cool just fine! Even on 105-degree days. Why? Because I take care of it.
If you’re curious and would like to learn more about how your air conditioner works, check out my blog post on this topic.
So, give Fox Family a call here in the greater Sacramento Valley area. We would be honored to service your HVAC system in the year ahead!
Thanks for checking in on our blog. See you next week!