How Often Do Air Conditioners Need to Be Serviced?

April 18, 2017

Many people take the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality when they think about their A/C.

But taking that approach could actually cost you more money and create more hassle in the long run. So how often should you service your air conditioner?

Here’s what we recommend: You should have your air conditioner serviced by a professional annually—preferably in the spring.

Why do we say that?

Just like changing the oil or rotating the tires on your car, A/Cs also require regular maintenance to run efficiently. Regular A/C maintenance will...

  1. Prevent early breakdowns

  2. Extend the life of your A/C

  3. Cut down on your monthly energy bills

  4. Increase your home’s comfort

Let’s go into more detail about each of these, and what you can expect during an annual A/C check-up.

Why you should have your A/C serviced yearly

Just like you get a yearly physical from your doctor, your air conditioner needs to see a technician to make sure it’s running in tip-top shape. Here are 4 reasons why you should schedule your annual A/C check-up:

Reason #1: Prevent breakdowns

The #1 reason why homeowners avoid A/C maintenance is to save money—but that’s actually the reason why they should have a professional maintain their air conditioner.

In the Kansas City metro area, most A/C repairs cost homeowners anywhere from $150 to $400+, compared to the lower cost of $70–$100 for an A/C tune-up. So you’ll save money by regularly maintaining your A/C instead of shelling out money for preventable repairs.

During an annual check-up, A/C technicians catch serious problems like refrigerant leaks, dirty coils, malfunctioning sensors, electronic control failure and thermostat issues before they cause your system to break down.

Regular maintenance saves you money on breakdown and repair costs, but it also makes your air conditioner last longer. This brings us to...

Reason #2: Extend the life of your A/C

Since an air conditioner is an expensive home investment, you want to make sure you get your money’s worth out of your current A/C. And the best way to do that is to schedule regular maintenance for your air conditioner.

Most regularly maintained air conditioners last anywhere from 10–15 years. But poorly maintained A/Cs only last 7–8 years or less.

An annual A/C check-up can extend the life of your unit by several years. Regular maintenance also make your equipment run smoothly and efficiently, so you’ll also save money on your energy bills. This bring us to...

Reason #3: Cut down your monthly energy bills

Simply getting an annual check-up can lower your monthly energy bill by 15%. Smart homeowners will schedule their A/C check-ups in the spring, before the heavy cooling season hits in the summer.

A/Cs are made up of parts—like coils, evaporators and filters—that can become clogged and dirty over time. During regular maintenance, these parts are cleaned so that your whole cooling system can run efficiently.

An efficient air conditioner save money on energy costs, but they also make your living space more comfortable.

Reason #4: Increase your home’s comfort

When summer temperatures start climbing over 90°F, you’ll want an A/C that’s working at the top of its game so that your home stays cool and comfortable.

During an annual check-up, a technician will check for refrigerant leaks, dirty air filters and a grimy outside unit—all of which cause your A/C to blow warm air and reduce its efficiency.

If your tech finds any issues, he or she will consult you and fix them so that you don’t lose your cool.

What to expect during an annual A/C check-up

According to energy.gov, during a check-up a technician should…

  • Check your refrigerant levels

  • Inspect your system for refrigerant leaks (using a leak detector)

  • Check for and seal duct leakage in your central heating/cooling system

  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil (to make sure enough air is going through)

  • Verify that the electric controls and sensors are working correctly

  • Clean and tighten connections in the electric terminals

  • Add oil to motors and check belts for tightness and wear

  • Make sure your thermostat is accurate and functioning properly

So how do you know your A/C technician will do those things?

  1. Ask your contractor about each point in the bulleted list above to make sure they’ll specifically check each air conditioning component.

  2. Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed, which means they conform to all government regulations. (To do this for Kansas City contractors, visit www.kcmo.gov, click the link titled “Kansas City Licensed Contractors,” then select “Heating & Ventilation Contractor” in the drop-down bar. That will give you a list of licensed contractors in Kansas City.)

  3. Check their customer service reviews on sites like YelpGoogle, Facebook, BBB to make sure they have high customer satisfaction.

Need to schedule your annual A/C check-up?

Contact Santa Fe Air Conditioning & Heating to schedule an appointment today. We’ll send one of our certified and friendly technicians to visit your home and make sure your A/C is ready for summer.

We’ve been making life comfortable for families in the Kansas City metro area since 1987.


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