Uncategorized / October 12, 2015
Is Air Conditioner Maintenance in Phoenix Necessary and How Often?
At Larson Air Conditioning we’re big advocates of air conditioner maintenance. Whether it’s once or twice a year it’s definitely necessary and important. It’s the single best way to keep your air conditioner running reliably Arizona. The easiest way to relate this is to your car. I’ve probably said this a thousand times but hear I go again, typically a home heating and air conditioning system in Phoenix operates approximately 3,300 hours per year, a car driven for the same 3,300 hours at 65 M.P.H. would travel through 214,500 miles! During this time you would arrange for multiple oil changes, lubrications, tune-ups, spark plugs, tires, and etc. to ensure the safety, efficiency (gas mileage), and reliability of the vehicle. Although a central heating and cooling system doesn’t have tires or spark plugs it does have electrical, mechanical, and thermal dynamic components, which left neglected, can affect the efficiency, safety, and reliability. Not only is maintenance recommended by us, a contractor, it is also a clearly stated recommendation by air conditioner manufacturers.Now I know it seems like every HVAC company in Phoenix AZ offers a different tune-up. From 24, to 48, to 101-point inspections, you name the level of points and there’s a company. From $29 to $300 you’ll find one. What does all this mean? Are some HVAC companies doing more service for less or are they doing less for more? It can be a crapshoot! “What exactly do I really need in a tune-up you ask? Is this really a maintenance or an opportunity for a HVAC contractor to tell me I have lots of problems and need to spend thousands of dollars in repairs?” These definitely are good questions. I’ve met Phoenix homeowners who’ve bought maintenance plans not knowing the exact details included and then were hit with thousands of dollars in recommended repairs. I should note that a properly performed precision tune-up does often uncover underlying problems and can result in recommended repairs but some form of data, measurement, or manufacturer specification should support this. This assumes you’ve selected a trustworthy, competent, and licensed HVAC contractor in Phoenix, which I’ll cover below. The defining question is exactly what services are included in the a/c maintenance, how will they benefit me, and will the technician actually fulfill the advertised tasks?
What is included in the HVAC maintenance service?
Any reputable HVAC contractor in Phoenix should be capable of furnishing the following:
- Points of service listed in detail on their respective website(s)
- Capable of rattling off dozens of points of service during a conversation
- Willing to offer a copy of their checklist via email or in hard copy form
- Terms, conditions, costs, and time frame
How will having this a/c maintenance benefit me?
The points of service impact the benefits and this can be tricky to identify for a layman so I’ll provide the key points of benefit that we advertise.
- Optimize Performance
- Extend Equipment Life
- Improve Efficiency
- Ensure Safe Operation
- Improve Reliability
Will the technician actually fulfill the advertised tasks?
You’re probably thinking how could I possibly know that? The answer is, do your due diligence. Check with the Registrar of Contractors for complaints, check the Better Business Bureau, ask for references, and look for positive online reviews. This question is all about a company’s credibility.
What points of service should be included in a comprehensive air conditioner maintenance?
Again, I’ll list my company’s points of service as reference.
- Chemically Clean & Rinse Condenser Coil
- Inspect Evaporator Coil
- Check Operating Pressures
- Measure Refrigerant Charge
- Secure Loose Panels
- Check Voltage Supply
- Check Fuses
- Check Contactor Line Voltage
- Check Contactor Load Voltage
- Tighten Loose Electrical Connections
- Check Compressor Amps
- Check Compressor Capacitor
- Check Outdoor Fan Motor Condition
- Check Outdoor Fan Motor Amps
- Check Bearing
- Check Fan Blade
- Check Outdoor Fan Motor Capacitor
- Check For Signs of Refrigerant Leaks
- Check Service Valves
- Check Temperature Split
- Check Airflow
- Inspect Thermostat Operation
- Check Line-set Insulation
- Check Ducting
Are having more points of service better?
An air conditioner maintenance service can be broken down into literally hundreds of specific points. In my opinion its boils down to marketing, obviously more points appears to add more value and again it comes down to a company’s credibility. Credibility should always supersede. Don’t let the number services included in the maintenance rule your decision.
How should the price affect my choice?
Like I mentioned above maintenances come in many different price points, from $29 on Groupon to hundreds of dollars. There are many factors that can come into play. For us at Larson Air Conditioning we do both, during certain times of the year we offer highly discounted maintenance services on sites like Groupon and Living Social and when those specials are not running our standard rate applies which is approximately $109 for one air conditioner tune-up. For the detail of service we offer our company is extremely competitively priced.
In summary it is Larson Air Conditioning’s professional opinion that annual home heating and cooling maintenance in Phoenix Arizona is indeed necessary and important. Precision tune-ups are designed to keep your air conditioner operating at optimum efficiency with safety and reliability ensured. Yes an air conditioner may continue to run without maintenance but efficiency, safety, and reliability will be compromised and your air conditioner will be subject to faster deterioration. The Registrar of Contractors, the Better Business Bureau, references, and online reviews should always be referenced when selecting an air conditioning contractor in Phoenix. Credibility is key in selecting a competent HVAC contractor for the best value and service.
Good luck and remember to change your air filters Arizona!