5 things to know about A/C maintenance

Your heating and cooling system uses over 50 percent of your energy costs in your home.  While changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner working, a regular maintenance routine with an air conditioning professional will keep your unit from malfunctioning during the hottest days of the summer.

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Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder: “For a typical tuneup on your air conditioner it’s probably going to cost around $70 to $100. But also keep in mind, many companies do offer maintenance plans that might offer it at a little lower price by signing up for a whole year.”

Darren Skaggs, Airtron Heating and Air Conditioning: “It needs to be tuned up once a year every year. Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up. Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened check the refrigerant level, the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should. It is true that you can lose up to 5 percent efficiency because if the system is not operating the way it’s supposed to such has dirty coil, over heated motors, lack of refrigerant effects how that system is efficient so as it goes through the year it can lose efficiency if it’s not tuned up properly.”

Angie’s List Tips:

A/C maintenance tips:

  • Have your unit checked each year
  • Costs can range from $70-$100
  • Be wary of significantly lower prices
  • Inspection checks coils, capacitors, compressor & refrigerant
  • Up to 5 percent efficiency loss if unit is not maintained

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Comments

Our busy lives sometimes run right by things if importance. Thanks for the reminders and please keep doing good things for people. I promise when I am healed from elbow injury, I will come to you for my advertising. Thank-you

this vidoe sucks

You can't even spell. Where's your credibility?

This video includes clip of a woman who appears to pull a filter out of her unit. She looks at it; the camera sees it, it looks like it's full of dirt, and yet she PUT IT BACK INTO THE UNIT as is! This would have been a perfect time to educate viewers about the difference between cleanable and replaceable filters, and how to either clean or replace filters. There are also lots of choices for consumers as to the size and type of replacement filter. This video loses a vital opportunity.

The filter that she put back in was new but you are right, it was a great time to educate when and how to change/clean filters.

No, she puts a new one in. Look at it again.

I agree with the person who commented on the filthy filter being reinserted into the AB unit. I change mine monthly and believe me, it needs it. I have been told, if you can see through the filter it's clean. If no light shows through, toss it and replace it. I also heard unless you have allergies, the cheap[ filters are fine. Spending more is just a waste of $. I also remove everything from the closet that holds the AC and vacuum it really good. It accumulates a lot of dust which will be drawn into your filter.

A homeowner can do certain things themselves to save $ on maintenance, including keeping coils clean and removing debris from outside condenser and replacing inside filters. The video would have been more helpful if it showed consumers things they can do themselves.

OK brainiac, movie sucks? maybe you should use spell check for your 3 word critique- VIDEO WHAT THE (H) IS VIDOE, WHY DON'T YOU EXPLAIN TO US NON A/C TECHNICIANS, WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE MOVIE, HOW WOULD YOU CORRECT IT? USING SPELL CHECK IS MUCH EASIER THAN MAINTAINING AN A/C UNIT. Did you really need spell check for V I D E O??? IT'S BEEN IN YOU HOME FOR 50 YEARS. and you're working with high voltage equipment, better get rubber gloves and rubber boots!

Very good video! Would be helpful for any home owner.

Fo Livit: If you look closely at the filter when she pulls it out you can clearly see that the filter is filthy; in the next view the filter is white and obviously clean. You can also see that she is checking the clean filter for proper direction for installation.

This video is an advertisement to help HVAC companies increase their service revenues. Nothing more, nothing less.

I am a HVAC business owner. And don't agree with having the A/C checked every year. Maybe in the south where the A/C runs 6 to 8 months out of the year, But still, to do all the things this guy claims he does will be more than $100.00 Checking the indoor coil is NOT an easy task on most systems. In most cases, you have to open up the main supply duct work, to the see coil. Then you can only see the outside of the coil, not the inside of the coil. And there is nothing to see. This is Not nesessary. Most unethical HVAC Companies use this to make money by, either replacing parts that are not broken,or lying and telling home owners the equipment needs to be replaced, because it is Old. And in most cases old is 10 years or more. All furnaces and A/C units are built to last a minimum of 20 years.

Why would Angie's list endorse one company over another!?!?!? I thought endorsements came from consumer reviews! The names on the shirts should be blurred out.Can get up to 20 years with( not every unit will get 20) 1. proper maintenance 2 its like cars going down an assembly line sometimes bad ones get out. I know I was engineering tech for a major manufacturer.

I hve 1986 RUUD SEER RATED 10 still working, AC CHECKED EVERY YEAR. i HAVE NOTED THE LEVELIZED gULF pOWER BILLING HAS GONE FROM $68 A YEAR TO $90 THIS YEAR...SHOULD i REPLACE IT WITH 14 OR 16 seer RATED?

I run a small HVAC company Chicago's northside and agree with Yogy's post. Twice this week alone I responded to calls where a tech from two of the well-known companies condemned condensers because of their age. This is a common strong-arm approach for them, hedging a simple capacitor or motor replacement into an unnecessary system upgrade that typically takes zero consideration in duct/airflow modification. These guys are under a lot of pressure to make sales and to do so during routine service calls is suspect. As Yogy wrote, checking the inside of the evaporator coil is a task which goes well beyond the scope of seasonal maintenance. Any capable technician will have a great sense of the coil condition via the blower wheel and refrigerant superheat/subcooling. Beyond that, if my average residential clients are diligent about replacing their filters and hosing off their condensers, I don't need to see them every year. It is not good for my bottom line but it is a realistic approach for my region. @Phil. An upgrade to 16 SEER is a high investment that should be taken with consideration of every aspect of your home ie the number of heat days you experience, the quality of your home's insulation, duct design, proper equipment sizing and even perhaps how long you plan to live there. Getting a significant upgrade is wasted if you have excessive static pressure, for example. Good luck.

Thank you Yogy and fenn for your honesty. Unfortunately we home owners are at the mercy of trained technicians that diagnose our appliances and falsely warn us of broken, or excessively worn parts that don't need to be replaced immediately. Same with auto repair. I almost fell for one with a furnace giving me trouble in a home I was renting. I forgot the exact terminology but he said there was a crack in the furnace. Carbon monoxide was leaking into the house. Gave me prices on new furnaces. I checked with the landlord and told her I would get a second opinion for her. Second tech came out and was really ticked at the previous guy trying the scare tactic with us. He said it was an old furnace. And it could very well happen in the future. But that it didn't need to be replaced at that time.

Actually I brought my lg split Ac n it's been two year ago n now this Ac givin less cooling .why ?

I am currently a commercial HCAC tech by choice because residential hvac company's I've worked for think a good tech is one who sells the most new units or parts. Truth is these guys can't fix their way out of a paper bag. They also rip off the customers telling them they need to replace parts or their units entirely

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