March 11, 2022

Spring in St. Louis, MO

Spring AC Tune-Up

The warmer seasons are just around the corner, and so is the need for your air conditioner. To avoid paying more in electricity costs, you’ll want to schedule your spring AC tune-up to ensure it is working properly. Consider the following benefits of having regular system maintenance and what you can expect during your maintenance visit with one of our experienced technicians.

Lower Operating Costs

One of the most important reasons to have your system regularly maintained is to keep it running efficiently. Your system experiences additional strain when it isn’t functioning properly. This increases the amount of energy needed to effectively cool your home, ultimately increasing your electricity bill. Keep costs low by keeping up with routine maintenance of your equipment.

Reduce Preventable Repairs

Along with increased energy consumption, lack of efficiency also means your system experiences excessive strain. For example, airborne contaminants that flow through your filter and settle on the equipment components restrict airflow through the system, increasing resistance on your circulating fan motor.

The motor itself creates vibration, which slowly loosens the mounting hardware and electrical connections in the air conditioner. Both of these increase wear on the circulating fan motor. It can also cause additional heat from electrical resistance in the system.

All of this applies strain on the system’s components, leading to repairs. While it’s normal for components to eventually wear out, they wear out more quickly when the equipment is not maintained. Our certified NATE technicians can give your unit the attention it needs to work correctly!

Extend Your AC’s Service Life

The overall service life of your system is reduced when you neglect maintenance because components are forced to work harder for an excessive amount of time. Typically, the expected service life of a central air conditioner is 10 to 15 years.

Without maintenance, you can’t expect your system to last this long. You’ll experience more frequent and significant repairs. When you multiply the cost of repairs by the age of the system, and the product is greater than the cost of a new system, consider a replacement. Extend the life of your air conditioner by keeping it properly maintained by a professional.

Improve Your Home’s Comfort

When your system isn’t functioning properly, you’ll experience either shorter or longer cycles of cooling. In both cases, your system will have trouble cooling your home to the desired temperature. If the equipment isn’t working as it should, it won’t circulate enough air to reduce the humidity in your home either, leaving it muggy and uncomfortable.

There are many ways lack of maintenance affects how your air conditioner runs. Here’s what you can expect from a tune-up to maintain your system’s efficiency.

System Cleaning

Your technician starts by deep cleaning your system to ensure air can freely flow through it. They’ll inspect your furnace filter and let you know if it needs changing. The inside unit will have the evaporator coil and circulating fan cleaned. At the condensing unit outside, your technician will clean the condensing coils.

Hardware Inspecting & Tightening

While they are cleaning the unit, your technician will inspect and tighten the mounting hardware. This is especially important for the circulating fan inside, the condensing fan, and the compressor in your outside unit. If any of them are not securely tightened, the vibration they create can lead to unusual movement and component damage. Your technician will also inspect each of these items for visible signs of damage, such as scorching near the electrical connections.

Electrical Connection Inspection

Within your system are innumerable electrical connections, which naturally create resistance. When these connections experience excessive resistance, they’ll heat up and damage the wire, the connecting nuts, and the insulation. Loose electrical connections are one of the main causes of additional resistance. Your technician will check each of these to ensure they are in good condition and still properly tightened.

Fan Inspection and Balancing

Without your fans drawing and pushing air effectively, the rest of the system is useless. Your technician will focus significant attention on inspecting and testing both fans. At the indoor unit, they’ll check the circulating fan wheel’s balance to ensure it’s not taxing the spindle and motor. At the condensing unit outside, the technician will check each of the mounting screws holding the large blades to the fan spindle. When these come loose, they’ll cause unusual sounds and strain on the motor and bearings.

Fan Lubrication If Required

Your fan motors contain wheel bearings to allow the fan to spin freely. When these bearings are dry, they increase resistance and create additional heat, eventually seizing up. Most modern fan motors are closed systems, meaning they don’t require lubrication. Your technician will inspect your fan motors to see if they are closed systems and lubricate the wheel bearings if needed.

Inspect and Straighten Coil Fins

The condensing coil in your outside unit has thin metal fins. These fins aid in the heat transfer from the hot refrigerant flowing through the coils to the air circulating through the unit.

Debris hitting the unit easily damages these fins, flattening them. When they are flattened, air cannot move through the coils properly, preventing the necessary heat transfer. While your technician is inspecting the outside of the unit, they’ll evaluate the condition of the fins and fix minor damage.

Check Refrigerant Level

The amount of refrigerant in the air conditioner is crucial. Not enough refrigerant can burn out your compressor due to the equipment trying to raise the pressure in the condensing coil. It can also lead to frozen coils both inside your home and at the condensing unit. When your coils freeze, air cannot flow through them properly and can damage the coils themselves.

Even small leaks require attention to prevent significant damage to your system. To detect refrigerant problems, your technician will test the amount in the system. If it’s low, they’ll take the necessary steps to refill it.

Cooling Cycle Testing

Testing the system is critical to exposing any issues. Your technician will run a cooling cycle and check each stage. During this test, they’ll evaluate the volume of air coming from your vents. They’ll check the temperature of the air to ensure it’s effectively cooled as it cycles through the system. They’ll also carefully listen to your system for any sounds that indicate an issue with the components running correctly.

There are many crucial components in an air conditioning unit that should be inspected and maintained by a trained professional. For more than 40 years, residents of and around St. Louis have turned to Scott-Lee Heating Company to keep their homes comfortable through every season. Our experienced technicians provide quality heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair, as well as system efficiency improvements and indoor air quality solutions. We even offer financing to expand your purchasing power. Call to schedule your maintenance appointment with one of our friendly technicians today!