Using and Maintaining HVAC Systems in Rental Properties

3 Things a Professional AC Maintenance Visit Can Tell You

Scheduling annual service visits for your home's air conditioner serves two critical functions:

  • Maintaining its efficiency and reliability
  • Inspecting parts and spotting problems

While the former is critical to ensure your system lasts as long as possible, many people overlook the latter's importance. Changing air filters, cleaning coils, and lubricating blower motors (where necessary) will help keep your system at peak performance. Still, it's also necessary to look for signs of brewing trouble that are easy to miss without a trained eye.

If you think your annual maintenance visit is just about changing a few parts, think again. Here are three things a professional maintenance visit can tell you about the condition and health of your home's air conditioning equipment.

1. Cooling Performance

You might think it's easy to judge the performance of your air conditioner. What could be wrong if it keeps your home cool and maintains your thermostat's setpoint? While "seat of the pants" judgments can sometimes help you spot problems with your system, AC manufacturers design their equipment to more precise tolerances.

The temperature at your supply vents should be a certain amount later than the temperature at the return vents. This differential is known as the "delta-T." Manufacturers expect their systems to maintain a certain delta-T, and your maintenance technician will check to ensure your system is within range. If not, it can indicate a problem, even if it keeps your home cool.

2. Expected Repairs

Some parts in your system will give you clues that they may be failing, even if they're still working reasonably well. For example, your blower motor may begin to make noise as it fails, but these sounds can be subtle and hard to spot over the other noises of your HVAC system. Signs of arcs (such as burnt spots) near electrical relays and other components can also indicate imminent failure.

Without routine maintenance inspections, you might not know about these problems until the system fails. A maintenance visit gives you the information you need to anticipate future repairs, allowing you to take care of these problems before they stop your system from keeping your home cool. A little foreknowledge also means you can make repairs when they're convenient for your budget.

3. Anticipated Lifespan

All air conditioning systems will fail eventually, although they can often last for many years when well maintained. Of course, replacing an air conditioning system is an expensive job and a major investment in your home. The costs can often be too high for many families when the failure of a critical part, such as the compressor, catches them off-guard.

Routine maintenance visits allow technicians to monitor and check your system, giving you more information about its condition and anticipated lifespan. While even an expert HVAC tech cannot predict the future, they can give you a rough estimate of how long your system will likely last so you can begin planning for a replacement with plenty of time to spare.

Reach out to an air conditioning maintenance service or look online to find more info.