Posted on April 24, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Before summer heats up, it’s a good idea to get your central air conditioning system tuned up.
Maybe you’re here looking for information on how to do it yourself. Perhaps you’re trying to save your small business a little money by skipping a year since your unit is fairly new.
Why is this good business advice and not an insult?
No one is good at everything. Part of being a successful leader is knowing when your time and money is best spent on hiring an expert instead of the DIY fix.
Skipping regular maintenance on your cooling system ensures a steady decline in the performance of your air conditioner while energy use conversely increases, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are four reasons to hire a nearby factory-trained, fully insured HVAC technician to tune up your air conditioner for summer:
Even affordable air conditioners are a big household expense. Major appliances in your home, such as gas furnaces, ductless mini-splits, and energy-efficient heat pumps, should be looked at as an investment.
To get the most return from your HVAC equipment, HVAC techs who are trained on your specific residential or commercial equipment must provide professional maintenance and repair. Equipment varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, which is why it’s important to find a trusted HVAC contractor who knows how to service your air conditioner. Save the YouTube DIY videos for other home repairs.
Another word of advice—pay for a service plan. In the long run, you will pay less for a service plan than individual repairs and replacing equipment sooner than necessary.
If your air conditioner has outlasted its original warranty, skip down to Reason #3. The best energy-efficient HVAC equipment, including air conditioners, have a manufacturer’s warranty to protect consumers from any defects in the equipment. Along with those guarantees come a variety of clauses that explain how the warranty can be voided.
Common conditions in many factory warranties require scheduled inspections and repairs by a manufacturer-certified HVAC technician, who only uses replacement parts made by the original manufacturer.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act requires “technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone depleting refrigerants” to pass an exam to obtain a Section 608 Technician Certification.
Compounds in refrigerant, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and halons destroy ozone in the stratosphere, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
However, refrigerant is a critical part of your air conditioner and is harmless as long it stays inside the equipment. Too much or too little refrigerant forces an air conditioner to run less efficiently and can shorten the life of the equipment, according to ENERGY STAR.
The only way an air conditioning unit can lose refrigerant is through leaks, which already poses a threat. Limited to moderate exposure to refrigerants can cause:
There are a lot of YouTube videos showing how to check amp draws, how to clear a clogged condensate drain line, how to clean the condenser coils with a garden hose and spray nozzle, and many other such DIY projects.
But, there’s more than one way to do all these tasks, and experienced HVAC technicians get the training and the latest HVAC industry techniques for solving problems they see every day. An HVAC pro knows if pouring water and vinegar down the condensate drain line is the best way to keep it clear, what numbers on the nameplate to check the amp meter against, and the correct way to remove the fan so dirt doesn’t get sprayed into the motor.
Plus—an experienced HVAC tech knows how to stay safe. If you didn’t think about turning off the condenser at the circuit box before spraying it with water, call a nearby HVAC contractor.
Homeowners can keep HVAC equipment running efficiently by checking the filter once a month, cutting back vegetation growing over the condenser, and making visual inspections of the equipment between regular service appointments.
Becoming an HVAC technician may be a smart career move since industry demand for these mechanics and installers is projected to grow 15% by 2026, which is more than double all other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of the bureau’s latest statistics in 2017, the nationwide median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $47,080, with the top 10% of workers earning more than $75,330.
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