Tuesday, July 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Air conditioning checkups: Clean units save money and energy

By
From page D1 | April 11, 2014 |

0411 AC checkupW

An air conditioner technician performs a maintenance tune-up on an HVAC system. Industry experts recommend tune-ups twice annually. Creators.com photo

By Kristen Castillo
Creators.com

Air conditioning is a relief on a hot, humid day. So you want to ensure your AC unit is working well.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America says the HVAC system — heating, ventilation and air conditioning — is “most likely the single biggest use of energy in your home.”

Since energy use is expensive, efficient energy use from your AC means lower bills.

“Just like going to the doctor for a regular physical checkup can help you catch issues before they’re too large to easily fix, regular AC checkups are fundamentally important in maintaining your system’s performance,” says Konrad Witek, the director of engineering for eComfort.com.

Regular checkups and maintenance can help you avoid potential problems with your AC unit. For example, dirty AC coils trap dirt, debris and mold, which can end up in the air you breathe; clogged drains back up and leak into your home; old or bad wiring could result in a house fire.

Overall, maintaining your air conditioner can give you quality indoor air and help you save energy and money. It also gives you peace of mind that your system is safe.

Plus, regular checkups help protect your manufacturer’s warranty.

“HVAC tune-ups should be done at least twice a year,” says Brandi Andrews, owner of NationalAirWarehouse.com. “This is especially important because most manufacturers will void your warranty if you don’t have written proof of at least two maintenance tune-ups per year.”

What’s involved?
While you can have an AC checkup at any time, it’s most common to get one at the start of the cooling season (pre-summer) and again at the end of fall.

The checkups typically last one to two hours and “will ensure the refrigerant circuit is free of leaks or blockages; make sure all fans and blowers are free of obstructions and operating correctly; ensure filters are clean,” says Witek, who explains that the technician also will check for proper air flow, look for clean condenser and evaporator coils and make sure controls are working properly.

After the checkup, the technician will let you know about any recommended repairs, which can be made at additional expense.

DIY maintenance
A professional should do most AC maintenance, but there’s an easy fix that you can do frequently.

“The best ‘tune-up’ a consumer can get is one they do themselves, which is regular air filter changes to keep adequate air flowing across the indoor coil,” says Kevin Konnis of Quantum Climate Control Services, who recommends using a low-cost pleated filter that can be changed monthly during heavy summer use.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your AC’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent just by replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one.

Cost
Don’t wait for a problem with your air conditioning unit to get the system serviced. Regular checkups and maintenance can “add several years to the life of an HVAC system,” says Andrews.

Those checkups are likely worth the cost. For example, according to ACCA, many manufacturers estimate that a 10 percent refrigerant loss could mean your system will be 20 percent less efficient. That’s wasted money, especially if you could have prevented the issue with regular checkups.

“On average, an air conditioner tune-up will cost in the range of $79.99 to $129.99,” Andrews says. “You can always look online for specials and promotions from local companies to get lower rates.”

Be wary of pricing specials and deals, though. A cheap tune-up, like a $20 checkup, often results in a sales pitch to upsell you on a new air conditioning system.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Somewhere, over the rainbow

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1

     
    Girls sleep safely at Myanmar school, thanks to generous Davisites

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Appeals panel upholds race in admissions for UT Austin

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out planned Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Summer produce, yummy treats featured at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Saylor welcomes visitors at ‘office hours’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

    Explore the night sky at Tuleyome Astronomy Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    Korean teenagers welcome us with open arms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Time to support people with disabilities

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Shame on the Palestinians

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

    Kimble left a swimming legacy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Questions about city revenue

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

    Not up for full-time caregiving

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Yolo Post 77 looks to avenge last year’s outcome

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Thompson shines as Republic falls

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    River Cats overpower Chihuahuas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Area sports briefs: Heintz returns to UCD

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    MLB roundup: Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Video highlights walking The Camino

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    ‘Grease’ is the show at WOH

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Winters Fourth Friday Feast celebrates cycling

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Lincoln Highway rolls into Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Acme Theatre to present ‘The Rememberer’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7