Do you know how many years are under your home's air conditioning system's belt? If you're lucky, you might be able to find a sticker on the system that indicates its original install date. Most central air conditioning systems will begin to give out before they're twenty years old, but some particularly hardy units might keep trucking well beyond their "best by" date.
It's usually worthwhile to start thinking about replacement once your system gets older. However, it's not always necessary, particularly if your unit is still keeping your home cool and comfortable. In these cases, you might just need a tune-up to restore your air conditioner's efficiency and cooling power for another year.
What's in a Tune-Up?
The particular elements of a tune-up will vary from contractor to contractor, but they'll usually all hit the same general points. These services typically include a routine cleaning of the interior and exterior units and diagnostic checks to ensure the system maintains an adequate temperature differential between the supply and return ducts.
In addition to these straightforward tests, your contractor will also inspect electrical connections, blower operation, thermostat condition, and a variety of other critical elements. It's often hard to check all of these elements as a do-it-yourselfer, and spotting many problems requires experience, knowledge, and training.
How Can a Tune-Up Help an Old AC System?
It's always best to schedule a tune-up every year. Taking this approach ensures your system remains in good condition and may even help extend its life. However, that doesn't mean that old or neglected systems can't benefit from this service. In some ways, you may even see more significant benefits with an air conditioning system that needs a little TLC.
Simple steps such as cleaning your condenser and evaporator coils, removing clogs from condensate drains, and lubricating bearings can improve your air conditioner's efficiency and performance. Tune-ups are also an excellent way to discover minor problems that may be affecting your system, giving you a chance to fix them before they become more severe.
As a result, you may find that a thorough inspection and tune-up service can bring your home's old air conditioner back to life. If you've been thinking about installing a new system because your old unit can't keep up, it's worth considering this service before making any decisions. One relatively inexpensive visit may allow you to put off that expensive replacement for another few years.
For more information on getting an air conditioning tune up, contact a local HVAC contractor.