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How often should an AC system be serviced? What are the signs my Air Conditioning needs maintenance?

Worker repairing ceiling air conditioning unit

Air conditioning systems play a crucial role in maintaining peace and comfort within our homes. After all, there’s nothing worse than having to suffer through the summer heat waves without one!

Of course, to ensure their optimal performance and longevity, regular servicing is in fact, essential.

In this article, we will discuss how often you should service your AC system, signs indicating the need for urgent maintenance, the importance of regular servicing, and indeed whether you can service your own AC unit.

Read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know…

How Often Should an AC System Be Serviced?

So, how often do you need to service your AC system? The frequency of AC servicing depends on various factors, including the type of system and its usage. As a rough guideline:

  • Residential AC Systems: it’s recommended that you service residential AC systems at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season. This ensures that the system is in optimal condition and performs efficiently as and when it is needed.
  • Commercial AC Systems: since commercial AC systems often operate for longer hours and serve larger spaces, they will typically require more frequent servicing. Biannual or quarterly servicing is common for commercial setups to maintain their performance and prevent unexpected breakdowns. In the same breath, you also need to ensure that your guests have clean air, for their health & safety.

At the very least, you should follow the minimum guidelines. However, if you do rely on your AC unit rather frequently, it’s well worth giving it some extra love.

 

Signs Your Air Conditioning Needs Maintenance

More importantly, how can you tell if your AC is in need of some proper maintenance? Again, while regular servicing is important, certain signs indicate that your AC system requires immediate attention. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Weak Airflow: if you notice reduced airflow from your AC vents, it may indicate a clogged filter, ductwork issues, or a malfunctioning blower motor. These issues can impact cooling efficiency and overall performance – which sucks on those hot summer evenings.
  • Inconsistent Cooling: if certain areas of your home feel significantly warmer or cooler than others, it may indicate problems with ductwork, refrigerant levels, or thermostat calibration.
  • Unusual Noises: strange noises like grinding, squealing, or rattling coming from your AC unit can indicate loose components, worn-out parts, or a malfunctioning compressor. Ignoring these noises may lead to more significant damage over time – not to mention the fact that they are incredibly annoying to have to listen to when you are trying to sleep.
  • Foul Odours: unpleasant odours coming from your AC vents are a good sign of mould or bacterial growth within the system itself. These contaminants can negatively impact indoor air quality and pose health risks – a critical consideration for commercial units.

 

Why Should You Regularly Service Your Air Conditioning Unit?

What’s all the fuss about? Why should you regularly service your air conditioning unit? Simply put, regular AC servicing offers a tonne of benefits, including:

  • Improved Efficiency: regular maintenance helps optimise the efficiency of your AC system, ensuring it operates at peak performance at all times. Not only that, but a well-maintained unit consumes less energy, resulting in lower utility bills.
  • Extended Lifespan: proper maintenance reduces wear & tear on critical components, thus increasing the lifespan of your AC system. Regular servicing helps identify and address minor issues before they escalate into major problems that could require costly repairs or replacement – and could otherwise be avoided.
  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality: AC servicing involves cleaning and/or replacing filters, which helps remove airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, and other pesky allergens. This improves indoor air quality, making your home or establishment a healthier environment.
  • Preventative Maintenance: regular servicing allows HVAC professionals to identify and address potential issues before they cause a complete system breakdown. This proactive approach saves you from unexpected breakdowns during hot summer days!

 

 

Are There Any Additional Benefits to AC Servicing?

Absolutely! In addition to improved performance and energy efficiency, AC servicing offers many additional advantages:

  • Warranty Compliance: many AC manufacturers require proof of regular servicing to maintain the warranty coverage on your system. Skipping maintenance may void the warranty, leaving you responsible for the repair costs which is an unnecessary additional expense.
  • Cost Savings: by addressing minor issues during routine servicing, you can prevent major breakdowns that would require expensive repairs or (worst-case) a complete system replacement. Regular maintenance is always the cost-effective approach in the long run.
  • Peace of Mind: knowing that your AC system has been professionally serviced provides peace of mind. You can enjoy a comfortable and cool environment without worrying about the system failing and leaving you melting in the office or your own home.

 

Are You Allowed to Service Your Own AC System?

Not really…You see, while basic maintenance tasks such as cleaning or replacing filters can be done by homeowners, certain AC system components require professional expertise. Is it worth the risk? Here are some considerations:

  • Safety Risks: AC systems contain delicate electrical components and refrigerants that can be hazardous if mishandled. It’s best to leave complex repairs or refrigerant handling to trained professionals to avoid potential accidents or damage to your property.
  • Technical Knowledge: AC systems are complex, and troubleshooting requires a thorough understanding of HVAC systems. Simply put, the pros are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to diagnose and rectify issues accurately.
  • Warranty Considerations: DIY servicing could void your AC system’s warranty if not done according to the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s always advisable to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or hire professionals to ensure warranty compliance.

In short: any air conditioning maintenance should be left to the professionals who are trained to do as such.

Conclusion

In conclusion, regular servicing is crucial for maintaining the performance, efficiency, and longevity of your AC system.

Oh, and don’t forget to keep a lookout for signs indicating the need for immediate attention, such as weak airflow, inconsistent cooling, unusual noises, or foul odours!

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