It’s always a good idea to keep your air conditioner in top condition, especially when times of extreme heat are heading your way. Just as you keep your car tuned up to avoid a breakdown on the road, you should have your air conditioner regularly serviced to avoid poor function. It can even help prevent failure during the scorching hot days of a Texas summer. 

So how often is it recommended that you schedule routine air conditioner maintenance for your HVAC unit? Most experts recommend at least an annual, but preferably a semi-annual tune-up. These should be scheduled for one of two seasonal time periods, which we will touch on next related to the DFW area.

When Should You Service Your Home’s Air Conditioner?

Spring Tune-Up: March 1 through June 1

When should you service your home’s air conditioner? Spring is the best time to schedule a maintenance visit for your air conditioning unit before the prime operating season begins.  It’s best to schedule the spring maintenance early in the season to ensure the system is cooling properly before it starts to heat up.  The temperatures are moderate during this period, so your cooling system can be easily run to check for issues. 

Another benefit is that spring is a less busy time for HVAC professionals, as it’s still considered off-season. Diamond Blue performs a lot of preventative maintenance during this time.

You don’t want to wait for the summer months for routine service, as these are the busiest for any HVAC business. AC repairs, installations, and emergencies will make it far more difficult to schedule your routine maintenance visit. 

You’re far better off getting in ahead of the game with a spring appointment for your air conditioning service, preferably in March. What’s more, many companies run special deals and discounts during this time. Ask about ours.

Most importantly, by getting your air conditioner in good shape right before summer you can prevent expensive HVAC emergencies during the busiest time of year. It’s not uncommon for parts orders and installations to take longer to complete due to heavy demand and parts shortages. The last thing you want during a hot Texas summer is an air conditioning issue that requires an expensive repair and possibly a long wait time to boot. 

When Should You Service Your Home’s Air Conditioner?

Fall Tune Up: October 1 through March 1

Another prime time for AC service to tackle smaller repairs and also HVAC maintenance is during the fall. It’s a great idea to schedule on the front end of fall to ensure your HVAC system is ready to provide heat when it starts to cool off at night.

Taking care of any traditional furnace or heat pump issues during the moderate temperatures of fall will ensure that your unit is prepared for keeping you warm and comfortable during the winter months. 

And just like during the spring, fall is an excellent time to schedule due to HVAC professionals having greater availability and flexibility during this “slower” season.

Many DFW homeowners plan semi-annual maintenance to ensure their unit is in great working order year-round.

What Does an AC Maintenance Check Include?

At Diamond Blue Air, maintenance checks include a variety of tests, checks, and inspections that vary by season and are performed by an experienced HVAC contractor. 

Spring AC Maintenance includes the following:

Tests:

  • Suction pressure and temperature
  • Discharge pressure and temperature
  • Safety controls
  • Motor windings
  • Operation and condition of compressor
  • Crankcase heater operation
  • Thermostat operation
  • Checking capacitors for bulges, rusts, or leaks

Inspections:

  • Blower motor
  • Condenser fan motor
  • Wiring connections
  • Disconnect box at outdoor unit
  • Evaporator coil
  • Condensate pump and drain
  • Condenser coil
  • Blower wheel, if applicable
  • Duct work cleanliness, sizing, and return vents
  • Water rinse condenser coil
  • Change out air filter provided by customer
  • Indoor air quality

Check:

  • Temperature difference between return and supply air, is cool air/warm air blowing?
  • Blower motor belt, if applicable
  • Blower speed
  • Voltage and amperage of all motors

Fall HVAC Heating Tune up includes:

Test: 

  • Carbon monoxide levels
  • Thermostat operation
  • Ignition system
  • Safety and operating controls
  • Wiring connections
  • Temperature rise between return and supply air
  • Motor windings

Inspect:

  • Gas valve
  • Motor bearings and lubricant
  • Flue pipe and heat exchanger
  • Ductwork cleanliness, sizing, and return vents
  • Change out air filter provided by customer
  • Blower motor

Clean:

  • Burners
  • Flue pipe
  • Drainage system
  • Pilot assembly
  • Standard filter if washable
  • Combustion chamber
  • Perform preventative maintenance for any potential heat issues

Some Common Issues to Address During HVAC Service

Regular HVAC maintenance checks on the central air conditioner should take care of any routine issues that might pop up with your air conditioning system, heat pump, thermostat, or any other climate control devices. If you haven’t been as dedicated to these as you should be, there are some things to look out for.  

Signs for When You Should Service Your AC Unit

You should call an HVAC professional if you notice any of the following and get your air conditioner serviced:

  • Your unit is blowing warm air, or the air is not as cold as it should be.
  • Your unit is making strange sounds, such as screeching, grinding, or banging noises.
  • Weak indoor air flow.
  • Any odd smells. A smell of dust is normal for a couple of minutes if you are turning on cooling for the unit for the first time in the spring or turning on heat for the first time in the fall, but this should dissipate quickly. Check air filters. Air duct cleaning might be necessary.
  • Energy bills seem higher than usual.
  • Any water leaks or condensation. Leaks come in the form of either water or refrigerant, and both should be taken care of immediately.

Don’t ignore any of these signs, as they can indicate real problems with your unit. Call a professional immediately to troubleshoot. If your AC unit is frozen and not running, power it off until you can have it inspected.  A technician will not be able to diagnose the problem until the frozen unit has thawed.

The Bottom Line on When You Should Service Your Home Air Conditioner

By having semi-annual or at least regular annual maintenance and tune-ups for your HVAC unit, you will prevent any small issues from becoming big ones. This will limit expensive problems that could otherwise be avoided. During these routine checks, your HVAC professional will clean components, check the electrical connections, test airflow, check for leaks, inspect condensate lines, and advise on the best HVAC filter for your unit.

A well-maintained unit will run smoothly, enjoy an extended lifespan, and even save you money on your energy bills. An AC system that isn’t running at its best can lose up to five percent of its efficiency yearly. 

Don’t risk the chance of a costly AC repair, or the need for total replacement by skipping regular service. Your central air conditioner keeps your home comfortable, and in cases of extreme heat or cold temperatures, also help keep it safe.

Schedule semi-annual HVAC maintenance service with a trusted company to head off any issues and ensure that your AC unit is running at optimal levels all year long. Air conditioners that are well maintained will in turn take care of your family when it matters most.