From my own personal experience, I can whole-heartedly tell you that the best money I ever spent was having my A/C system regularly maintained. I’m a definite advocate. Why? Have you ever sat in your home in the middle of August for three days in 100º+ temps, waiting for someone you don’t know to come and repair your system? Someone you hope will care enough to rush to your home and find an inexpensive and quick cure for your problem, NOT! I have, twice in one summer. My pets were suffering, I was suffering, I was in a kind of sweaty limbo that I never want to revisit. I seriously considered throwing open the door and turning my pets loose with a final gasping “Save yourselves!”, hoping they would find a kind person to take them in, preferably one who had A/C. Fans don’t help and ice cold, wet towels do not relieve your misery. To add insult to injury, the cost of repairs sent me straight into shock! It was a mistake I never intend to make again. That was years ago, I learned the hard way.
Aside from that drama, what does regular maintenance do for your system, and why can’t you just do it yourself? Truthfully, you just can’t. Can not. Nope. Sure, I faithfully changed my air filter most months, and one time even hosed off the outside unit after my neighbor splashed new wet concrete on it while installing his walkway. But aside from that, what do I know to do for my system?
There is a lot more to it than that, folks. If I’d had my system serviced regularly I think the service technician would have noticed that weird thumping noise up in my attic long before the part broke internally, and weeks later would have been able to tell that the Freon was low before the unit outside quit working. There’s more, but I won’t bore you. I just did not know what regular maintenance would include back then. Do you?
All these years later, I know now that “maintenance” refers to a lot more than changing filters. It requires the work of a professional who knows the in’s and out’s of your system, someone who can anticipate issues before they occur. You need someone who can keep a record of the performance of your system, and performs tasks consistently, in a timely manner. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a hectic, busy life. I might fit some things into my schedule, but maintaining my A/C system isn’t one of them. The bottom line is that I have paid a lot more for costly repairs to my system than simple maintenance would have costed over a decade….. many, many times more.
Unless you know what the operating pressures should be, can identify the supply and return lines, know the appropriate levels of coolant and can stop any leaks that may be present, are prepared to clean the coils and fins, can check the operation of the motor and check the seals, check belts, check the accuracy of the thermostat, and more, you would be wise to leave it to a professional. It’s estimated that 50% of all A/C problems are preventable with regular maintenance. Your system will operate more efficiently, and save you in energy costs.