Homeowners who stay on top of their regular home maintenance needs may come across ads for things like “AC Tune-Up”, “AC Inspection”, or “AC Service”. You may know that having your AC unit regularly checked by a licensed technician is crucial to keeping it functioning at peak performance, but you may not know which of these services is the right one. Learning what to ask for, whether you need seasonal maintenance or more immediate repairs, can help you get the service you need in the most timely manner.

What Is an AC Tune-Up?

A tune-up for your AC system is just like a tune-up for your car; it’s designed to keep your AC running at peak efficiency. During a tune-up, your AC technician examines the unit from top to bottom and takes care of several minor things, such as:

  • Cleaning the condenser coils
  • Flushing the drain
  • Replacing damaged or faulty electrical parts
  • Adding new Freon
  • Changing and replacing the air filters

Tune-ups are recommended because they can help prevent problems down the road or catch problems while they’re still small and easy to fix.

What Is an AC Inspection?

An AC inspection is carried out after your AC has stopped working properly. If your unit is no longer working, isn’t producing as much cold air as it used to, or has developed a leak, you’ll call for an inspection to help diagnose the problem. During an inspection, a technician visits your home to find the problem – not to maintain the current operating level of the unit.

What follows an AC inspection may be AC service. Service is required to fix a problem once it has been found. It returns your AC to its original working level.

Why Get an AC Tune-Up?

You may think that if your AC is working properly, you don’t need to call your technician. Getting an AC tune-up, however, is a great way to ensure that you don’t need an inspection or service. Fitting an annual AC tune-up into your yearly maintenance plan can help you avoid unexpected expenses and repairs down the road. (Imagine if your unit were to suddenly stop working right in the middle of a heat wave when you can least afford it to go down!)

An AC unit is the single largest purchase most homeowners make for their homes after the home purchase itself. It makes sense to protect the investment and look after it as you would your car — keeping it running normally so that you can avoid expensive breakdowns and repairs later.

Getting regular AC tune-ups can also help prolong the lifespan of your unit, and help lower your energy bills. When your unit is in good shape, it doesn’t work as hard, which is less of a drain on the unit itself (and your wallet).

Make the Right Call

Knowing what call to make can help you keep your AC unit working for you over the long term. Be sure to schedule yearly tune-ups at the start of every summer to keep your unit running as intended, and call for an AC inspection or service as soon as you suspect a problem. By taking care of your air conditioner, you can help ensure the longest lifespan possible for the entire system.