Southlake, TX – April 20, 2010 – The average home heating and central air conditioning equipment runs about 3,300 hours per year. That adds up to a lot of wear and tear – the equivalent of driving a car 214,000 miles.
Most people wouldn’t think of driving a car that far without a tune-up, yet many go for years at a time without tuning up their central air conditioners. Air conditioning expert Jamie Wooldridge says homeowners who do that are not saving money, but actually losing thousands of dollars.
“Air conditioning tune ups make equipment run at or near original factory specifications, depending on age and overall condition,” Wooldridge said. “When cooling equipment runs efficiently it doesn’t have to run as long to do the job, so you save a lot on utility bills. And, when equipment doesn’t have to work so hard, it lasts longer.”
But even bigger savings may be in store for some homeowners. Often, AC technicians find small problems that can be fixed quickly and inexpensively during the tune-up process, but if neglected can end up being quite expensive.
For example, a refrigerant leak can be repaired easily and affordably if found early. But if it goes undetected, it can drain the refrigerant and burn up the compressor, which could cost $1,000 or more to replace. Before it ultimately fails, it will run inefficiently for some time, resulting in hundreds of dollars more in electric bills.
Wooldridge, president of Berkeys Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., spelled out what homeowners should get when they pay for a central air conditioning tune-up:
- Check inside cooling coil, if accessible
- Clean primary and secondary drain lines
- Check and clean condenser coil; install algae tablets
- Check operating pressures for proper refrigerant charge
- Monitor air conditioning cycle
- Adjust blower components
- Lubricate moving parts
- Monitor voltage and amperage draw on all motors
- Check and tighten all loose electrical connections
- Clean and adjust thermostat
“At current prices for electricity, most homeowners recover the cost of a tune-up (usually $69 – $99 per system, depending on geographical area) in a very short time in electricity savings alone,” Wooldridge said. He added that some companies, including his, offer special package deals to reduce the price even further.
Wooldridge said there are two things most homeowners can do themselves to keep their equipment running right. First, change filters regularly, at least quarterly, but for many homes he recommends changing monthly. Secondly, make certain the outside AC condenser unit is unobstructed at all times. Keep plants around them trimmed back at least a foot. This downloadable publication from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/Energy Star provides additional helpful insights.
Berkeys Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has specialized in the needs of homeowners in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex for more than 35 years. Berkeys reputation for prompt, honest service from licensed and factory trained technicians assures customers the best in professional service and equipment. Texas State License #TACLB26791E. To learn more, call Berkeys at 1-877-BERKEYS, or visit our Website at www.berkeys.com.