Spring and summer weather is on the horizon, which means it will be time to bring your air conditioner out of hibernation again. What will you discover on that first warm day when yours kicks on? Will if hum to life, keeping you and your family comfortable? Will it sputter and conk out? Will it give a good effort but not quite get your home as cool as you’d like?
Did you know that a large part of how your air conditioner functions, now and each year of its life, is defined by how well it has been maintained? And that a few minutes each year for upkeep, cleaning and inspection can save you many thousands of dollars in repairs, replacements and even energy bills over time?
Did you also know that if you’re serious about keeping your investment in top shape, then a maintenance contract is the way to go? You may see a maintenance contract as just another sales pitch from your HVAC contractor, but it’s far more important than that. There are some quite compelling reasons to get on a contract basis with a professional instead of trying to service your system ad hoc.
Here are some vital reasons to have your air conditioner maintained regularly, and how a service contract in particular can provide added benefits.
1. Lower Energy Bills
Regular maintenance keeps your air conditioner running more efficiently over the course of its life. And when your system runs at peak performance, you save money.
On the flip side, if your system is NOT maintained, it can lose anywhere from 5 to 15% of its efficiency each year. Considering that the HVAC system is typically a home’s highest energy hog to begin with, losing that much on top of it can really sting.
Without regular maintenance you risk clogged filters, grimy coils, dirty vents, condenser fans that lack the proper lubrication and a host of other potential problem areas that can all lead to a decrease in efficiency. The harder your air conditioner has to work, the more money you spend. But keep your system in top shape and you can keep those expenses in check. The cost of a maintenance contract is far less than your potential increase in energy costs would be without it.
2. Longer System Lifespan
When your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard, you not only save money, but the entire system suffers from less wear and tear. That means a longer lifespan, running at maximum efficiency.
The average lifespan for an air conditioner is about 15 years. With a good maintenance program, you’re more likely to see your system last 20, even 25 years or longer. Without regular maintenance, you can expect to be much closer to – or even below – that 15 year mark, even as low as single digits if you don’t maintain your system at all!
When you’re talking about that kind of investment, wouldn’t you want your system to last as long as possible? With yearly maintenance you’ll get the most out of your system, and with a maintenance contract you’ll know you’re taking proper care of it every single year of its life.
3. Fewer Repairs
Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re saving money if you skip the annual maintenance on your air conditioner. You may save a few dollar now to spend a whole lot more later – and not much later, either.
If your system isn’t maintained, if vital components aren’t cleaned, tested and lubricated, you not only decrease the life expectancy of your system but you make it much more likely that you’ll incur expensive repairs until it finally gives up the ghost.
You can pay for maintenance for the next 10 years and still not come close to what you might blow on a single repair call. And if you’re serious about keeping your HVAC at its best, then having a maintenance contract will likely save you even more money over the course of those years than if you simply pay-as-you-go.
Maintenance contracts tend to be more cost-effective than one-off service calls. Better yet, they often come with other perks, like discounts on parts and labor, and even discounts on repairs should you need them.
4. Better Comfort, Health And Safety
There are some telltale signs of a poorly maintained air conditioner. One of the signs is a home that never seems to get cool enough. Even as your unit blows and blows all the hot day long, the temperature is always a bit too warm for your tastes. That’s a dead giveaway that something is wrong.
The culprit is often clogged filters, one of the first things to go when maintenance is ignored. Of course, it could be a larger issue, like frozen coils (a more serious side effect of dirty filters), a blocked or dirty condenser, and even a failing fan. Whatever the source, it can most likely be traced back to a lack of proper maintenance.
When you have your air conditioner serviced, you know that it will be working as efficiently and effectively as it can be. On a hot summer day, that can mean the difference between sweating miserably through it, and enjoying the comfort of your own home.
But comfort isn’t the only thing that’s affected. Your health can take a hit, too. When your air conditioner isn’t maintained, when it becomes dirty and inefficient, you may be compromising your home’s air quality. Dust, dander, even pollen and other airborne pollutants don’t get trapped effectively. Instead they continue circulating throughout your home, aggravating allergy and asthma symptoms.
Even more dangerous, an aging and failing system may begin to emit carbon monoxide. Even at low levels that aren’t detectable by common household alarms, this deadly gas can be accumulating in your home and adversely affecting your long-term health.
Regular maintenance will not only mitigate air pollution problems, but alert you to bigger problems before they affect you and your family. And a maintenance agreement is the thing that will ensure that you remember to schedule this important service. No need to put it on the calendar or remember yet another task. Your HVAC company will do it for you, so you’ll know exactly when it’s time to schedule maintenance.
5. Maintain Your Warranty
Did you know that all extended warranties, no matter the manufacturer, are only valid with proof of annual professional maintenance? It makes sense – manufacturers can’t reasonably guarantee performance on a neglected piece of equipment. Nor do they want to be responsible for replacing it.
Ask your HVAC contractor for a maintenance agreement and you’ll be sure not only to have the job done, but you’ll have a record of it to prove it was done in the event that you need an inherently faulty piece of equipment replaced by the manufacturer.
If you don’t yet have a maintenance agreement for annual professional service on your HVAC system, take a look at how our contracts work and some of the perks you get. Then get in touch and let us know you’d like to start regular a maintenance program. We’ll service your system even if we didn’t install it. We care about your comfort – and your investment!