Air Conditioning Tune Up

Published by 
Last updated: 
March 27, 2011

All air conditioning equipment manufacturers, Department of Energy, Energy Star, and local Utility companies recommend you maintain your equipment with a preseason tune-up and cleaning.


Industry experts all agree that by keeping your system cleaned and tuned, it will run less, cool better, last longer, use less electricity and save you money. When you consider the high cost of replacing your system, it makes good sense to invest in extending the life of the one you all ready own. Dentists like to say, “Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.” We also know regular oil changes in our cars add miles to engine life. Proper maintenance provides a return on investment.

Proper maintenance is the key phrase. Some companies offer an “inspection” or a simple 30 minute quickie “clean & check”, looking and checking by a sales tech does not prolong the life of your equipment. However, cleaning, adjusting, tightening, sealing, lubricating and thorough attention by a professional service technician can.

Get Your Money's Worth

Anything less than a Precision Tune-Up and Professional Cleaning is a waste of your time and money. Below is a list of what should be done on an annual basis and included on any tune-up. If your service company is not doing the things on the list below you are not getting good bang for the buck and are possibly being taking advantage of. On units over three years old it should take 60 to 90 minutes per system. If the technician finishes faster something was  skipped.  See check list below.



Outside Unit

  • Check Refrigerant Pressures & Charge
  • (Per MFG. Spec., Using Superheat or Sub Cooling Methods)
  • Check Amps/Volts to Fan Motor
  • Check /Tighten All Electrical Connections
  • Check Amps/Volts to Compressor
  • Test/Check Compressor Capacitors
  • Test/Check Motor Run Capacitors
  • Wash Condenser Coils
  • Clean Outside Unit
  • Lubricate Where Necessary
  • Test/Check Electrical Disconnect Operation
  • Make Recommendations

Inside Unit

  • Check/Change Air Filter
  • Check Amps/Volts Indoor Blower Motor
  • Clean Out Condensate Drain Lines
  • Inspect/Clean Drain Pan if Assessable
  • Check/Test Condensate Pump
  • Visually Inspect Ductwork
  • Visually Inspect Insulation
  • Take Temperature Reading Across Evaporator Coil
  • Lubricate Where Accessible
  • Test Thermostat Operation
  • Run System Through Complete Cooling Cycle

Indoor units located in the attic are a little harder and sometimes less assessable than those in closets, garages or basements. Humidifiers, Electronic Air Cleaners, and UV Lights should also be checked and serviced seasonally. Procedures for a Heat Pump in the cooling mode are the same as a regular air conditioner.

(The above is not referring to a real estate inspection.)

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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