TAMPA - Save for a few days during winter, most of us use our air conditioners year 'round. But they really get a workout during the hot and humid summer months. And when is your A/C most likely to break down? That's right, on the hottest day of the year. Highly rated service specialists tell Angie’s List the majority of their emergency repair calls can be traced back to poor maintenance. Each year your air conditioner goes without maintenance, it will lose about 5 percent of its overall efficiency.
Air conditioning service technician Darren Scaggs said there are several signs that you need service. "It needs to be tuned up once a year, every year," he said. "Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and you're not getting air flow out, things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up.”
Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks adds, “Your heating and cooling system uses over 50 percent of your energy costs in your home. So any improvements you can make to maintain your system will make a difference in your monthly bills.”
Finding potential problems before they arise will keep you from having an unexpected failure in the middle of a heat wave, will save you emergency repair bills and will help avoid costly repairs down the road. Some of the most basic maintenance can be done by you. “Changing the filter on your furnace or air conditioner is one of the simplest things you can do," said Hicks. "Just remember to check it every month when you pay your utility bill. It’s something that anyone can do themselves and it can save you up to 15 percent on your energy bills if you get them well maintained.”
Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider of local consumer reviews, asked its heating and cooling experts for ways homeowners can save and still beat the heat:
A typical A/C tune-up will cost between $70 and $100. Scaggs said it should be performed by a professional. “Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened check the refrigerate level the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should.”
Angie’s List tips for hiring a HVAC company:
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