What to Look for When Evaluating Air Conditioning Service Agreements
Did you know that when it comes to air conditioning service contracts, there are no regulations imposed by the federal government? In other words, not all air conditioning service contracts are created equal. When comparing service contracts from different providers, never make the mistake of assuming that you are comparing apples to apples. This is especially critical for air conditioning repair. The lack of regulation means that trust is a monster component of your relationship with your Houston HVAC provider.
Although this is indeed a negative development, it does mean that reputable air conditioning service companies can tailor a contract to your specific needs, taking into consideration the age and condition of your equipment, the cooling requirements of your space and its occupants, and your budget. All you have to do now is double-check your contract to make sure everything is covered and that you’re getting the features you require.
A service contract or maintenance agreement covers regularly scheduled physical inspections and air conditioning maintenance procedures that significantly improve the performance of the equipment and extend the system’s life expectancy.
A service contract can cover inspections only, preventative maintenance only, full labor coverage, and even full coverage for all labor and parts, depending on the terms of the contract. It is possible to renew your agreement with different terms for an additional year after it has been signed, if necessary.
The below AC maintenance checklist can be used to compare tasks when you’re working with an air conditioning service company under contract. Not everyone requires all of the items on this air conditioning maintenance checklist, and you may be willing to forego some of them in order to keep the cost of the service as low as possible. Consult with your service provider to ensure that the tasks that are important to you are included in the maintenance package that you are paying to receive.
When evaluating service contracts, be especially cautious of those that are written in legalese that is so complicated that you are unsure of what is covered and what is not. Dubious providers will use legalese often in order to skirt responsibilities. Customer service is important to a Air Check Mechanical, and we only write contracts that are clear and easy to understand.
Your Spring AC Maintenance Checklist
The following is a list of tasks that, depending on your equipment and the type of maintenance agreement you have, may be included in your air conditioning service contract:
- Clean or replace filters at least once a quarter to ensure that dirt and debris do not accumulate in the ductwork or system components.
- Check the airflow through the blowers and fan blades to ensure they are working properly.
- Verify that the electrical system is in proper working order, including the wiring, fuses, and contactors; tighten any loose connections to prevent power loss.
- Mold, dust, and debris should be checked for in ducts and airways.
- Check the humidity levels and look for signs of moisture and, in particular, rust, which can indicate a serious problem.
- Pumps should be lubricated.
- Check for leaks in the couplings and check for cracks.
- Check the fan motor’s performance.
- Examine the condition of the belts and replace them if necessary.
- Clean the condenser coil of dirt, soot, and mold, and measure the temperatures before and after cleaning to ensure that it is effective.
- Inspect and clean the evaporator coils as necessary.
- Check the refrigerant charge, repair any leaks, and re-charge as necessary.
- Check the integrity of the cabinet for air leaks caused by cracks, missing screws, loose latches, and faulty gaskets, among other things.
- Check all drain lines for proper drainage, and clear any lines that may be clogged with debris or coated with moisture and dust to ensure that they are working properly.
- Drain pans should be free of any standing water in order to prevent overflows.
- Maintain the lubrication of moving parts that have been idle for the entire winter to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
- Pulleys that have become worn should be replaced.
- Check thermostats and other controls to ensure that the proper temperatures are maintained, that timer functions are set correctly, and that batteries are changed as necessary.
- As needed, clean the starter and cabinet.
- Examine the log readings
- Examine the general condition of the equipment.
- Inspection of the cooling tower fill, support structure, nozzles, valves, fan blades, and wiring should be performed if you have a water-cooled system.
Get To Know An HVAC Contractor You Can Trust
Now that you have this AC maintenance checklist to use as a guide in evaluating the tasks that need to be completed, how do you go about selecting the most qualified company to complete them? You might think that the general contractor or mechanical contractor who installed your HVAC system is the best person to hire to keep it in good working condition. This is not necessarily true.
Many installers are adamant about not getting involved in maintenance and will not even bring it up as a topic of conversation. Once the big job of installation is completed, they want to move on to the next customer without being distracted by the hassles of small maintenance tasks, which is where a solid HVAC company like Air Check Mechanical Service comes in. It is possible that they are not even qualified to maintain your system.
When selecting an AC maintenance provider, it’s important to take into account the company’s reputation as well as the specifics of the AC maintenance contract rather than solely focusing on price. Companies that underbid in order to win your business are more likely to cut corners on service and only perform the bare minimum to keep the system running until the end of the contract, leaving out many of the critical tasks on our AC maintenance checklist.
Turn to a professional HVAC contractor who specializes in service to keep your system in top condition and save money in the long run. As seasoned maintenance professionals, their goal is to collaborate with you to ensure that your equipment continues to operate at peak performance for many years to come. You will receive reasonable pricing, as well as the services of trained and certified professionals who will take good care of your equipment, diagnose problems, and perform dependable repairs.