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Air conditioners always seem to break down on the hottest day of the year. If your Lake Forest, IL system crashes, you might wait days for an AC repair technician. Fortunately, you can prevent most breakdowns with an annual AC tune-up. You’ll save money on cooling costs, too. Here’s why:

Greater Energy Efficiency

After an AC maintenance visit, your air conditioner will be a clean machine. Removing the accumulated buildup of grime and grit can increase energy efficiency by up to 40 percent. The monthly savings on utility bills can quickly recoup your maintenance costs with money to spare.

Fewer Breakdowns and AC Repair Calls

If it seems like air conditioners always quit on the hottest day of the year, it’s because they do. The dog days of summer will tax your air conditioner to the max. If there are weak links in the system, they’re likely to give out when your air conditioner’s cooling load is at its highest. During maintenance, your technician will examine the unit to detect any vulnerabilities that need attention. A minor problem that’s fixed now can prevent a major breakdown later.

Longer Air Conditioner Lifespan

We’ve all heard of those exceptional air conditioners that never seem to need repairs, always work perfectly and last for 20 years. It’s a good bet that those units are serviced annually. Air conditioners last for 15 to 20 years on average. Without maintenance, they may only last half as long, if that. Regular AC tune-ups can keep your AC going strong well beyond the average life expectancy.

What to Expect During an AC Tune-up

Your service technician will carefully examine the entire unit for worn parts and other potential problems. A proactive approach greatly decreases the possibility of a breakdown. Your technician will then deep clean the unit to remove dirty buildup that inhibits AC performance. Next, your technician will perform these tasks to restore your system to a like-new condition:

  • Tighten all electrical connections and inspect wiring. Check voltage and current on motors. Problems with the electrical system can create a safety hazard and damage other equipment components.
  • Inspect thermostat for accuracy and energy-efficient settings.
  • Examine and clean the condensate drain line and drain pan. The condensate line can easily get clogged with dirt, mold, and algae. Clogs can increase indoor humidity, create puddles around your AC and damage your drywall. They can also make your air conditioner freeze up. A dirty condensate drain pan can negatively affect indoor air quality, by emitting foul odors and becoming slimy with microbial growth.
  • Lubricate moving parts. Insufficient lubrication can cause friction in the motors and blowers. That increases the amount of energy needed to power the system.
  • Check system controls for proper operation. That includes testing your AC’s startup mechanism and ensuring that it cycles on and off properly.
  • Inspect the air conditioner’s refrigerant level and check for leaks. Increase or decrease refrigerant as needed. Improper refrigerant levels can decrease AC efficiency and overwork the system.
  • Clean the condenser and evaporator coils. Dirty coils interfere with cooling performance and make the system work harder than it should.
  • Clean blower components and adjust if necessary. When operating properly, the blower should generate strong airflow. Airflow problems can cause indoor discomfort and reduce energy efficiency by up to 15 percent.

Your technician should also complete these tasks:

  • Adjust tension on belts
  • Inspect pressure regulator and fill valves
  • Examine contactors
  • Check pressure switch cut-out settings
  • Measure air temperature drop across the condenser and evaporator
  • Check electrical lock-out circuits
  • Replace air filter

Learn more about the benefits of AC maintenance and repair services. Visit Ireland Heating & Air Conditioning Co., online, or call us at (847) 388-0108 to schedule an AC tune-up.

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