Modern life comes with many conveniences, but a lot of work goes into making sure we always have access to our creature comforts when we want them. If you don’t know how to do that work yourself, sometimes you’ll have to hire a professional for help. Take air conditioning, for example. There aren’t too many people who will tell you they’d be happy to go through a summer without their air conditioners, but most of them probably don’t know how to repair or service one either (at least not beyond the basics). That’s why it’s important to learn everything you can about air conditioning service. Doing so will allow you to take better care of your system while providing you with a new appreciation for all the work your local HVAC technician does. As a result, you’ll be able to handle more problems on your own, but more likely to call for help when you need it and nip potentially severe problems in the bud before they have a chance to put your precious HVAC risk.
Disclaimer: Make Sure You Choose a Comprehensive Service Company
Air conditioning service can differ widely depending on who you trust to do the work. California is home to a wide variety of HVAC service companies, and the quality you receive from one may not equal that which you receive from another. However, it is much easier to secure high-quality air conditioning service when you arrange to have it performed by a contractor with a valid C-20 license. C-20 licenses are issued by the California State Licensing Board and are required for anyone performing work on an HVAC with a cost that exceeds $500.
To circumvent this restriction, some unlicensed companies might offer their work at heavily discounted rates, but buyer beware—you almost always get what you pay for when it comes to skilled labor. Spend the money necessary to invest in qualified HVAC service, and you’ll receive fast, thorough work from an experienced pro. Gamble on someone with lower prices and questionable skills or knowledge, and who knows what the results might be. Remember, cutting corners is often the only way unlicensed contractors can afford to offer their work at such low prices.
What Reputable Air Conditioning Service Should Include
Now that we have that out of the way let’s look at what you should be able to expect during a basic service call from a qualified technician. Call a licensed contractor for standard air conditioning service, and you can expect them to take care of the following tasks:
- They’ll ask you what you need, and if you’ve noticed any specific problems with your system. The more information you can give your technician at the outset, the more efficiently they’ll be able to work. They should be polite, respectful—and above all, good listeners.
- When they arrive, they’ll go straight to work. Techs should never stand around or loiter—after all, you’ll pay most of them by the hour.
- Your technician should always begin by checking for damaged or malfunctioning equipment. That way, you’ll know what the condition of your system was before they arrived and will understand any changes they make.
- Your technician will probably look at your outdoor unit first. They’ll check the temperature and pressure, clean the condenser fins, oil motor components and inspect the electrical connections.
- The technician will then move inside to examine the filters and make sure you’ve changed them recently. Then they’ll check the blower, and inspect the coils for cleanliness. At this point, they might recommend duct cleaning. Once that’s done, they’ll check the condensate drain for blockages and examine other small parts that haven’t yet received attention.
- Once they’ve finished inspecting the components of your indoor unit, your technician might finish up by cycling the system once to ensure that it is running correctly.
Note that a service call might stop at any time if your technician finds something dire that requires immediate correction. Some problems (electrical issues, refrigerant leaks, etc.) can be hazardous to the air conditioner or the health of people in the building if the system is allowed to run before they’re fixed. A technician who stops halfway through and calls your attention to something probably isn’t trying to cheat you; they might only want to let you know about a significant issue that needs attention before they can go any further with their work.
Detailed air conditioning service from licensed pros can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your system in optimal condition. Make sure to find a trustworthy group of professionals and have them visit your home or business once or twice each year for best results. With luck, you’ll have no trouble staying cool whenever you need to turn on the AC and catch a break from the heat this summer.