What’s Included in a Spring Air Conditioner Tune Up?

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Spring’s the season for an air conditioner tune-up and preventive maintenance because summer’s the season for hot days and high household cooling demands.

A severe summer heat wave is an inconvenient time to live without cool comfort. It can also be a difficult time to get emergency service as service technicians are often heavily booked.

In this article, we’ll cover what’s included in an air conditioner tune-up and why this routine maintenance benefits you. Take the opportunity each spring, before the weather heats up, to schedule a maintenance call with a qualified HVAC contractor in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky.

What to Expect from a 15-Point Precision Air Conditioner Tune-up

cincinnati technician

When the HVAC technician performs an air conditioner tune-up, they will do several things, including tackle these 15 steps. This ensures your equipment is ready to tackle a hot Cincinnati summer. An AC unit tune-up consists of:

  1. Lubricate all moving parts
  2. Safety test all controls for proper operation
  3. Install gauges, record operating pressures and temperatures, and compare to manufacturer specifications
  4. Inspect both start and run capacitors and relays for bulges, rust, and leaks
  5. Measure refrigerant levels and superheat to fine-tune its charge
  6. Flush condensate drain to protect against overflow
  7. Tighten and safety test all wiring and connections
  8. Check blower motor for proper function (and belt if applicable)
  9. Test “temperature drop” at return and supply air; adjust blower
  10. Adjust and clean thermostat
  11. Check meter voltage and amperage in all motors; test for worn bearings
  12. Test condition of compressor contacts
  13. Check air filter; clean or replace with customer-supplied filter
  14. Clean outdoor condenser coil
  15. Inform customer of equipment condition and provide a printed report

Once an AC expert has checked off these 15 steps, your AC will be ready for summer.

One question we get a lot is about freon. An AC tune-up does not include freon. Your AC does not expend freon to keep working. The refrigerant in your AC is self-contained and shouldn’t leave the system. When the system gets older and parts decay, sometimes your AC will leak freon or refrigerant. An HVAC technician will then need to repair your AC’s leak and then top off your refrigerant to keep it at the specified pressure level.

Click Here to Schedule Your Air Conditioner Tune-up in Cincinnati

4 Reasons Why Spring Is the Best Time for an Air Conditioner Tune-Up

Close up of Air Conditioning Repair, repairman on the floor fixing air conditioning system

While there are many reasons that people choose the spring for air conditioning maintenance, here are the top four reasons that should consider scheduling an appointment with Apollo Home for your own AC maintenance tune-up

1. Preventive Inspections

It’s best to make sure your equipment is ready prior to its toughest season. Your air conditioner’s manufacturer, therefore, recommends service in the spring. Likewise, heating equipment is best serviced in the fall, prior to the heating season.

A qualified HVAC technician prepares your air conditioner to prepare for the summer and increases the unit’s efficiency. A preventive maintenance service call with an air conditioner tune-up allows the field technician to perform a complete evaluation. This is an opportunity to reveal issues likely to cause malfunctions later in the summer when the system is under maximum stress.

Dealing with minor issues early is more cost-effective than waiting until they cause major breakdowns later. Plus, efficient and well-maintained air conditioners run more quietly. An unusually noisy air conditioner suggests it’s struggling and needs intervention.

This service reduces wear and tear and extends the service life of the AC unit and its components. The longer your equipment functions well, the less often you invest in a new one.

2. Lower Operating Costs

The efficiency ratings assigned to your air conditioner are based on the assumption of annual preventive maintenance by a qualified professional. If a proper air conditioner tune-up is neglected, energy efficiency is usually the first casualty, and higher operating costs result. Proper pre-season maintenance ensures you get all the efficiency your AC unit is engineered to deliver.

3. Easier Scheduling

When the hottest days of summer come, homeowners start realizing their AC isn’t going to make it through the hot season. HVAC professionals become very busy, and making appointments for AC maintenance tune-ups can be more challenging.

4. Warranty Compliance

Major manufacturers of most central air conditioners require proof of annual preventive service as part of the warranty terms. Without a record of annual maintenance by a qualified HVAC contractor, you may be denied coverage under the warranty.

Maintaining the cooling equipment in your Cincinnati home also helps improve whole-house comfort and promotes healthier indoor air quality.

What Can You Do Between Professional HVAC Tech Visits?

It’s easy to perform some tasks to keep your air conditioning working well. During the year, take the following steps to reduce the wear and tear until your next air conditioner tune-up.

Join a Preventive Maintenance Care Plan

Air conditioning care plans include a seasonal air conditioner tune-up. These plans make it super easy to stay on schedule with routine maintenance. Apollo Home, for example, contacts Apollo Care Plan members in early spring to secure convenient service times before the heat rises.

Near the beginning of the cooling season, you should have your HVAC contractor inspect your system and perform routine AC maintenance. The process ensures your system is prepared for summer and running efficiently, as well as protects the system’s warranty.

Check the Air Filter Often

Check your air filter at least once a month during the cooling season and change it as necessary–often once every three to six months. A buildup of dirt and debris on your air filter interferes with normal airflow. To compensate, your fan motor works harder to bring in enough air.

This reduces the system’s energy efficiency and wears down the motor. One-inch fiberglass filters usually last only a month. Consider upgrading to higher-efficiency pleated filters, which improve your indoor air quality, protect your system better, and last longer.

Keep the Condenser Coil Clean

Thanks to Cincinnati’s wind, cleaning the outdoor unit is another important part of air conditioner maintenance in Ohio.

Keep the area around the condenser coils free of tall grass, furniture, and other large objects. It may be tempting to plant tall flowers or hedges to block the view. Unfortunately, it also blocks airflow.

Poor airflow over the condenser coil prevents your system from cooling properly. The AC compressor motor may overheat and fail, leading to an expensive repair.

Remove debris such as twigs and leaves from the condenser coil by hand, then use a garden hose to rinse the condenser clean. Use a stiff brush to remove dry leaves, grass clippings, cottonwood, and other debris from the outdoor unit’s fins.

Every year, remove the unit’s top and clean out debris inside with a wet-vac. Sweep away grass clippings, cobwebs, leaf debris, etc. Unplug the unit and spray with a hose to remove more stubborn grime.

Clean the Evaporator Coil Annually

outdoor hvac unit

The air filter protects your system from damaging particulates in the air. Clogged filters allow dirt and dust to collect on the evaporator coil. This reduces the system’s cooling ability and leads to severe system damage.

Clean the evaporator coil to clear off dust, hair, and other debris by using a specialized coil cleaner or a combination of a soft brush and vacuum. This will improve your system’s efficiency and prevent cooling problems and system damage.

A Few Extra Steps

Easing the demand on your air conditioner also helps protect your air conditioner from damage. Air leaks around your doors and windows let in hot, humid air, making more work for your air conditioner. Seal these leaks with caulk or weatherstripping as needed to improve your comfort and your AC’s efficiency. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Rearrange furniture obstructing the supply registers and return vents in your rooms. Unrestricted airflow circulating through your rooms will use less energy and be more efficient.
  • Clean vents or grilles in your home to mitigate the pollutants and debris circulating through your forced-air system. A vacuum with a soft-brush attachment works well for this.
  • A clogged condensate drain can let water into your house and cause damage. Every two months, pour half a cup of white vinegar into the condensate line to discourage algae growth. Once or twice each cooling season, use a wet-vac to pull sludge from the outside end of the drain.

More Benefits of the Apollo Care Plan

Signing up for the Apollo Care Plan comes with a few additional benefits, including:

  • An annual preventive maintenance AC visit that helps to keep the system running on the hottest days.
  • Priority service if a breakdown happens. You won’t have to wait as long if your AC conks out in August. All Apollo Care Plan members have access to a VIP priority phone number.
  • A certain percentage off any repairs you might have to make. If your air conditioner is several years old or out of warranty, this can save you quite a bit.
  • Potentially llower cooling bills. An efficient system uses less energy, even at times of peak use.
  • Fewer air conditioning repairs. Proper maintenance helps prevent components from failing sooner than should be expected.
  • Longer service life from your air conditioner. Routine maintenance helps keep components operating longer, which extends the life of the entire system.
  • Heating tune-up as part of your existing plan, as well as an annual plumbing and electrical system evaluations.

If you want to learn more about the Apollo Care Plan, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Cincinnati Air Conditioner Tune-up Experts

An air conditioner tune-up involves 15 main services. It’s important to schedule regular HVAC maintenance for consistent and comfortable air conditioning in your home. Plus, professional HVAC maintenance keeps warranties compliant and prevents big repairs or breakdowns later.

When a professional inspects your system, they have the experience and knowledge to determine if the equipment needs cleaning, repairing, or replacement.

Your HVAC equipment is thoroughly cleaned with the proper tools, and minor issues are corrected before they become costly problems. After a comprehensive evaluation by a professional, you have the satisfaction of knowing your system runs at peak performance.

Apollo Home has served the home comfort needs of the greater Cincinnati area since 1910. In addition to heating and cooling, Apollo Home provides plumbing and electrical services, as well as air quality solutions to better serve Cincinnati residents.

Apollo Home strives every day to exceed the whole-home service needs for homeowners. Apollo Home has received awards such as Contractors of the Year from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and an A+ Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Ready for your air conditioner tune-up? Call us or schedule one online today!

"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.



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