Cost of AC maintenance – after the installation of an air conditioner, do not think to stop there or relax. As modern climatic equipment requires regular service maintenance. Your investments will be fully recouped. However, when your air conditioner is well taken care of, you will not suffer from hotness in the summer; not get sky-high energy bills, and will not be bothered by the optimal microclimate in your premises at all!
The average cost of maintenance
It might seem at first glance that climate control systems are rather expensive pleasures because one might have to pay $70-360 for the regular technical maintenance of the equipment. The average cost of air conditioner maintenance is estimated at the level of $100-150 a month. However, everything is relative: the certified NATE contractors’ price for the air conditioner technical maintenance outside the standard package varies between $50 and $150 per hour.
What is included in the service maintenance of an air conditioning system?
Various HVAC contractors offer various packages of technical maintenance for household climate control systems, so every homeowner is capable of selecting the right option for themselves. Minimal house air conditioner maintenance would cost $70-80; packages for $110-130 include a vast service list:
- Visual inspection of the equipment’s structure
- Check-up of the fastenings, piping, belts, and nodes
- Adjustment of thermostats and software
- Inspection of electrical nodes and measuring devices
- Washing the inner block and drainages
- Cleaning or replacing the filters
- Greasing the fan and parts that work with friction
- Revision and cleaning of the condenser and evaporator coils
- Elimination of deformities
- Coolant level control
- Removal of worn-out parts.
The list of the technical maintenance services included in standard packages varies in different contracts. For instance, some companies do the cleaning of an evaporator and drainage ducts only at an additional cost. In the BHCAir Company, depending on the desires and financial capacity of every client, there is the possibility to elaborate individual programs of service maintenance of air conditioners.
Additional tasks in the service maintenance of air conditioners
If an air conditioner has not received service for a long time or has been working for over 5 years, it might need additional services to restore the functionality of the equipment. The inner block must be dismantled and the revision of the main nodes should be done. Most often, the repair is required to remove clogging, eliminate leakages, or replace parts.
A new thermostat or a drainage tray is quite cheap. They cost from 50 to 200 dollars. Replacing a condenser battery, a fan, or a circuit board costs more (about $200-600). The worst-case scenario is the breakage of a compressor, condenser, or evaporator. Here, the cost of their repairs is almost equivalent to the cost of a new air conditioner – about $2,500-3,000 or even more. If your air conditioner is 10-15 years old, you most certainly should completely replace it.
The cost of maintenance by the types of devices
The cost of AC maintenance varies widely, depending on the type of air-cooling. Depending on the type, one could spend from $50 to $400 to complete the maintenance of air conditioners. The cost of AC maintenance also depends on the complexity of manipulations during work because the methods of cleaning the inner block and main nodes of air conditioners of different types are different.
Design features of climatic equipment also affect the coolant expense and the work term of parts. Some air conditioners require frequent refilling with a coolant while others wear out parts faster.
Below, we will be considering the features of technical maintenance of the most popular systems of microclimate management.
- Central, and
- Mini-split systems.
Maintenance of a portable air conditioner
Portable a.k.a. mobile air conditioning systems can be moved within the premises on wheels and has a simplified installation option. Their air ducts come out through the windows or wall openings. Only a minimal service package is enough for scheduled checkups. Once a year, one should clean and dry up the drainages, replace filters, and replace parts, which might have become broken. The cost of air conditioner maintenance is minimal – only $50-85.
Maintenance of window-air conditioner
Window monoblock systems are considered obsolete. However, they are still popular thanks to the simplicity of their design and reliability in structure. Standard service maintenance of this air conditioner is not sophisticated. However, one should clean the evaporator of dust and check the coil for deformations. Typically, a visit from a technician costs around $50-100.
Maintenance of a central air conditioning system
Central air conditioner systems are known for their economy and the possibility of zoning when distributing the energy. However, their widespread network of communications makes it harder to carry out maintenance of the equipment. Therefore, in addition to the inspection of the evaporator, changing of the filters, and cleaning the elements of the system from dust and garbage, one would also need to make an annual inspection of the fan engine, bearings, and belts. Because of this, maintenance of the central air conditioner is more expensive – around $85-150.
Technical maintenance of an HVAC block
In addition to air conditioning, HVAC climate control systems include ventilation and heating. Since the heating contour and air conditioner are placed in the same block, service maintenance of air conditioning and heating systems is made at once. The cost of maintenance costs about $90-120 a year for the air conditioning contour, and $150-500, in total when considering the cost of the heating system altogether. On the other hand, the high level of automation of complex systems allows the schemes of weather-dependent adjustment, which improves the energy efficiency of the equipment.
Maintenance of mini split air conditioners without air ducts
Having a mini-split air conditioner without air ducts is cheaper compared to a regular split system since one does not have to manage the communication network. Nevertheless, even without inspection and piping repair costs; the service maintenance of a split system is around 150-200 dollars – even more than the cost of a monoblock. It is because more than one inner block has to be checked at a time. The need to do regular disinfection and apply anti-fungi remedies to prevent siltation also increases the cost of service maintenance of a split system.
Advantages of air conditioner maintenance
Timely prophylactic service maintenance of an air conditioner improves the quality of air, lowers the cost of energy bills, prevents emergencies, and optimizes the work of the system. As a result, the functionality of the equipment increases. In well-caring homes, air conditioners can serve 15-20 years without failures. Even if they occur, an air conditioner owner will not have issues with warranty maintenance. A contract with a certified HVAC contractor about scheduled and urgent maintenance will serve in your favor.
Air conditioner emergency service
Emergency service of an air conditioner, unlike the scheduled one, is usually carried out outside work hours. Most times, in the evening or at night. The repair cost is between $135-200. If it is possible to postpone the service until morning, then repairs should be cheaper. But, if one has leakage or serious engine malfunctions, one needs to fix the problem immediately. Because if the equipment completely breaks down, it will be much harder to repair it. If you have any failures in the function of your climatic equipment, you should immediately unplug it from the electric grid and call the closest HVAC contractor.
Do you need to do the maintenance of an air conditioner every year?
Scheduled service maintenance of a home air conditioner is usually carried out once or twice a year (in spring/autumn). Once in a few years, one should refill the coolant. For the devices working non-stop and in specific extreme conditions, there are extra programs of technical maintenance. For instance, during the plant blossom especially the poplar blossom season, you might require additional cleaning of an external block.
Now let us consider how one can recoup the investments in technical maintenance. What are the advantages of regular maintenance, and how you could save, without the loss of functionality?
With qualified service maintenance of a climate control system, it gains the maximal efficiency as prescribed in its technical documentation and wears out less. Particularly, greasing the fan and other moving parts reduces friction and protects working parts from overheating and mechanical damage. Freeing the air ducts from clogging removes the hindrances in the way of air masses that flow in and out, thereby lowering the energy consumption of the system, and preventing the “cold spots.” When an air conditioner functions correctly, all premises have even temperatures.
If one regularly cleans the coils and air ducts from clogging and dust, the air conditioning system will keep the optimal temperature of coolant with minimum energy consumption. As a result, you can have more coolness and freshness in the hot summer weather without increasing energy bills.
Preventing small troubles
Large breakages do not occur unexpectedly. They are usually preceded by small malfunctions, which were not taken care of by a homeowner immediately. Incorrect functioning of separate elements increases the workload for the rest of the nodes, which consecutively fail as well over time. An increased number of multiple technical failures will eventually lead to global malfunction. Thus, you can calculate for yourself – if it is better for you to pay for annual service maintenance or to pay for a costly and complex repair when your climatic equipment fails at the most improper time!
Keeping the system clean
Neglecting the cleanliness of air ducts, filters, drainages, and the internal block creates favorable conditions for the proliferation of bacteria, fungi, and mold. It would be much better to clean them once a month than to be inhaling dust and microbes. This way, you will free yourself from annoying headaches and constant colds; you get to conserve your immunity and be on top of your intellectual capacity and productivity. Your children will also not suffer from allergies. Therefore, it is much simpler to keep your house clean!
Balancing the humidity levels
The temperature difference in the street and inside the premises makes condensation possible. The humidity from the air is condensed using the evaporator and is passed out through the system of drainage ducts, thereby maintaining the optimal level of humidity inside the house. Clogging the evaporator usually leads to over-condensation and leakages, which weakens the air circulation in the rooms, and creates stagnant zones with increased humidity.
High temperature makes the air-cooling harder, as the air is stiff and stale in damp premises. The walls have condensed humidity accumulated on them, and the finishing materials lose their beauty. Periodic cleaning of the coil usually eliminates this problem. However, if the level of humidity remains high, you should check the work of the draught.
DIY vs hiring a professional
Now, the choice is obvious – you should pay for the regular service maintenance of an air conditioner technician to eliminate bigger troubles and failures. But, that does not mean you should pay the maximum for every service. Many homeowners can deal with some of these routine tasks on their own (like changing filters or washing the drainage ducts). Specialists may be delegated only the most complex tasks. If you need professional advice about the maintenance of your air conditioner, leave your request on the website of the BHCAir Company and our technician will contact you as soon as possible.