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4 Ways a Tune‑Up Prevents Your AC from Breaking Down

You need to get your AC tuned up for the same reason you might get your car tuned up before a long road trip—to make sure that there aren’t any hidden problems that could cause major issues later.

In fact, there are 4 main parts of an AC tune-up that prevent your air conditioner from breaking down. And for each one we’re going to show you:

  • What it means
  • Why it’s important
  • The problems that it helps prevent

Making sure your AC has the correct refrigerant charge

What it is: Refrigerant is the lifeblood of your air conditioning system. It absorbs the heat from your home and tosses it outside. An AC tune-up will check to make sure that you have the right amount of this important liquid.

Why it’s important: If your AC has a low refrigerant charge, it won’t be able to remove heat from your home like it should.

This causes several problems:

  • Your AC blowing warm air—Without enough refrigerant, your AC can’t remove enough heat from your home’s air, resulting in warm air coming out of your ducts.
  • A frozen evaporator coil—Without enough refrigerant, your evaporator coil drops below freezing, causing the moisture in the air to condense and freeze on it. This is a serious problem that can damage your AC if left too long. And it can lead to…
  • An AC that isn’t blowing hard enough—The flow of air into your home can be blocked (literally) by the block of ice on your coil. And that often results in...
  • A constantly-running air conditioner—Since the air conditioner can’t adequately cool your home, it may seem to never shut off.

Note: If your AC is low on refrigerant, your air conditioning technician should fix the leak. Refrigerant isn’t “used up” like gas.

Checking your AC’s electrical connections

What it is: Your air conditioner has many electrical connections in both the inside and outside unit. During an AC tune-up, the technician will check to make sure all these connections are tight.

Why it’s important: Changes in weather and humidity can cause wires to expand and contract, eventually loosening their connections. This can cause:

  • Short circuits and arcing—These dangerous electrical conditions can cause your AC to trip its breaker.
  • Malfunctioning parts—Problems like the AC fan not spinning are often caused by an electrical problem inside the air conditioner.

Checking the condensate drain line

What it is: As your air conditioner runs, it removes some humidity from your home’s air. This humidity is drained from the AC as water through a pipe called the condensate drain line.

Why it’s important: If the drain line becomes clogged and isn’t fixed, the water can back up into your home and cause some serious water damage.

Cleaning your evaporator and condenser coils

What it is: Your evaporator coil lives inside your indoor unit. It absorbs heat from your home’s air. That heat is then transferred to your outside unit’s condenser coils, where the heat is released into the air. (Learn how an AC works.)

As your AC runs, dirt from your home’s air collects on the evaporator coils inside. Dirt and dust also collect on the outside unit's condenser coil, especially during monsoon season.

Why it’s important: An AC with buildup of dirt on the evaporator coils struggles to absorb heat from your home’s air. Likewise, dirty condenser coils struggle to disperse the heat which the evaporator coils collected. This can lead to a host of problems like:

  • Increased energy use—Your air conditioner has to run longer and harder to get your home to your thermostat setting.
  • Constantly tripping breaker—If the condenser coils are covered in dust, dirt and leaves, then the coils can’t properly dissipate heat. So the air conditioner has to work harder and longer to cool your home and so overheats and trips the breaker.
  • Frozen evaporator coil—Dirt blocks airflow over the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze up.
  • An AC that’s blowing hot air—Dirty condenser coils struggle to get rid of the heat in the refrigerant, which means less heat is pulled from your home’s air, resulting in warm air coming from your vents.

Need an AC tune-up?

George Brazil Air Conditioning & Heating services Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your air conditioner tune-up.