AC Repair, Replacement, Or Maintenance? FAQs About Service

Do you need a new air conditioner—or does your system just need routine maintenance? Your central air system won't fully cool your home. It blows for what seems like hours, only to leave you with high electricity bills, an uncomfortable interior space, and thoughts of an AC repair. But you don't need to settle for kind-of-cool air. Before you invest in a new system, take a look at what you need to know about air conditioners, maintenance, and your options. 

When Was the Last Time You Scheduled AC Maintenance?

Do you regularly schedule pre or post-season air conditioning check-ups and cleanings? If not, the skipped service calls could cause problems with your home's cooling system. 

Routine maintenance may not seem like a major issue for your AC system. But this type of service can keep your air conditioner clean and help you to spot problems before they grow into replaceable offenses. If you haven't scheduled AC maintenance in the past year or more, contact an HVAC professional for a check-up before you invest in a new system.

What Type of Filter Do You Have In Your System?

More specifically, what type of filter do you have and when was the last time you either replaced or cleaned it? A clogged or low-quality/low-efficiency filter can slow down your AC system and force it to work harder. While there's no standard number of weeks or months to use for a filter change, you should replace this AC part regularly—especially if you use the system often, the heater uses the same filter during the colder months of the year, or you have allergies/poor indoor air quality.

Before you rush to replace your air conditioner, ask the HVAC technician about the possible impact the filter has on the system. If they pull out an old, completely clogged filter, the tech may suggest that you try a new filter before replacing the entire air conditioner.

A filter with a low minimum efficiency reporting value (or MERV) number, such as one through four, could only trap as few as 20 percent of the particles inside of your home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But a high efficient particulate air (or HEPA) filter with a much higher MERV value could remove over 99 percent of the dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and other airborne pollutants. 

What Happens If Cleaning and A Filter Change Don't Help?

Your system is clean and has a brand-new filter. But the air is still only somewhat cool. Now what? If routine maintenance doesn't help your AC issue, you may need to replace the system. Again, talk to an HVAC professional first. The technician can assess the system, look for problems, make an air conditioning repair, and recommend a replacement if necessary. Look into AC repair for more information.