Summer is right around the corner! With it comes all the classic summer activities, such as biking, camping, beach days, and enjoying the warm weather.
Unless, of course, it gets TOO warm. On those days, we are all grateful to have a functional air conditioner to keep us cool. However, when your HVAC system isn’t working correctly, you are putting yourself at risk of:
- Heat-related health risks, like heat stroke
- General discomfort
You don’t have to wait until a problem arises to protect yourself and your home. Instead, you need to schedule an HVAC inspection or get it repaired! AC inspections can help spot problems before they begin and ensure that your air conditioner runs properly all summer long.
But what exactly happens during an inspection? Today, we’ll be explaining what you can expect during the inspection process.
Signs You Need an AC Inspection
Let’s be honest: most of us aren’t experts on our HVAC system. While that’s not uncommon, it can make it harder to spot potential problems that may require professional help. If you’re wondering if you are due for an AC inspection, watch for these signs:
- Temperatures Aren’t Changing – The most obvious sign of a problem with your HVAC equipment is if it isn’t actually cooling your home. If warm air is blowing through your vents, you’ll want to call a professional right away.
- Water Leaks – Are you finding a puddle of water pooling around your air conditioner? Your cooling system may not be working properly. Be sure to fully protect your floors from water damage by laying out towels before calling an HVAC specialist.
- Musty Smell – The unfortunate truth is that your HVAC system is a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow in. Additionally, a broken air conditioner combined with hot, humid weather, makes your home extra susceptible to mold growth. If you notice a musty scent, it is a good idea to get your air conditioner inspected.
- Strange Noises – All HVAC appliances make some noise. However, if you are noticing sounds that are out of the norm, you may be dealing with a mechanical issue that needs professional attention.
- Frequent Cycles – A properly functioning AC system will have relatively even cooling cycles. When it is broken or not fully able to heat the home, though, it may turn on more frequently than you expect.
3 Different Types of Inspections
When it comes to an HVAC inspection, there are three main kinds of inspection processes that you can go through, depending on the type of problem that you are having. Here are the main differences between them.
1) Tune Ups
An HVAC tune-up is part of a regularly scheduled maintenance plan designed to keep your HVAC system functioning properly all year round. These typically happen bi-annually, with a fall inspection for your heating system and a spring inspection for your cooling system. We recommend all homeowners talk with their HVAC service professional about their tune-up plans.
HVAC repairs occur when the homeowner discovers a problem with their HVAC system. This particular type of inspection is used to diagnose and solve any mechanical issues. In some cases, homeowners will have to purchase a new AC system, depending on the extent of the damage.
3) General Inspection
General inspections are similar to a tune-up service but are used simply to diagnose any potential problems and do not come with the maintenance service itself. These are typically used by homeowners who are looking to assess the value of a home before buying or selling it.
What Happens During an AC Inspection?
So, what exactly does an AC Inspection do? The answer? Lots of things! The professional you hire will likely have an HVAC inspection checklist that will cover all of the bases. Some of the things they test for will include:
A thermostat not only controls the temperature of your home but it also lets you know what the temperature is. Because of this, it is often the first thing a licensed HVAC technician will check. This involves checking the wiring and making sure everything is functioning as it should.
Replace Air Filters
Air filters are an essential part of your air conditioning system that traps dust, hair, and other air particles that can irritate your respiratory system and damage your furnace or air conditioner. However, if they aren’t replaced, they can create a blockage that inhibits airflow. Your HVAC contractor will likely place a new air filter into your system during your HVAC system inspection.
While most of us don’t associate mice with our HVAC system, the truth is that their little teeth can wreak havoc on its electrical components. Your contractor will examine your HVAC unit for signs of pest infestations and damage, and make repairs, accordingly.
One of the more dangerous outcomes of a broken or damaged HVAC unit is that it can start to leak carbon monoxide poisoning from the flue pipe. This can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can have serious consequences and even be fatal in some instances. Your provider will carefully examine the exhaust venting and heat exchanger for any cracks or holes.
Your AC system is likely powered by a refrigerant chemical that gives it the ability to cool your home. If your AC isn’t cooling your home, your refrigerant might be low! Your inspector will check the refrigerant levels and refill them as needed.
One of the most important parts of testing your system comes in the form of checking the safety components of your heating and cooling machinery. This typically involves checking all of the failsafe and surge protectors in order to make sure that your home is protected in case anything fails in the future.
How Much Does an Inspection Cost?
As we mentioned above, not all inspections are created equal. The cost of inspecting your heating and cooling system will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The type of inspection
- The area you live in
- The damage that is found
Keep in mind, that if you are quoted a number by an HVAC contractor for an inspection, that doesn’t necessarily cover the cost of repairing your machinery.
The good news? An AC inspection is a relatively affordable way to keep your home running smoothly. The national average for an inspection lands somewhere between $200-$500.
Can You DIY an HVAC Inspection?
Are you a particularly handy homeowner? If so, you may be tempted to do a DIY HVAC maintenance routine.
There are some maintenance tasks that the average homeowner can do to extend the life of their heating and cooling system, including:
- Regularly changing the air filter
- Cleaning the outdoor condensing unit
- Keeping the area around your outdoor unit clear of grass, leaves, or any other vegetation
- Scheduling regular maintenance
However, experience is important. When it comes to your home, you are generally better off relying on the skills of an HVAC inspector to make sure that you and your home are getting the care that you need and deserve.
Work With a Trustworthy Professional
Ready to get your cooling system in tip-top shape for the summer? Call on the trusted team at Aquarius Home Services. Our team offers a variety of services, including HVAC installation and repair, as well as plumbing and electrical work. Whether you are looking for a yearly tune-up, or quality HVAC installations, our experts are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule your service and see the Aquarius difference!