Keep Your Family Activities on Track with an HVAC Maintenance Plan

Minimize unplanned air conditioner repair bills

The change of seasons brings a whole slew of new activities to look forward to (and budget for!), whether it’s boating and summer vacations or special family times in the fall and winter. And there’s nothing worse than a big air conditioner repair bill to derail your family’s fun. That’s why spending a little bit each year on maintaining expensive air conditioning and heating equipment will keep your family fun on track.

To make it easy for you, we offer the Ace Pro Heating and Air Maintenance Plan that takes the hassle out of keeping up with the maintenance. See our page on Ace Pro Maintenance Plan memberships for details.

Here’s What You Can Do Yourself to Cut Costs:

– Keep a clean filter in your heating and cooling systems. Change or clean your filter monthly to both prolong the life of your heating and cooling equipment and improve its efficiency—saving you money twice.

– Periodically inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.

– Verify that the thermostat is functioning correctly prior to the beginning of the season:

1. In the spring, set the thermostat Mode switch to the “Cool” setting (in the fall, switch it to the “Heat” setting).

2. Next, find the current indoor temperature reading on the display.

3. Now, adjust the target temperature 3 or 4 degrees lower than the indoor temperature (in the fall, adjust the target temperature higher). Listen for the air conditioner to turn on and start moving air.

If it turns on within 15 seconds or so, turn the target temperature back to it’s original setting and listen for the unit to turn off. Your unit should be working. Reset the target temperature to its original setting and return the Mode switch to the “Auto” setting.
If it doesn’t turn on or off as described, your system might need repair. Call Ace Pro at (912) 656-9138 and we’ll get right out to see that your unit is ready to keep you comfortable throughout the coming season.

Keep the Savings Coming

The EPA’s Energy Star program encourages you to keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual preseason check-ups. But remember, Ace Pro technicians get busy once summer and winter come, so it’s best to book us before those who didn’t plan ahead start calling.

For the greatest value and head-of-the-line privileges, check out membership in the Ace Pro Heating and Air Maintenance Plan that takes the hassle out of keeping up with the maintenance.

The benefits of having a professional perform service are many:

– It’s a drag, we know, but you will void your warranty unless annual maintenance is performed by a qualified technician.

– Our trained and certified HVAC techs have special knowledge of electrical and mechanical systems, plumbing, refrigeration, environmental issues, and building codes specific to the trade. Your service tech will get your system operating at peak efficiency and alert you to AC repairs before they become more costly.

– Our technicians have the right tools and supplies to safely and effectively do the work. HVAC systems have very specific requirements for lubricants, refrigerants, etc.—and using the wrong ones will void your warranty, impair its efficiency, damage the equipment, and possibly create a safety hazard.

– A well-maintained heating and cooling system is more efficient (saving you money on your utility bills), lasts longer (reducing the cost per year of the equipment), and is safer (avoiding the possible fire hazard of incorrectly functioning equipment).

A Word on Warranties

Many homeowners seem to view a warranty like a parachute thinking, “If I ever need it, it’s there to save me.” But you would be well advised to recognize a few facts before you blindly assume that your air conditioner or furnace warranty, whether from the original manufacturer or a home warranty company, will cover your situation. Consider the following:

– The terms of warranties vary widely between manufacturers, among models from the same manufacturer, and even among the components of the same unit.

– Homeowners should locate, safeguard, and review their warranty. It is very important to insure that the warranty was registered with the manufacturer—most of the benefits may only apply if the warranty was registered within 60 days of the homeowner taking possession of the new equipment.i
– Manufacturers often hire teams of lawyers who look for ways to provide “escape clauses” to limit how much their companies pay in warranty claims.It is best to review the details of the warranty carefully to understand just exactly what you can expect when specific repairs are needed.

– Finally, most warranties are void unless annual maintenance has been regularly performed by a qualified technician.

Keeping on Top of Maintenance Saves Money

Chris Stewart, a U.S. Department of Energy employee, learned first hand the message that the DOE preaches on importance of regular maintenance. It was on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2009 when his furnace quit producing heat altogether, threatening to put a real chill on the festivities. He quickly performed the maintenance that he should have scheduled the previous fall. Once the unit was cleaned (the flame sensor was fouled and the air chamber was full of dirt and soot), the unit was re-lit and the furnace worked correctly, maintaining the temperature set on the programmable thermostat. He reported that its efficiency improved afterward as well.

Chris summed up his experience by saying, “This experience has reinforced the idea that keeping on top of maintenance saves energy and money at home.” Not to mention all the stress, hassle, and having to bear a cold house on a holiday, we’d add.

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