What Is an HVAC Tune-Up, and Why Do They Matter?
Buying or inheriting your first HVAC system can be intimidating. There are so many things to keep track of that it can be overwhelming when it comes to deciding on how to take care of your system. Luckily, HVAC technicians have you covered with regular tune-ups.
After tuning up HVAC systems all over Los Angeles County and the surrounding areas, we’ve dialed in our methods to ensure customers get what they need. But what do they need?
In this article, you’ll learn what an HVAC tune-up is, how much they cost, and what you should keep track of ahead of your scheduled appointment. Being more informed ahead of time will help you navigate your HVAC tune-up appointment and ensure you don’t run into any surprises regarding cost.
What Is Included in an HVAC Tune-Up?
While prices may vary when it comes to HVAC tune-ups, the services performed are typically the same. You won’t really have to worry about different servicers performing different forms of maintenance since there is a standard way of doing things.
A standard HVAC tune-up will include:
- Cleaning coils
- Straightening fins
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Tightening electrical connections
- Testing the thermostat
- Checking temperature differential
- Checking ductwork
- Checking fan motors
- Swapping the air filter
- Lubricating moving parts
- Inspecting safety controls
- Measure amperage and wattage
- Check gas pressure
- Check flame sensor
- Check burner
- Update homeowner on the condition of the system
This process should take about an hour. A standard tune-up includes a light cleaning of components, but in some cases, a deep clean is necessary to get the system up to snuff.
A deep cleaning of an HVAC system can hit $950 on top of the initial $149. To break it down, cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils would run $350 each, while cleaning the blower would cost $250. This service is worth it for homeowners who have let their HVAC system go unattended for some time, causing build-up to accumulate.
But what about pricing? If most HVAC tune-ups include the same service, then what can you expect in terms of cost?
How Much Does an HVAC Tune-Up Cost?
Like any service, HVAC tune-up costs vary from business to business. HVAC tune-up range from great deals to more expensive investments. Despite the cost difference, most HVAC tune-ups should include the same services listed above.
On the low end, you can expect to see HVAC tune-ups run for about $55. While this price point is relatively low, there are often some great smaller businesses with minimal overhead that can afford to offer their customers tune-ups at a lower cost without sacrificing quality.
The one downside is that some companies offer lower tune-up costs so they can upsell you while they’re on the call. It won’t happen in every case, but it is something to be prepared for just in case.
Looking to the mid-range, you’ll likely see tune-ups running somewhere around $149. This price point strikes a balance for the homeowner between the high and low end.
Topping out at the high end, HVAC tune-ups can cost as much as $189. A benefit of the high-end bracket is that there’s less of a chance of running into an upsell scenario. Your HVAC technician may still have recommendations for future care, but the tone of the conversation will likely be a bit more educational rather than sales-like.
Above all, go with a servicer you feel is trustworthy and has your best interest in mind.
But why does all this matter? Your air conditioner seems to be running fine at the moment, so what’s the big deal? Well, HVAC tune-ups are beneficial for several reasons when done regularly, all of which can be felt directly.
Why HVAC Tune-Ups Matter
There are a couple of upsides to scheduling regular tune-ups. Most of the time, maintenance benefits are invisible and often unfelt. With HVAC tune-ups, things are a bit different. Keeping up on maintenance can help you save on bills, prolong your system’s lifespan, improve air quality, and boost your comfort.
Save on Bills
Like any household appliance, an HVAC system can start to run less efficiently over time. Without regular tune-ups, an HVAC system will lose efficiency and start to nickel and dime you on your energy bills.
Cleaning away debris and build-up from the outside unit can increase efficiency by promoting better airflow. This means that your system won’t be working as hard to do its job and keep your family comfortable without breaking the bank.
Improve Air Quality
Going hand in hand with saving on bills is improved air quality. While these two reasons seem unrelated, their causes are often one and the same.
The same debris and build-up talked about earlier can directly impact the air quality in your home. Dirt and dust can stack up and infiltrate your HVAC system, dirtying your filters faster and rendering them less effective.
During a tune-up, a technician will clear away any dirt, dust, or debris that could potentially be affecting your home’s air quality.
Prolong System Lifespan
HVAC systems are often related to cars for several reasons, but one of the main comparisons is in the way they require regular maintenance. Think of it this way, if a car goes without an oil change, you can bet you’ll run into some serious issues if it goes without for an extended period.
HVAC systems are the same in that they require regular maintenance to stay in the game. The average life of an air conditioner or furnace is 15 to 20 years. To reach that 15 to 20-year mark, you’ll need to stay up on maintenance.
If you don’t keep up with maintenance, you can expect your air conditioner or furnace to peter out well before the expected lifespan is up.
Maintain Warranty Status
Another big reason you’ll want to schedule tune-ups for your HVAC system is that not doing so will tank your warranty. Many air conditioner and furnace brands require you to schedule maintenance and keep a record of any tune-ups performed for an air conditioner or furnace to qualify for warranty coverage.
If you slack on maintenance, you can expect the manufacturer to cut you out of the warranty. You can also expect some hefty bills if anything goes wrong with your air conditioner or furnace post-disqualification.
One of the main signs that it might be time for a tune-up is that adjusting your thermostat does little to improve your comfort. You might be getting up more often to adjust the thermostat or find that it’s taking longer and longer to heat or cool a room.
HVAC tune-ups are a quick and easy way to ensure your system is running at its most efficient to promote better comfort for you and your family.
Along with performing standard maintenance, HVAC technicians working a tune-up service call can also diagnose potential issues down the road. While it’s within your rights to deny any further service, it’s always good to get an idea of where your system is at and what you can expect in the future.
Now You Know the Importance of HVAC Tune-Ups
By now, you’ve gone through what an HVAC tune-up includes, how much they cost, and several key reasons why they matter. With this information in mind, you can better understand what a technician is up to while servicing your HVAC system. You’ll also be able to engage with the technician more confidently during your scheduled tune-up.
We get it; keeping up with HVAC maintenance is often out of sight and out of mind. But we’ve seen firsthand what a large role HVAC tune-ups play in reducing bills, increasing longevity and comfort, and preventing major issues. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and think it’s about time you got a tune-up, call us at (310) 853- 8690 or visit our HVAC services page to book an appointment.
If you’re unsure of when a good time to get an HVAC tune-up is, it’s best to familiarize yourself before reaching out for an appointment. But the work doesn’t stop at tune-ups. There are many ways to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency in between scheduled appointments to keep your home temperature optimal and your family comfortable.