In this podcast, Greg Kula talks about spring AC tune-ups. He explains why they’re important, what to do between appointments, and how a maintenance plan can help you save.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Greg Kula of Jones Services, a service company in Goshen, New York with a focus on ductless heating and cooling systems. Today we’re talking about spring air conditioning tune ups. Welcome, Greg.
Greg Kula: Thank you. Thank you.
Importance of Spring Tune Ups
John: Yeah, yeah. So Greg, whether someone has a central air AC system or a ductless air conditioning system, why is spring tune up and maintenance important?
Greg: So maintenance on an air conditioning system, I typically relate it to a car. Same reason why you want to get your car inspected every year. You want to make sure the vehicle, or your system is working well and it’s not going to break down on you on the day you actually need it.
So what we look to do is in the springtime for the air conditioning, we come out and do a full maintenance on the system just to make sure we could get you through the summer. So 4th of July, anytime any weekend that you have family over or even during the week, you’re not going to come home to a hot house, you’re going to come home to a comfortable house.
Elements of a Spring Tune-Up
John: So what’s involved in a spring AC tune up when someone comes out to my house to do their maintenance?
Greg: So with the spring AC tune up, when our technicians come to the home of a customer, we focus on the indoor and outdoor unit. So inside we’re cleaning the coils, we’re making sure the drain line is clear and not obstructive. The condensation is going down the drain properly, which is basically just water. We’re checking some electrical components outside.
We want to make sure there’s no leaks building up in it. The outdoor coils are not building up grass, pollen, or anything worse. The electrical components, we’ll go through making sure no mice or anything moved in during the wintertime and we want to make sure it’s clean and ready to go. Sometimes some of the electrical components will start to get weak over time and we catch it before they break down is really the goal.
How Long Does a Spring Tune-Up Take?
John: How long do they typically take when someone comes out and does a spring tune up?
Greg: It depends on the system itself. If we’re there every year doing maintenance every single year, typically about 60 to 90 minutes. The homes that we go to that it’s been a couple of years, it may take 90 minutes to 2 hours, sometimes longer. It really depends how dirty the system is.
Do You Need a Tune-Up If You Change Your Filters Regularly?
John: Right. Do I need to get a spring tune up even if I am going in and changing the filters myself on a regular basis?
Greg: So changing the filters is awesome if you’re doing it yourself, all the filters have a lifespan of how long they should last. Depending on your usage, your activity in the house, if you have a lot of animals in the home or kids running around, they’re going to get dirtier quicker, which the filters typically don’t last an entire year until we’re back.
So what we do is everything your filter does not catch, we clean out. So anything that goes through the filter or you forget to replace the filter often enough, some customers don’t even know where the filter is. We’re going back there replacing it while we’re there if the customer has one. And then we’re also doing the cleaning of all the stuff the filter will not catch.
Benefits of Maintenance Plans
John: And is it a good idea to get on a maintenance plan if I plan on doing a tune up on a regular basis?
Greg: Yeah, so one, you get the maintenance with the maintenance plan. You get the annual cleaning where we come out and check it. There’s a couple other benefits. You get priority service. There’s no overtime fees, which is nice because now if you had a breakdown during the summer, you’re not paying any overtime fees for us coming out on the weekend, holiday, night, whatever it may be, and we’ll get to you a little bit quicker. And then there’s also some discounts that are associated with it, get some extra coupons and stuff throughout the year.
Do You Also Need Fall Tune-Ups?
John: Now ductless air conditioning systems also can do heat at least in the spring and the fall, and some of them can even go down to very low temperatures in the winter as well. So do you recommend also doing fall tune ups as well for the winter?
Greg: Absolutely. Especially if you’re using that unit all year long. Twice a year is great. If we could get there in the fall and the spring. So there’s a lot of miles that unit runs during the summer and during the winter, just like a car. So every many miles you want to do an oil change. Every so many hours of runtime you want to do a cleaning to your system. And what we find most is typically in the springtime, in the fall time, they’re definitely due for a good cleaning.
John: And do you guys clean the outdoor units as well? What do you typically find… that there’s like leaves and things like that that get caught in the outdoor system, and how dirty do those get?
Greg: They get pretty dirty. The more they run, the more pollen and grass and just junk they’re going to collect depending on the area that they’re actually based in. Some areas we want to hose down more often because you’re going to get a lot of just different particles and pollen, and if you’re by a busy roadway, you’re going to get a lot of dust coming off the road. And with that dust you’ll actually lose a lot of efficiency, which for the homeowner means their electric bill is going to slowly go up over time.
What to Do Between Maintenance Appointments
John: Is there anything else that a homeowner can do other than changing the filters regularly to keep their system running properly in between those maintenance visits?
Greg: Yeah, there’s definitely a couple of things you could do. One is to make sure the batteries in the thermostat are good. Make sure that the system itself is running how it’s designed, meaning every area in the home should be even temperatures. If there’s any spots that are hot or cold, that system’s working extra hard to try to keep up and get that area to where you want it, which is going to make it run longer, because more wear and tear over time.
So a lot of it is more just reaching out to us than having us come in the home and correct any issue. But with the customer at home, just keeping the batteries and thermostat good, keeping the filters clean, making sure there’s no sticks, leaves, or anything piling up outside on the unit. No kids are standing on it or running into it. It really helps maintain the lifespan of the unit.
When Do You Need Deep Cleaning?
John: So do you ever need a deeper cleaning to the unit? Something more than what’s usually covered in that yearly maintenance?
Greg: Every once in a while, we’ll find customers typically between three and five years of runtime. We’ll find that we’ll actually have to go in with a heavier duty chemical, which the chemical is food safe. It’s not harmful to anything except the grime and dirt that builds up on the coil. So this outdoor unit or indoor unit, we want to keep it as clean as we can just to make sure the customers get in the efficiency that they actually paid for day one, especially right now with the cost of electricity going up a lot, we want to make sure that more money stand in the customer’s pocket, not go into their utility company.
John: And so what’s involved in that deeper cleaning with that chemical? How do you do that?
Greg: So most of the time we’re dealing with the outdoor unit because of all the grass and the pollen around. That’s where most of the grind builds up. So we’ll take the outdoor unit, the jacket on it apart, and we’ll pull it all off and then we’ll actually take the sprayer and spray this chemical on that outdoor unit. Let it foam up. And the foam itself is what eats away at that grime and starts pushing all the grass and stuff out of that unit. Once it gets pulled out 5 to 10 minutes later, we’re able to hose it down and get it nice and clean.
Contact Jones Services to Schedule an AC Tune-Up
John: All right. Well that’s really great information, Greg. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Greg: Yeah, No problem.
John: For more information, you can visit the website at jonesservices.com or call 845-294-1010.