LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In my neighborhood, it’s already the air-conditioning season. If the hum of central-air units hasn’t quite hit your block yet, it’s coming.
And so it begs the question: Should I have my unit inspected?
The answer is yes. First, because this is Las Vegas. Heat is coming. Getting ahead of any problems that might arise during Southern Nevada’s baking summer is wise. And routine maintenance of any household system is the best way to make sure it lasts.
Think of your home’s AC system like a car. In your vehicle, you change your oil, rotate tires and flush the radiator, right? You do those things so the car won’t break down. Same with your air conditioning.
Don’t wait. An inspection should be done before each cooling season, especially on systems that are 10 years older or more.
You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 for a licensed technician to give your AC condenser a once-over. If you have a two-zone system — two outdoor condensers — that’s the inspection fee times two.
Here’s a checklist. Your technician should complete many or all of the following tasks:
- Cleaning condenser coils.
- Checking all lines, including suction line insulation.
- Testing compressor, fan motor and blower motor amp draws.
- Making sure refrigerant charge meets manufacturer specifications.
- The temperature drop on the evaporator coil should be checked.
- Checking supply registers and return vents for dirt and blockages.
- Replacing indoor filters.
- Flushing, cleaning drain line.
- Testing limit and safety control mechanisms.
- Cleaning condensate pump.
- Testing capacitors and connectors and visually inspecting for corrosion.
- Testing thermostat, blower shutoff and wiring.
- Visual examination of electrical components and connections.
- Testing static pressure — air flow present in the system — for efficiency.
- Checking for leaks in exposed ductwork.