Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog


AC Tuneup Checklist

A springtime or summertime AC tuneup cuts your cooling bills — and dramatically lessens the possibility your system will breakdown over the summer. But what exactly do HVAC technicians do during AC tuneups? Check out the official Vertex Mechanical AC tuneup checklist to learn exactly what your HVAC expert is doing and how it keeps your system running at peak condition.

When performed by an HVAC pro, an AC tuneup can:

  • Reduce the risk of a breakdown
  • Increase unit lifespan
  • Lower your cooling bills

We always recommend that homeowners get their systems ready prior to the summer. As efficient and powerful as modern AC systems are, they aren’t built to be as indestructible as in decades past. Basically, when one little thing goes wrong, the chance of a more serious failure becomes significantly higher. Follow along on our HVAC tuneup checklist to see how we get your system ready for summer — while hunting for the signs of a potential breakdown.

23 Point Air Conditioning Tuneup Checklist

The Vertex Mechanical AC Tuneup is designed to get your system in top shape — and to catch the signs of a possible AC breakdown before it happens.

1. Check the Outdoor Refrigerant Lines

HVAC technician checking outdoor refrigerant lines of AC unit

Our technicians inspect the refrigerant lines for signs of physical damage. While something as simple as a stone ricocheting from a lawn mower is enough to damage it, a damaged refrigerant line can begin leaking. If too much refrigerant leaks out of your system, you won’t have an AC until it’s fixed.

2. Inspect the Refrigerant Line Insulation

If not insulated properly, the refrigerant line can condense and water will drip onto the floor. This item is on our air conditioning tuneup checklist because that dripping water can grow hidden patches of mold in your home.

3. Inspect the Indoor Unit Coil for Dirt

HVAC technician inspecting AC indoor unit coil

An important part of our AC Unit Tuneup, we ensure the unit coil is clean and free of dirt and debris. If dirt and dust get past the filter, they will settle on the coil, making your system less efficient.

4. Check the Outdoor Unit Coil

Since good air flow is key to a healthy HVAC system, we check to make sure the unit coil has enough air intake. Things as small as bush branches or grass clippings can partially block the coil.

5. Inspect the Filter

air filter inspection by Vertex Mechanical

Since filters are important to your own health and the health of your system, we make sure you’re using the right filter and you’re changing it regularly.

Learn more about how to know if you’re using the right filter.

6. Examine the Blower that Pushes Cooled Air

Our technicians examine the blower fan for dirt and dust that can make the fan less effective.

7. Inspect the Condensate

Inspection of the condensate to see if it's blocked during ac tuneup

If this is blocked, it can cause water to leak. Once again, it’s a mold hazard on your ceiling or floor.

8. Lubricate the System

The moving parts in some older models need lubricated. We handle this as part of the seasonal AC tuneup.

9. Test the Motor Capacitors

electrical meter used to test most of the electrical components during ac tuneup

An electrical component on our AC tuneup checklist, we ensure the electrical motors are functioning properly. Generally, if the electrical components fail, the system fails. This is the number one reason for no-AC service calls.

10. Inspect the Air Handler for Leaks

As part of the tuneup, we make sure your air handler is sealed. Excessive air handler leakage can pull unconditioned air into the system.

11. Check the Safety Disconnect

safety disconnect shutoff box used to cut electricity to an AC unit

The safety disconnect is a shutoff box which cuts electricity to the unit. We make sure it’s connected, so the electricity isn’t cut and your AC will run.

12. Access Refrigerant Caps for Correct Torque

If your system loses too much refrigerant, your AC will fail. Since refrigerant can leak in absence of proper torque, we always ensure the caps are tight enough.

13. Check the Thermostat Calibration

This is one of the most important steps on our HVAC tuneup checklist. Having a functional AC system is great, but if the thermostat isn’t calibrated, it won’t cool the way you tell it to. We check the calibration to make sure it’s listening to your wall thermostat.

14. Look for Bug and Rodent Issues

HVAC technician cleaning bugs off electrical compartments of an air conditioner

Unfortunately, bugs and rodents enjoy playing around in the electrical compartments of air conditioners. We check to make sure there are no chewed wires or other electrical issues.

15. Wax the Unit

As part of our AC tuneup checklist, our technicians wax the unit to prevent rust and to help the paint last longer.

16. Inspect the Fan Blade for Balance

inspection of fan blade balance on air conditioning unit

If ice forms on the blades of your air conditioner during the winter, it can throw them off-balance during the spring and summer. If the blades are off-balance, it will cause the unit to shake more than normal, resulting in cracked components — like refrigerant lines.

17. Ensure the Outdoor Unit is Level and Draining Properly

If the unit isn’t level, it can strain the system, causing damage to the refrigerant lines.

18. Check the Wooden AC Unit Platform

Simple but very important, we also make sure the platform the main AC unit sits on is secure. If the unit ever does fall, the refrigerant lines can strain and break.

19. Measure the AC Unit Amp Draw

Lancaster, PA HVAC technician measuring the AC unit amp draw

Excessive amperage draw is an indication of possible issues with the compressor or with the air flow. Measuring the amps gives us a warning if something could break down the road. That way we can fix the issue preemptively rather than as an emergency.

20. Inspect the Reversing Valve

Since most air conditioners also serve as electric heat pumps, one unit handles both the heating and the cooling. The reversing valve is what allows them to switch back and forth. If the valve fails, you won’t have your AC. Sure, air will still blow, but it won’t be cold. That’s why we ALWAYS inspect this crucial component.

21. Accurately Check the Refrigerant Levels

refrigerant levels being checked using an ultra-precise digital gauge during AC tuneup

Refrigerant levels show up a lot in this AC tuneup checklist because they are crucial to the system’s operations. While many technicians from other HVAC companies check with an analog gauge, they can only show a range. We check your EXACT refrigerant levels, using an ultra-precise digital gauge.

22. Check the Capacitor

Capacitors have an average lifespan of 3 years, but are inexpensive to replace. If we see the capacitor is on its way out, we’ll replace it. Having us swap it out when we’re already there is much better than making an emergency call for it.

23. Measure the Static Air Pressure

Finally, we measure static air pressure as a method to determine if your duct system can deliver the amount of air put into it. Essentially, our HVAC experts are looking for duct systems that are undersized for the equipment feeding them.

Schedule your AC Tuneup with Vertex Mechanical

AC tuneup performed by Vertex Mechanical at home in Lancaster County

Interested in scheduling an AC tuneup with Vertex Mechanical? The best time to schedule your AC tuneup is before the early summer rush — and before your system must work hard to keep you cool.

At Vertex Mechanical, we are a local company dedicated to providing you the HVAC service you really need. We provided you with this AC tuneup checklist as a way to know what our technicians are doing and why.

Learn more about joining our Comfort Shield Club.

Our AC tuneups keep your system running strong and save you money every month. Contact us to schedule your tuneup now!

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