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Do I Need an AC / Furnace Tune-Up or a Repair Service Call?

Do I Need an AC / Furnace Tune-Up or a Repair Service Call?

Our administrative staff has gotten very good at being intuitive about what a potential customer needs from a Red Deer Heating and Air Conditioning service technician.
With all that fancy HVAC jargon like AC tune-up, diagnostic service call, HVAC inspection, or safety inspection – how are you supposed to know what it is that you should be asking for when you call in?

We’re going to narrow it down to our most needed services.
Let’s talk about how to tell if you need an AC tune-up or a diagnostic service call.
Some people will call into Red Deer Heating and AC and say they need us to come out and do a tune-up on their system.
So, we’ll ask them something like, “Is your system currently working okay?” or, “Are you having any problems with your system right now?” and they’ll say, “Yeah, but I notice a burnt smell coming from the registers and not as much air seems to be coming out.” Or, “Yeah, but it’s not as cool as it used to be in here, so I just thought you could come out and add some freon.”
So, here’s a chance for us to clarify the difference between a diagnostic service call and an AC tune-up.
The main points we want to identify with you when you call into Red Deer Heating and AC Services is, whether your system is running just fine or if you’re calling because you think something just isn’t right with the AC.
Folks who call us for a tune-up think their system is running just fine. They just believe in doing preventive maintenance on their system will make their system not only cleaner but make it last longer.
When we come out on a tune-up, we have a checklist of things we are looking at.
The main components of the system; Your thermostat, your filters, and the ductwork.

We’re also checking things like the temperature of the air coming out of the registers in your rooms versus the temperature of the air going into where your filter is.
Then we start looking into the major components like the motors and devices in the system that make your machine work.
With our meters and other testing equipment, we can see what’s going on inside the motor.
Is it working too hard? Is the right voltage being applied to it? Is there enough refrigerant in the system?
On top of the mechanical components of the system, we also look at the drainage system, refrigerant metering devices, high voltage wiring, and tighten connections as needed.
We can also check for shrubs around the AC that might prevent proper heat transfer.
We’ll also make sure the unit is level, and of course, clean the AC as well. Your utility company and Red Deer Heating and AC knows a clean air conditioner and heating system will last longer than a dirty one.
If your system isn’t running quite the way you think it should be, meaning Friday before we went camping for the weekend, the AC was working just fine and now there isn’t any air coming out in the register.
This means you’re calling for a diagnostic service call.
Some people just call it a service call. Here, your technician will ask you a few questions about your system and go straight to the problem so you can begin cooling as soon as possible.
They will not be interested in combing the entire system with a fine toothcomb. But they will make sure the rest of your AC is functioning properly so you won’t have any foreseeable problems.
Having said that, your technician is probably not going to replace your capacitor in the outdoor unit and also discover that your drain line isn’t functioning properly since you didn’t say anything leading them to believe something was wrong with it.
Another example would be something like discovering your compressor was bad but two weeks later your control board goes out because of a fractured solder connection.
That’s something we’d likely see and tell you about on a furnace tune-up, in the winter, but not look for when we are just trying to get your system cooling again on a 100-degree day.
On tune-ups, we are looking for anything that might be running well on your system as well as what’s running poorly, or could potentially break soon.
We’re also there to clear the condensate drainpipes and clean the system.
On diagnostic service calls, we are mainly focused on getting you back up and running as soon as possible.
Technicians will pretty much look around the unit they are working on, like if the AC outside has a capacitor goes out and you thought the system was working just fine until yesterday when you called us, they’ll likely just change the capacitor.
We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t sometimes. Because some folks want to pay as little as possible to get their system back up and running, and almost find it offensive if we recommend other repairs that might not prevent the system from running today, but could go out in the foreseeable future.
Others say, “Well, why didn’t you bring that up last time you were here two months ago?”
Whether you need a simple tune-up or a diagnostic service call, it’s going to be the same price at Red Deer Heating and AC so there’s no better call than to have us come out.
Now that you know the difference, you’ll be better prepared to make the phone call to your HVAC company and tell them which service you need.
A tune-up won’t correct a broken system, much like a tune-up or oil change on a car isn’t going to fix your transmission problem.
Tune-ups may identify some issues with your system that you didn’t know existed.
At the same time, a diagnostic service call may identify the need for regular preventive maintenance in the form of a tune-up.
There are a few choices for you – partly driven by budget – either way – give us a call and we’ll recommend a simple service or a full tune-up and inspection of your furnace and air conditioner.

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