ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) is a trade organization with more than 60,000 members that helps promote professionalism by establishing best practices and standards. Based on their following statement, I believe it is safe to say they recommend routine maintenance for your AC system:
“For the public good, it is essential that residential Heating Ventilating and Air-conditioning (HVAC) systems support a comfortable, healthy indoor environment and operate efficiently throughout its lifecycle.”
Most contractors offer tune-ups and maintenance plans at various pricing. I’ve seen some tune-up specials for low as $19! But what are they doing at this price point…are they providing a report, are they actually cleaning or inspecting anything, are they following the ACCA developed standard? I don’t know, but what I can tell you is that this standard is 66 pages long and outlines the tasks that should be performed for a maintenance program (you can download and lumber through the document at < ahref="https://www.acca.org/viewdocument/quality-maintenance-of-residential-hvac-systems" target="_blank">https://www.acca.org/viewdocument/quality-maintenance-of-residential-hvac-systems). The recommended tasks are pretty comprehensive and will take some time to actually complete…which leads me to believe that not all tune-ups and maintenance programs are created equal.
You can vet a contractor’s maintenance approach a couple of different ways. Ask them how long the service will take. Twenty minutes is not enough time to properly go through the system. Do they provide a report? This will provide a record of the status of the AC system which can be very helpful in the future for determining issues. Ask them to provide a copy of the blank checklist they use. Not having one is probably not a good sign.