What is the truth about why there’s always a big push to get your air conditioner serviced every year? Is this just self-serving so the service companies can make more money?
I like where you are going with this question and a home inspector is the right person to ask.
It does seem like these service companies are trying to make extra money on service, but in reality, they often lose money on the service call because the fee for the service is low. They make money on repairs when problems are found during a service call, and there are some very good reasons to have the service and make repairs on any problems found.
Systems that are serviced annually last far longer than buying an air conditioner and ignoring it until it dies. The cost of a new system is high, take care of it along the way. Would you buy a car and not change the oil until the engine fails or run the brakes until they no longer function? Of course not. Another financial reason is that the yearly costs for electricity can be drastically less in a properly maintained unit. The picture above shows what is called an evaporator coil (or indoor coil). That build-up of dust and lint on the coil is costing the homeowner a fortune in added operating costs. You can pay the electric company while you slowly kill your unit, or pay to maintain your air conditioner, it’s your choice.
Units with proper service perform better day-to-day. They will keep you and your family more comfortable on those really hot and humid days. The airflow throughout the home will likely be better and the temperature differential between the air crossing the filter and the air coming out of the registers will be within the proper range.
Have you ever noticed that important systems in your home always fail at critical times like on July 4th while you have a houseful of guests? Try getting a repairperson out on a holiday. It is an expensive, fun-sucking (yet memorable) event.
As the best inspectors in the Phoenix area, I can tell you that we know when a system has been properly maintained and when it has not. If you go to sell your home, it will likely be revealed to your buyer that the maintenance has not been so good which can cost you a home sale or cost you extra money servicing, repairing or even replacing the unit.
I hope this information helps provide some very good reasons why you should have your air conditioner serviced regularly. As has been said before, Just Do It!