The sweltering hot weather of summer is on us again. We highly recommend getting your AC ready for summer as one of the worst case scenarios is to have your air conditioner break down in the middle of it. This is made even all the more worse if you are living under a stay at home order. Avoid this by learning the 4 benefits of AC maintenance below.
When Should I Have AC Maintenance Performed?
Your owner’s manual should give all maintenance recommendations, including the time frame. Most units need regular maintenance once a year, depending on type of model, performance, usage, etc. In fact, those of you who like a lower than normal temperature, smoke indoors, suffer from allergies, and/or have pets may need it performed more often.
1. Preventative Maintenance
Regular AC maintenance is essential because it can prevent a costly air conditioning repair. Maintenance allows your system to run at optimal levels which has tons of benefits such as:
- Better energy efficiency leading to lower power bills.
- Lower environmental impact.
- Extension of equipment’s lifespan.
- Prevention of costly and unnecessary breakdowns.
- Better system safety.
- Prevention of costly and potentially hazardous leaks.
Your AC maintenance technician should be able to clean, inspect the filters, perform coolant refills, test the unit, and more. In the summer, AC techs can have their hands full with customers who waited until the last minute to get their air conditioner checked. As a result, the waiting times can be rather long. In fact, many will find a problem with their unit the first time they start it up during the warm month. It’s best to find out before the challenging weather so you don’t suffer one day or night of unbearable temperature.
2. Coil Cleanings
A central air conditioner typically has the condenser located outdoors. You can identify it as a large metal box with grills on the sides. Behind the grills are fan blades. The grills are used to keep out debris, but it can still pile up throughout the year. They can become full of leaves, dirt, animal droppings, and much more. Any obstruction to the flow of air cuts down the efficiency of the condenser. The coils and surrounding areas should be cleaned at the beginning of every cooling season. Cleaning the coils isn’t an easy or safe job, and a professional should do it for you.
3. Check the Lines
One of the worst ways for an air conditioner to break down is a leak. Anything from hazardous refrigerant to water can escape the unit. In the worst cases, the fluid can do serious damage to your home before it is noticed. You should stay ahead of this by checking the coolant and drainage lines. The refrigerant tubes or pipes generally run from the evaporator on top of the air handler to the condenser outside are often covered in line insulation to prevent them from losing energy. Check for areas where the insulation is frayed or missing. You may take this insulation to your local hardware store in order to get replacements. Your owner’s manual can also tell you where the drainage is on your unit. You should also check the lines and drains to ensure they are in good condition and are flowing well.
4. Replace or Clean the Filters
We’ve mentioned it before, but it is essential you clean and/or replace the filters in your air conditioner unit on a regular basis. Manuals usually recommend doing so every six months, but you may need to do so more based on usage, number of occupants on the property, and other factors. Best of all, filters are relatively inexpensive, and you can just slide the old ones out and new ones in for most makes and models. Make sure the air conditioning filters you are buying fit your current system, as there are many configurations. Click here to read a helpful guide from Consumer Reports on the best air conditioning filters you can buy on the market today.