Instinctively, you may have a sense that your air conditioner should be regularly maintained. After all, most important appliances and systems generally experience issues with worn out parts or the collection of dirt over time. You wouldn’t drive your car indefinitely without a tune-up, and you should provide just as much care for your home comfort equipment. Some AC maintenance efforts can be handled with a DIY approach, but there are other steps that should be provided by a certified HVAC technician.
At-Home AC Maintenance
One of the most frequent and important basic care tips for your AC is regular filter changing. Install a new filter prior to operating your system for cooling or for circulating the air. Check the dimensions of the previous filter, measuring for height, width, and depth. You may find these measurements printed on the filter’s cardboard border. If you have to measure, however, be sure to round up fractional results to the nearest whole number.
Check your filter monthly after the inaugural use of your AC system for the season. If your air conditioner runs nonstop through the summer, you may want to inspect your filter every week to check for issues like buckling or excessive clogging. The main reason the filter is used is to keep material from settling inside your air handler and affecting equipment performance. A buckled filter allows more dirt into the area, and a clogged unit can restrict airflow while stressing your compressor.
If your system is being used extensively, you may want to spray the outside coils in your condenser unit to remove excess dirt. Use a gentle spray to avoid damaging coil fins. Your HVAC technician will do a more extensive cleanup of these and your indoor evaporator coils during an AC tune-up.
Professional Inspection and Fine-Tuning
Each spring, you should schedule an AC maintenance visit with your cooling contractor. Your technician will inspect your equipment on a point-by-point basis to check for wear and other problems. Electric components will be tested, your controls will be evaluated and recalibrated as needed, and refrigerant levels will be checked and adjusted. Coil cleaning and refrigerant recharging can make a dramatic difference in the performance of a system that has previously been ignored. Additionally, regular tune-up service can reduce your risk of air conditioner repair issues while increasing the potential lifespan of your system. Consider some of the following energy usage facts:
- A 10 percent shortfall in refrigerant can increase cooling energy usage by 20 percent.
- Dirty indoor and outdoor coils can add 30 percent to your cooling costs.
- A faulty thermostat may lead to excessive use of your system. An eight-hour change of one degree can represent one percent of the energy needed to cool your home.
Ray’s HVAC is dedicated to providing comprehensive air conditioning support as needed in your Schaumburg, IL, home. Our team can conduct routine maintenance for your cooling system before the summer temperatures climb. We can also assist you in exploring explanations for poor comfort control and energy efficiency results. In many cases, preventive maintenance resolves both issues. Contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment.