Spring is here, which means summer isn’t far behind. Soon air conditioners will be humming 24/7 across the region to keep us comfortable in the heat, and if yours isn’t ready to go, now’s the time to schedule your preseason air conditioner tune-up. HVAC experts, the U.S. Department of Energy and system manufacturers all recommend a yearly comprehensive inspection and tune-up for several reasons:
- It increases the efficiency of your air conditioner.
- Efficiency means your air conditioner will use less energy to keep you cool, lowering your carbon footprint.
- Lower energy consumption results in lower energy bills for your home.
- A tune-up helps prevent common and costly air conditioner problems during the hottest part of the summer, when your system is working its hardest.
- Annual preventive maintenance is the number one factor in extending the operating life of your air conditioner and preventing the premature failure of individual essential components.
Always choose a reputable HVAC contractor with knowledgeable, skilled technicians to ensure the best service and work that’s guaranteed. Reputable companies make sure that their technicians undergo continual training to keep up with new technologies and changing standards.
What’s Involved in a Tune-Up?
Your air conditioner tune-up will include a number of essential tasks that will increase system efficiency and longevity, including these key points:
- Lubricate the parts of the system that move, such as the fan and motor, to prevent friction.
- Tighten the electrical connections.
- Clean and inspect essential components for damage.
- Inspect your ductwork for air leaks, which can reduce comfort and raise your energy bills, and obstructions, which can impede airflow and result in overheating.
- Test the electric control of your air conditioner to ensure it cycles properly. Improper cycling reduces your comfort and takes a heavy toll on your system.
- Measure the level of refrigerant and check for leaks. Refrigerant leaks are bad for the environment and prevent your air conditioner from maintaining a high level of comfort in your home. If a leak is detected, it will be repaired and tested, and your system will be topped off with the correct level of refrigerant.
- Inspect the coils for scale and grime, which can prevent the optimum exchange of heat and reduce the efficiency of your system.
- Inspect the terminals and wires for corrosion and rust, and apply a nonconductive coating if needed to help prevent rust and corrosion from developing.
- Measure the airflow of your system to ensure proper operation and optimum cooling.
- Flush the condensate drain to prevent clogs during periods of high humidity.
Steps You Can Take
In addition to your professional air conditioner tune-up, there are a number of things you can do to help your air conditioner keep you comfortable all summer long while lowering its cooling load.
- Every month, inspect your air conditioner’s air filter. When it’s clogged with dust and you can no longer see the filter material, replace it with a clean filter. A dirty air filter allows dust buildup inside your system and restricts airflow. A clean filter is essential for efficiency and comfort, and for improving your indoor air quality.
- Hose down the outdoor condensing unit of your air conditioner every month. Dirt on the coil and debris trapped in the metal fins can interfere with the exchange of heat and restrict airflow. Keep plant growth at least 18 inches away from the outdoor unit.
- Keep the area around your indoor unit clean to prevent dust from entering the system and to keep your condensate pan free of debris that can cause clogs, resulting in water backing up and shutting down your system.
- Seal air leaks around doors, windows and service entrances to prevent conditioned air from escaping and hot air from entering your home, making your air conditioner work harder to keep you cool.
- Turn on ceiling fans in occupied rooms to create a breeze that makes you feel cooler. Be sure to turn them off when you leave the room to save on electricity costs: Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms.
- Keep your shades drawn during the hottest part of the day to help combat solar heat gain, which can heat up your rooms quickly and make your air conditioner work overtime.
- Use your heat-generating appliances during the early morning or evening hours to keep them from heating up your home.
For more expert advice about staying cool this summer at the lowest cost, or to schedule your air conditioner tune-up with one of our skilled technicians, please feel free to contact us at All American Heating & Cooling.
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