Air conditioning unit preventative maintenance

dirty hvac coilSummer is here, the season when temperatures rise and our AC works overtime to keep us comfortable. Homeowners hope this all works as planned, but as anyone who’s AC has gone out during a heat wave knows – when it breaks you’re miserable.

Fortunately there are several preventative maintenance steps homeowners can take to ensure their AC unit functions properly and efficiently. Doing so not only helps with energy use and electricity bills, but it can reduce the chance of seasonal breaks and expensive repairs.

Just as regular car maintenance extends the lifespan of a car, scheduled maintenance on your AC can help avoid costly major repairs down the line. Below are some important preventative maintenance steps that can prolong the life of an AC unit:

Check and Replace Air Filters Regularly — Dirty filters greatly reduce a system’s efficiency and are a major cause of breakdowns. Replacing filters regularly can help energy consumption and the air inside the home. Experts recommend replacing every 1-2 months during the summer, or more frequently if other factors such as extreme dust or shedding pets are present.

Check Coolant – Be sure to check coolant levels and test for leaks using a leak detector. Be sure to capture any refrigerant that needs to come out of the system (do not release into the atmosphere).

Electrical Check – It’s important to inspect an AC unit’s the wiring. Faulty connections can be a fire hazard or ultimately damage AC unit.

Check AC Coils (Condenser and Evaporator Coils) – Replacing an AC unit’s air filter regularly helps keep its evaporator coil clean, but the coils themselves also need attention. Over time coils can collect dirt that affects the unit’s ability absorb heat. Check and clean evaporator and condenser coils as needed to increase efficiency.

Visual Spot Check – Regularly check around the outside unit for leaves and debris. Clean the areas to be sure there are no leaves or dirt that will interfere with airflow around the condenser. It can also help to have shade trees around, but make sure they are no closer than 2-3 feet from the unit.

Cover Outdoor Unit in Off-Season – During the winter it’s a good idea to cover your outdoor unit to protect it from the elements.

Consult A Professional – There are steps responsible homeowners can take to extend the life and efficiency of their AC unit, and several of the above are things they can easily do themselves. However, if repairs are needed or there are any potentials issues it’s important to contact a qualified, trained professional. He or she knows what to look for and can identify and fix problems before they get worse.

Remember, some basic preventative maintenance can save you from an inconvenient, expensive emergency down the line. If you need professional assitance with your AC unit, please call us at 281-367-5267 or click here to schedule a service call.

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 – 09:28:00 AM CST

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