Air Conditioner Maintenance: Why It’s Important to Service Your AC

An air conditioning system is an important investment for a homeowner. If properly cared for, a central air conditioner should last 15-20 years. Air conditioner maintenance is a crucial measure that helps ensure the cooling unit operates at peak performance and lasts as long as possible. Not only does having an HVAC company service your AC decrease the risk for stressful repairs or a costly replacement, but it prolongs the system’s life-span and energy efficiency.

When Should You Service Your AC?

Summer is obviously the most important time of year when it comes to air conditioning. The last thing you want is your AC to breakdown during sweltering heat, so you should schedule annual air conditioner maintenance during the spring. Even if you haven’t noticed any problems, a yearly inspection is still highly recommended. The key to effective upkeep of a home investment is prevention. The best course of action is to not wait until the system is malfunctioning to have a professional inspect it. The longer you delay a checkup, the worse your air conditioner’s performance will be. For every year a unit goes without being serviced, it loses 5% of its efficiency. Over time, that loss can add up quickly and lead to larger issues and the massive headache of burdensome repairs or a total replacement.

The Cost of Air Conditioner Maintenance

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Typically, a routine service visit will cost around $70-100. This payment is minuscule compared to the costs it helps prevent. Repairs due to negligence can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.If your unit is ignored for long enough, you might need to replace it which will probably cost thousands.

In addition to repairs, consider the indirect cost of your energy bill. The harder a unit has to work to keep you home cool, the more energy it guzzles up, leaving you with painfully high electricity bills. In fact, a unit that’s running correctly and efficiently can reduce energy costs up to 25%. So while it may seem like you’re saving a quick buck by letting your unit go unserviced, in reality you’re creating long-term financial hardships.

How Does an HVAC Company Maintain an Air Conditioner?

There are a handful of steps an HVAC company should take to service your AC. These measures help identify potential problems as well as give the unit an overall tune up.

Filter

A clean filter ensures that the air in your home is fresh and that the rest of the unit is protected from dirt, pollen, and dust. A dirty filter puts strain on the system and causes it to work extra hard, leading to higher energy usage. An HVAC company will replace the filter or clean it if it’s reusable. While a filter can be taken care of during yearly servicing, it’s recommended you check it every month or so and replace or clean when needed.

Coils

The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing the heat from inside the home and the condenser coil pushes that heat out. Since the evaporator coil also removes humidity from your home, it tends to hold moisture and is therefore susceptible to trapping debris like dirt, pollen, and dust. This buildup can also interfere with the condenser coil’s function. Cleaning the coils thoroughly maintains your system’s cooling and dehumidifying ability.

Drain Line

The drain line allows the moisture collected by the coils to be expelled. If the drain is blocked or dirty, the proper flow of condensation is inhibited. Not only can this result in mold or algae growth, but humidity will be unable to exit the home causing a muggy indoor environment and possible water damage. Having the drain regularly cleaned will help decrease the risk of clogging and the issues that come with it.

Condensate Pan

The moisture that flows out of your unit through the drain line is then deposited onto the condensate pan. Cleaning the pan removes buildup of mold and algae that not only creates unpleasant odors, but causes backups and clogs in the drain line. A technician should also do a visual inspection of the pan to check for tiny holes caused by erosion. These holes lead to leaks and require replacement of the pan.

Refrigerant

If your AC is blowing warm air instead of cool, this is indicative of an insufficient amount of refrigerant. Refrigerant allows your unit to cool the air so without it, the unit is ineffective. By checking your refrigerant level, a technician can discover if you have a leak causing refrigerant loss and can remedy the problem.

Leveling the Unit

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Your outdoor unit may end up leaning to one side and becoming uneven over time. If the unit is not flat on the ground, its function could be compromised. Refrigerant may not flow correctly, water may have difficulty draining, and the unit will be subject to excess strain. Leveling the unit is imperative and best left to a professional to prevent any damage.

Need a Company With Experience in Air Conditioner Maintenance?

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It’s difficult to overstate the importance of air conditioner maintenance, and it’s even more important to choose the best HVAC company possible to help you care for your investment. Drew Green Heating & Cooling has nearly a decade of experience serving Lake County, the North Shore, and Northern areas of Chicago. All of our technicians are professionally trained and certified. We offer the preventative maintenance services you need to keep your AC running smoothly so you can live comfortably and stress-free. We guarantee you will be satisfied with our service, and if not, we will return for free. You can have peace of mind in choosing to work with Drew Green Heating and Cooling – contact us today.

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