There’s nothing better than turning on your air conditioner on a hot, humid summer day and enjoying the cool comfort it provides. But did you know that in order for it to run its absolute best, it should receive regular maintenance? That’s why we recommend to our customers that they contact us in the spring to schedule their AC maintenance, before the hot weather hits. But many people wonder, is air conditioning maintenance worth the price tag attached?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), proper air conditioning maintenance is crucial. They state, “Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.” That means your air c
onditioner won’t do as much to keep your home comfortable during the hot weather, but your energy use – and your utility bills – will increase. And nobody wants that! The DOE explains how maintenance can help your system run more efficiently this summer and for years to come.
AC Filter Cleaning & Changing
It seems almost too simple, but the most important maintenance task when it comes to the efficiency of your air conditioner system is routinely replacing or cleaning of the filter. Why? Because once your air conditioner’s filter gets clogged and dirty, the air simply cannot flow through easily. And that reduces your system’s efficiency, making it use more energy to run, and thus hiking up your utility bills.
Evaporator & Condenser Coil Cleaning
Your air conditioner has evaporator and condenser coils, and they collect dirt and debris during their months of use – especially if the filters aren’t changed frequently. When the evaporator coils get dirty, airflow is reduced and they lose their ability to absorb heat. Outside, your condenser coils are at the mercy of nature – especially in environments where there’s a lot of foliage and/or dust getting kicked up. For your part, you can reduce the chance of debris getting into your condenser coils by keeping the area clear of falling leaves, dryer vent discharge and lawn mower clippings. Coil fins will also be checked for bending and will be “combed” back into original position if needed.
Part of your annual maintenance includes clearing out your air conditioning unit’s condensate drain channels. If these become clogged, your unit will not be able to effectively remove humidity… and that can lead to excess moisture in your home. Unfortunately, too much moisture can lead to discoloration of walls, carpet and furniture, and can encourage mold and mildew growth.
Your technician will make sure your system has the correct amount of refrigerant, and if not, they will test for leaks. Then, they’ll capture any of the refrigerant that needs to be evacuated from the system. (It’s illegal to release refrigerant into the environment, because of the potentially harmful effects.) Any leaks will be repaired, and the technician will make sure your system is charged with the proper amount of refrigerant.
Keeping an eye on your air conditioning systems electrical system is also important – issues with the electrical system can cause your AC to malfunction. Your technician will ensure that your system is operating under the correct electrical control sequence, and that your AC and furnace can’t operate at the same time. They’ll also inspect all electric terminals, and tighten and clean connections.
As you can see, there are many moving parts to your air conditioning system, and making sure they’re all working together in harmony is an important part of keeping your AC running effectively and efficiently. At Stafford, we’re pleased to offer our customers air conditioning maintenance agreements that will help you get comprehensive AC services for your home. So don’t hesitate – give us a call at 860.684.9485 to get your spring maintenance scheduled today!