There's no denying the fact that air conditioning repairs can be extremely costly especially if they are needed during the hot and humid months of summer. However, those repairs can also get expensive if you do not take care of your A/C unit prior to the warm weather by having regular preventative maintenance performed. Sometimes, a total replacement of the unit will be necessary if those repairs are going to be too costly.
Furthermore, a poorly operating A/C unit can add additional costs to your monthly electrical bills. The worse thing that you can do is to keep running your air conditioning when it hasn't been maintained properly or when you suspect that there may be a problem with it. If you hire an HVAC contractor to properly maintain your heating and air conditioning system then you won't have to worry about costly repair and replacement issues.
Seasonal check-ups on your HVAC system are always recommended. If you have a contractor or specialist doing preventative maintenance on your system, they will usually proceed according to a maintenance schedule. If you were going to develop your own maintenance checklist, these are some of the tasks that need to be included:
Air filters need to cleaned or replaced â�� depending on the type of air filters you use, you need to clean or replace them on a regular basis. A dirty air filter is the most common cause of A/C system breakdowns and failures. When your air filters are dirty, it causes your unit to work harder and degrades the quality of your indoor air.
All moving parts should be properly inspected and oiled â�� if the fans and motors in your unit are not properly oiled, they will run sluggishly. Sluggish fans and motors will cause your A/C unit to work harder which in turn will increase your monthly electrical bills.
Check your refrigerant levels and balance them â�� the efficiency of your A/C unit is impacted by the level of refrigerant that you maintain. If that level is too high, it can negatively impact how well your A/C unit operates as well as if it is too low. An HVAC contractor or specialist will know how to balance the level to maximize the efficiency of your system. If the level is 10% lower than normal, you operating costs could increase by as much as 20%.
Have your thermostat calibrated, cleaned, and leveled â�� for every degree that your thermostat is lowered, it increases the amount of energy you consume by 8%. Additionally, dirt and dust particles floating around in the home will negatively impact your temperature so clean and replace your air filters when necessary (see above). You should also ensure that the unit is cycling on and off properly.
These are the more important maintenance tasks. However, an HVAC contractor or technician will also perform the following tasks:
- Check the drains and tubing â�� clean where required
- Clean and inspect the compressor housing
- Clean and inspect the condenser and evaporator coils
- Ensure that the air is moving freely by checking the blower and grills (efficiency is reduced up to 15% if the airflow is restricted)
- Inspect all wiring and wiring connections
You can easily handle some of these preventative maintenance tasks on your own, but it is still a good idea to rely on a professional to perform the maintenance thoroughly and according to manufacturer's specifications.
About the Author
Victor Acuna is an experienced and certified San Jose Air Conditioning Repair specialist, providing expertise for residential and commercial A/C systems. Early detection and maintenance can save you thousands of dollars on HVAC repairs and you can learn more by visiting his website at http://hvacinsanjose.net