Your air conditioning system is one of the biggest investments you made in your home, whether it was rolled into the purchase price of your home, or you added it during a later renovation. Manufacturers say that a typical A/C will last 10 or 12 years, but if you follow good maintenance practices, you might get many more years out of your system. There are several things you can do yourself to keep your A/C running efficiently. You will also benefit from having professional A/C maintenance done on a regular basis.
There are at least three good reasons to make regular A/C maintenance a priority:
- You will save money in the short run. A well-maintained A/C will run efficiently, using less energy and requiring fewer repairs than a neglected system. You will save on your summer cooling bills and have lower repair costs.
- Your family will be more comfortable. A properly maintained air conditioning system will cool your entire house much more easily than a system that is not kept in top running condition.
- You will save money in the long run. In addition to lowering your operating costs, good maintenance practices will add years to the life of your A/C, delaying the time when you need to fork over the money for a new system.
The tasks that you can do yourself to keep your air conditioner running efficiently are relatively simple. If you do these things on a frequent basis, along with getting professional A/C maintenance at least yearly, you will save on your cooling bills and prolong your equipment life:
- Keep your outdoor condenser unit free of grass clippings, leaves and other debris. Trim bushes at least a foot away from the condenser housing, and straighten any vent fins that get bent by lawn mower wheels or stray soccer balls. Leave maintenance of the condenser coil and fan inside the housing to your A/C professional.
- Change your filter regularly to keep dust from building up on the evaporator coil. A clean system will let air flow more freely, reducing energy use and equipment wear.
- Make sure your supply and return registers are not obstructed by furniture, draperies, toys or other obstructions. Balanced airflow is key to keeping your home comfortable and your cooling system efficient.
The best way to ensure that your system receives regular maintenance is to enter into a maintenance agreement with your local air conditioning and heating company. Your HVAC technician will come out on a regular schedule to perform maintenance and look for early signs of problems so that they can be repaired before they become major headaches. On a routine maintenance call, your technician will:
- Clean evaporator and condenser coils.
- Check for proper drainage of condensed water away from the equipment.
- Check and tighten belts and electrical connections and lubricate motors as required.
- Test the thermostat and cooling and heating controls.
- Inspect ductwork for leaky seams and connections and seal any breaches as necessary. Inspect duct insulation for moisture or deterioration that reduce its effectiveness.
- Measure system airflow to be sure it is adequate and properly balanced throughout the house.
- Check refrigerant levels, look for leaks and recharge if necessary.
By doing the work that you can do and engaging a NATE-certified technician to perform the professional A/C maintenance tasks that require special training, you will get many years of satisfaction from your air conditioning system. Because air conditioning represents a sizable chunk of your home energy costs here in the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater area, maintaining your system will save you many dollars over the life of your cooling equipment.
Call Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. with any questions about your home cooling system or to discuss setting up a professional A/C maintenance agreement. We provide our clients with excellent customer service, quality parts and equipment and guaranteed workmanship. We will work with you to keep your home comfortable and your energy costs low.