Birds are returning, daffodils are blossoming, and the weather is warming. These signs of spring remind us hot summer days will arrive soon. Before the mercury rises, have a professional do a maintenance check on your AC unit.
“Why contract with a service to do a professional maintenance check? Isn’t cleaning my AC unit a DIY project?”
You can clean debris from your outdoor unit, level the support pad, and straighten the fins, but professional maintenance includes much more. Energy Saver, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE), consumer resource, recommends an HVAC technician address the following:
- Check for correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
Why is it important to do these maintenance checks? Energy Saver says air conditioner components “require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently through its years of service.” On average, an AC unit should perform well for 15 to 20 years. Failing to perform necessary maintenance encourages a decline in your AC system’s performance and an increase in the energy required to operate the air conditioner.
These checks call for the skill and tools of an experienced HVAC professional. Before you need to rely on your AC system to stay comfortable this summer, let professional technicians check your air conditioner before you turn it on.