How Often Should You Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced?
Most HVAC companies recommend at least one yearly air conditioner maintenance service. Generally speaking, regardless of the manufacturer, every air conditioning system should be inspected, cleaned and serviced once a year. The best case scenario for these appointed inspections is once in the fall (for the furnace or heating system) and once in the spring (for the air conditioning). A special provision must be made for oil-fired equipment, which should be cleaned and serviced annually.
Is it Necessary to Service AC Every Year?
It is true that the list of potential priorities for homeowners is long. Certainly, roofs need to be inspected, pipes need to be cleaned, and appliances need tune-ups from time to time. But with regard to whether or not your air conditioning system truly benefits from service every year, the question is this: does the homeowner want to have a consistently reliable air conditioning system? Just like changing the oil in a car, air conditioning systems require regular maintenance in order to run efficiently. Routine air conditioning maintenance will prevent early breakdowns, extend A/C life, increase the comfort of the home, and potentially cut down on the monthly energy bills.
Should I Clean My Air Conditioner?
In order for your air conditioner to work with maximum efficiency, the unit itself must be able to transfer heat from the inside of your home to the outside with effectiveness. A coating of dirt or dust on the A/C coils can prevent this efficiency. To enable this process to go more smoothly, the A/C coils need to be cleaned at least once a year. The reason why a reputable air conditioning technician should be contacted to perform the routine maintenance, versus a handyman or the homeowner, is because the coils themselves are very delicate, and can easily be damaged. In addition, the evaporate is very hard to access, and should be cleaned professionally.
How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced?
Routine maintenance for your air conditioning unit is a matter of prolonging efficiency. Regardless, there are associated costs. A flat fee for one-time maintenance usually costs $70-$100. An annual maintenance contract usually costs $150. Throughout the country, many HVAC companies offer annual servicing contracts for air conditioning preventative maintenance. Filters for your air conditioning unit usually cost $15-$60. If regular maintenance has not been scheduled in some time, it’s entirely possible that the coils will be caked with debris. Badly damaged coils may need to be replaced. If that is the case, replacing the evaporator coils may cost as much as $230-$400.
How to Air Conditioner Maintenance
A little upkeep can go a long way! For instance, changing or cleaning your air filters can help your air conditioner dramatically. It is advised to replace one-inch pleated filters once a month. If you’re unsure of the type of filter you should use, check the dimensions on your air conditioner to get the appropriate size. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that outdoor condenser coils can become very dirty fast if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is nearby foliage.
Air Conditioner Maintenance for Home
Particularly in hot areas of the country, homeowners rely on their air conditioning systems to keep their homes cool and comfortable. In order for that to happen, air conditioning units need to have regular maintenance. It’s important to understand that the reason why maintenance is important stems from how an air conditioner operates. Central air conditioning units operate in the same way that a refrigerator does, but on a larger scale. Air conditioners quickly convert gas to liquid and back again using chemicals that move the heat in the air from inside your home to outside your home. One of the premier air conditioner brands that homeowners should be aware of is the Lennox ac system. Lennox International is a well-established company that manufactures high-quality air conditioning equipment.
Air Conditioner Cleaning Frequency
In order to keep the evaporator coils from becoming clogged with dust and debris, it is important for the air filter on your unit to be checked at least once a month and replaced as necessary. Dirty air filters can allow the accumulation of dust and debris to collect on the evaporator versus the air filter. This can reduce airflow in the system, and lead to further problems. In order to keep the condenser coils clean, please make sure that all the vegetation and undergrowth are cut back as much as possible in order to positively influence air flow.
Air Conditioner Maintenance Checklist
If you would like to perform routine maintenance for your air conditioning system, please read over the following list.
- Shut off the power. Due to the potential dangers surrounding electricity and the air-conditioner’s moving parts, it’s important to completely turn off the power to the unit.
- Remove debris. On the exterior condenser/compressor, remove the fan cage. Using a wrench or screwdriver, remove the fasteners and lift the cage or fan grill away from the top. With a gloved hand or with a wet/dry vacuum, clean leaves, and other debris from the interior.
- Clean the fins. Start by removing the outer covers. Using the brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum, remove all the outside dirt. Never use a pressure washer, since the pressure can damage the fins. There is a commercially available fin cleaning spray available for at home improvement stores.
- Straighten the fins. Since any reduction in air-flow can reduce efficiency, carefully straighten bent fins using a butter knife or a fin-straightening tool. Please be gentle during this process.
- Clean the area around the unit. Once finished with the cleaning, replace the fan cage and rack back leaves and debris from outside the condenser. Furthermore, cut back all the surrounding vegetation so that there is proper airflow around the unit.
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Air Conditioner Repair and Maintenance
It is important to understand how air conditioners work in order to better ascertain why maintenance is important. Most central air conditioners have two basic parts: an outdoor unit that sits next to your home, and an indoor unit (evaporator) that is located in a central duct near the furnace. The vents of your AC unit can be kept clean with a soft-bristle brush. Please note that these fins are fragile and can be easily damaged. On many units, you may have to unscrew and lift off a metal box in order to get at them. Make sure to check your owners manual for directions and lift off the box carefully to avoid bumping the fins.
To get started, call our office at 478-781-9107 to schedule your air conditioner maintenance in Macon, GA.