When should I get my Air Conditioner serviced?

Why Service your Air Conditioner?

Keeping your air conditioner serviced is a great way to cut down on your energy bills.   It is recommended that an HVAC (heating, ventilation and Air conditioning) system is maintained twice a year.  Service your furnace right before it starts getting cold.  When it comes to your air conditioner, you should wait until the temperature stays above 65 degrees.   If the temperature is below 65 degrees,  the technician may not be able to test and charge your lines correctly.  Happier Home Inspectors have inspected many newly built homes, and we find that the A/C unit was installed then the temperature was below 65 degrees.   These units usually are not charged fully to keep from overcharging and damaging A/C components.

Under 65 degrees (an arbitrary number but with a good margin of safety), the refrigerant may not vaporize completely, and you then have liquid refrigerant being sent to the compressor. The compressor is designed for gas, which is more easily compressed than fluid. If you attempt to pump liquid through the system, you risk damaging the compressor, which can result in you writing a big check.

air conditioner pan rusted air conditioner water in cabinet

Without regular maintenance, n air conditioner loses about 5% of it’s original efficiency for each year of operation. This means that the 16 SEER unit that you bought just a few years ago may be functioning like a 12 SEER unit today! By keeping your HVAC system serviced you can  recover most of that lost efficiency. Studies show that with regular tune-ups a unit will maintain up to 95% of it’s original efficiency. This means that the cost of an annual tune-up is recovered very quickly in savings on your monthly electric bill and reduced repair costs. A properly serviced air conditioner will also do a better job of dehumidifying your home making it keep cooled as well.

Who do i call to service my A/C system?

There are many HVAC companies out there.  Who should you trust?  If your A/C company comes out and after 15 minutes is ready to leave your system has not been properly serviced.  it takes at least 25 to 30 minutes to serve a single unit properly.  Many companies offer 16 or 18 point checks, but ask what why are checking.

The service check should include cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, oiling the fan motors, checking that belts are well adjusted, checking the system operating pressures and temperatures against the manufacturers specifications and checking the that the primary condensate line is not blocked.   One of the most important items to check is the coolant level (previously known as Freon) in the air conditioner. A system that is only 10% low on coolant will cost about 20% more to operate! The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recommends that coolant levels be checked every year.

Remember, a well maintained home is a Happier Home.

Some facts came from the article came from: Service Your Air Conditioner for Summer Comfort  By Doug Garrett

 

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