Spring is Here: Tune-up Tips for Air-Conditioning Systems
Poorly maintained air-conditioning systems can cost the consumer up to 30 percent more in energy costs than a well-maintained system. When a system is not working correctly, it is required to run much longer in an effort to maintain comfortable conditions within a home or building. This equates to additional energy consumption as well as additional operating hours, resulting in a shortened life expectancy for the major components of the cooling system. Plus, in some cases, poorly maintained systems can inhibit indoor air quality, possibly resulting in increased medical costs due to allergies, or colds, and even time lost from work.
To save costs – plus reduce the risk of an emergency service call later this season – PHCC recommends the following:
- Replace the air filter once a month during the operating season.
- Clean the pan below the evaporator with a mild detergent and flush the evaporator’s drain line with clear water to ensure proper drain operation.
- Visually inspect all duct work; seal with appropriate duct sealants and have dirty ducts professionally cleaned when necessary. Leaking ducts can substantially affect the overall performance of a cooling system, especially if they are located in an unconditioned area like an attic or crawl space.
- Visually inspect the remote compressor/condenser package. Make sure that the unit is not overgrown by bushes and/or ground cover, or that it is not covered with leaves or other yard debris. This is where the system rejects its heat to the outside. If it can’t breathe freely, the system will perform poorly.
- Listen to the compressor and cooling fan while they are running. If they sound rough or vibrate excessively, contact a licensed heating/cooling professional to perform operational checks on the equipment to address any minor problems before they become major issues. Preventive maintenance is the most effective method of ensuring peak operation and maximum comfort levels within the home.
Most importantly, remember that safety comes first! Air-conditioning units are powered with voltages up to 240 volts and, if improperly handled, can result in serious injury or death. Be sure to contact your local licensed plumbing/heating/cooling professional for a thorough test and tune. For more information on how to hire a professional contractor, click on PHCC’s Find a Contractor referral service. Or, call our toll-free number, (800)533-7694.