With the proper maintenance your air conditioning and heating equipment will work more economically and be more dependable for years to come. With a few easy and routine procedures you can keep your unit at peak performance and get the maximum amount of comfort from your HVAC system. Air conditioners consume a large portion of the average monthly power bill and proper and efficient maintenance can make a significant difference. Your air conditioner loses 5% of its overall efficiency every year it goes without proper professional maintenance. Systems operating at peak efficiency can cut monthly energy costs by up to 25%.
Proper maintenance effectively doubles the life span of the average residential heating and cooling system. Many of the health risks that are associated with poor air quality can be greatly reduced or eliminated with proper system installation and maintenance.
Routine maintenance of your Air conditioning Unit –
Remember that self maintenance is no substitute for professional maintenance but can add greatly to the efficiency of routine professional maintenance. Call AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning and ask about out Comfort Society maintenance program.
1) Keep Your Filter Clean – Check the return air filter in your air conditioning system every 2 to 4 weeks. One of the most overlooked and easiest ways to save money and keep your system running smoothly is to keep your filter clean. Without a clean filter your unit cannot operate properly and its life span is greatly shortened.
Dirty filters can cause you to use extra electricity, cause your unit to break down and need costly repairs and shorten the life of your unit. Only replace your filter when it is dirty, remember there is no magic amount of time between replacements. Just visually inspect the filter and if it has a film of dirt on the entire surface then its time to replace it. If you have the reusable type of filter clean it with soap and water (or the cleaner recommended by the manufacturer) and remember to wash the clean side of the filter so you don’t just wash the dirt deeper into the filters core. Remember if your washing a reusable filter to let it dry completely before reinstalling it. Always keep your unit off while the filter is not in place.
2) Keep Your Condenser Clean – Clean and clear any debris from your outdoor condensing unit. Keep any leaves, plants or bushes, cut grass, and other debris away from your outdoor condensing unit to avoid obstructing the outdoor coil and causing expensive repairs. Be sure to turn off the unit both a the thermostat and the breaker and or disconnect near the unit before opening it up. Most units have a side panel that can be removed making this relatively easy. Be extremely careful as the inside of a unit can contain metal that can be very sharp. Check the base pan inside the unit a couple of times a year and remove any leaves or dirt so that the unit can drain correctly.
3) Level the Outdoor Unit – Check your outdoor unit to see if it is in a level position. If your outdoor unit shifts and the unit is not level then the compressor and fan motors may wear out more quickly leading to expensive repairs or replacement. Units also should be level to help water drain out of the unit. If your unit has sagged on one side you can sometimes place a wooden or metal shim under one side to even it up at least until a professional can take a look at it. If your unit is unstable or at a severe slope call a professional to have the problem corrected. Don’t try to level the unit yourself as the copper lines can be damaged in the process if proper caution is not taken.
4) Keep Your Condenser Coil Clean - Wash the coil of your outdoor condensing unit with soap and water. You need to do this at least once a month during the cooling season and more often if you live near the ocean. Be sure to turn off the power to the unit at the disconnect and the breaker before attempting this. If you live near the coast you can preserve the life of your unit by washing the coil and all exposed surfaces every three months with dishwashing soap and water. Routine buildup of dirt and dust can rob your unit of its efficiency and put a strain on the unit that can shorten the life of the system. Treatments are available in problem areas to help to slow the rate of corrosion if necessary. One study showed that coils that were not cleaned showed a 27% loss in heat transfer after 18 months.
5) Clean Your Return Air Grill – Clean and dust off of your return air and keep it free of obstructions. Use a vacuum cleaner and soft brush attachment to remove dust from the outside and inside of the grill to help filters last longer. Turn the unit off at the thermostat first to avoid getting the dust into the air supply. If you can’t get the grill clean call an AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning technician for service to have it cleaned or replaced. Make sure that there are no obstructions in front of the return air like drapes, furniture or anything that would obstruct the airflow to prevent shortening the life and performance of your unit.
6) Get Professional Maintenance – Routinely have an AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning technician perform a pre-summer maintenance to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently for many years to come. To save money you may consider purchasing a Comfort Society maintenance agreement for your heating and air conditioning system. The plan include pre-season maintenance twice a year and cost $14.95 per month. A Comfort Society Membership plan will help the us find problems before they lead to a breakdown and will help save you money by keeping your electric bills lower.
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