Just like our cars and our auto mechanic, we can pay a little now for routine maintenance, or pay them a lot later for a major repair. The same idea is true for your air conditioner or heat pump. If you don’t service your air conditioner or heat pump regularly, you’ll find yourself uncomfortable and broke.
An air conditioner is an extremely tough piece of equipment. It is engineered to withstand all sorts of abuse and keep on running. This is great in most respects, but it can lead to complacency about maintenance. Air conditioners need regular tune-ups to run properly, just like a car.
Without regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of it’s original efficiency for each year of operation. This means that the 13 SEER unit that you bought just a few years ago may be functioning like a 8 SEER unit today! The good news is that you can recover most of that lost efficiency through regular maintenance. AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning is one of only a few companies that currently utilizes Total Performance Diagnostics, to provide clients with a detailed BTU production and SEER report for your air conditioning system.
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.
Ask about our Comfort Society scheduled maintenance service.
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, and checking the system operating pressures and temperatures against the manufacturers specifications.
One of the most important items to check is the coolant level (commonly 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. However, every time your refrigerant is checked with gauges, some refrigerant is lost. AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning verifies refrigerant charge using our Total Performance Diagnostic report and will only verify refrigerant change when indicated. This saves your refrigerant and the environment.
There are some things in addition to yearly tune-ups that you can do to help ensure a high level of comfort and proper system operation. First, buy good filters and change them regularly. Next, keep bushes and other materials away from the outside unit of your air conditioner. Another good idea is to avoid closing supply air outlets in your house. In almost all cases, closing supply outlets is harmful to the operation of the overall system.
All equipment, even the most reliable, needs routine maintenance. Complicated equipment like today’ s air conditioners benefit in many ways from annual service. They recover much of their lost efficiency, they are less likely to suffer a major break down, they have a longer life span, they increase your comfort, and they operate for less money.
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Wish as we will that it was different, it isn’t. What the Proctor Engineering Group discovered in the summer of 1990 in their land mark study of the Fresno, California area is still true in 2011.
67% of systems have insufficient air flow due to improper ducting, clogged evaporator coils or dirty filters.
27% of air conditioning systems were over-charged with refrigerant.
27% of air conditioning systems were under-charged with refrigerant.
20% of systems had refrigerant leaks.
20% had other problems that directly affected system performance and efficiency.
97% had duct leaks greater than 150 cubic foot per minute.
We at AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning see all this for ourselves…first hand…every day.
That a small return air leak in a 140 degree attic can reduce system efficiency by 50%.
That a 20% reduction in indoor air flow can reduce efficiency by 17% or more.
That a 23% refrigerant undercharge can reduce system efficiency by 50%.
That’s why we take a total system approach with the AirOne Heating and Air Conditioning Total Performance Diagnostic.