If you have air conditioning in your home, it’s probably become an essential part of your everyday life. It provides your home with a controlled climate for you to have the most comfortable lifestyle, and it no doubt helps you breeze through those blistering hot summers or keeps you toasty through the freezing cold winters.
Air-conditioning systems come in all shapes and sizes and have many different parts that operate together to work efficiently. This is why keeping it regularly maintained is an important task, and unfortunately in most cases, one that most people take for granted.
Why should I keep my air conditioning system regularly maintained?
An efficient air conditioning system not only helps to keep the temperature in your home comfortable, but it also helps to filter out any dust, debris or allergens that might exist in the outside air. For those who are sensitive to allergies, this can be a highly uncomfortable situation to be in, and the dust and allergens may cause respiratory issues in the long run.
Additionally, a well-maintained air conditioning system ensures that you’re not wasting too much money on electricity bills due to an inefficient system. If your unit’s filters are clogged up with dust and particles (which it will do at some point), the compressor has to work a lot harder just to provide the same temperature control in your home. This translates to money energy being used, and an increase in your power bills at the end of the month!
What can go wrong with an air conditioning system?
There are several issues that can happen to an air conditioning system – especially one that is poorly maintained. Here are some of the more common ones.
- Thermostat issues
The thermostat is a key component in your air conditioning system. It keeps your home climate controlled by measuring the temperature in your home accurately , and adjusting the temperature as and when required.
If you have a particularly dusty home, the thermostat components could get dirty and as a result, reduce the effectiveness of the temperature sensors, thus keeping your air conditioning system running at a higher power than is required. This results in wasted energy that you’ll have to pay for in the form of your utility bill.
Thermostat issues could also be the result of a wiring problem, like most other electronic devices or systems.
- Low refrigerant levels
What is a refrigerant, you might say? Well, a refrigerant is a liquid used in HVAC systems to treat the air that is coming into your home. For example, during the winter, the cold outside air is sucked into your airconditioning unit, and treats the air to heat it up so that you’ll have a comfortable indoor temperature, and vice versa in the summer time, where it absorbs the heat from the outside air.
However, refrigerant lines may leak, and these leaks come in the form of oily streaks or wet areas around your hose connections and where it connects to the compressor. It is worth noting that older HVAC systems are known to leak a couple of ounces of refrigerant liquid per year, so regular maintenance includes replacing the whole refrigerant throughout the system altogether every few years.
- Leaking or clogged up ductwork
Ductwork is how the treated air travels across all the areas of your home that you want to have climate control in. However, what happens over time is the ductwork can accumulate all forms of dust, dirt, mold and other particles or contaminants inside it – although the air filter may catch the bigger particles, it is likely that the smaller ones can get through, and they end up living permanently on your ductwork. This ultimately results in a lower efficiency for your airconditioning system, a reduction in indoor air quality and poorly controlled climate even after you set the temperature to a specific level.
In some cases, pests can also make their way into the ductwork! You can tell by listening closely – if you hear any scurrying, buzzing or flapping wings in your ductwork – then it’s time to call a HVAC professional immediately!
What happens in an air conditioning maintenance
During servicing, the HVAC technician first does a visual assessment of your unit. He then notes down if there are any leaks or drips, or other major issues that need to be fixed. Then he starts by cleaning the air filter and the fin on the outside of the unit, followed by draining the flush lines to remove any particles that might reduce your air conditioning unit’s performance.
Then, things like mold and dust, which are harmful to allergen sufferers and healthy people alike, are removed and cleaned out to prevent further issues. The areas where these harmful allergens are likely to be found are in the condenser and evaporator fan inside the unit.
Lastly, he replaces the coolant, which keeps your AC motor running smoothly, and cleans the condenser coil to remove the risk of any further damage happening to your air conditioning system.
What you can do between professional air conditioning servicing
Here are things you can do at home in between visits by a professional HVAC technician in order to keep your air conditioning unit running smoothly. Clean your air filters ever so often – you can rinse them under running water and leave them out to dry before installing them back on your airconditoner unit.