Below are the five most important things to know about air conditioning maintenance.
1. Why Maintenance is Essential
An air conditioner can be a huge investment so it is important to maintain it the best you can. This ensures its efficiency, saves energy consumption, and results in a far longer lifespan.
2. Annual Checkups
Although there are a few things you should be doing yourself, you must have a professional check-up done on your air conditioner at least once a year. This annual check-up will include things such as safety and efficiency checks, inspecting coolant levels and pressure, calibrating thermostats, etc.
The most important thing you can do in order to properly maintain your air conditioner all year round is to regularly clean or replace its filters. This is because once filters get clogged and dirty, they reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner as well as resulting in your air conditioner consuming up to 15% more energy. Some filters may be cleaned and reused while others must be replaced. It simply depends on the type of filter. Filters need more frequent attention if they are constantly in use, if you live in a dusty area, or if you have pets in the house that shed fur. You can normally find the filter of a central air conditioner somewhere along the return duct’s length. They are commonly found in walls, ceilings, or in the air conditioner itself. If you have a mini-split system then the filter can be found in the grill of the unit in the room.
Another important part of self-maintenance is cleaning the coils of the air conditioner. The condenser and evaporator coils tend to gather quite a bit of dirt over months and years of service. This can be prolonged by regularly cleaning your filters, however it is unavoidable. The dirt and debris that eventually collects around the coils reduce airflow and insulate the coil, thereby diminishing its ability to absorb heat. It is therefore vital that, in addition to the annual checkup on your air conditioner, you should make sure the coils and filters are kept clean.
Check-ups and surprise repair work can quickly add up to be rather expensive. This is why some companies provide a service plan to make sure you receive emergency services as well as annual maintenance visits without it costing you an arm and a leg.
5. Life Span
If you take our advice on air conditioning maintenance, then your average air conditioner should last between 12 to 15 years. This may be less in areas closer to the coast. If your air conditioner is old, inefficient, or in constant need of repair, it may be time to think about getting a replacement. Today’s cooling systems are up to 60% more efficient that those manufactured 10 years ago. So if you are also looking to save on your future utility bills, it may be wise to invest in a new air conditioner rather than enduring another expensive and inconvenient summer.
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