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Ask Art: How Often Does My AC Require Maintenance?

ac maintenance

With it being the middle of summer in South Florida, it’s important to make sure your air conditioner is in peak running condition. Even if it seems to be working fine, it’s a good idea to schedule a regular maintenance request for the unit to make sure you don’t get stuck in a South Florida heatwave without AC.

Here Art explains the different components that may require attention and why you should always seek out expert technicians, like those at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric.

Component Maintenance

Without regular maintenance, not only will your air conditioner be more likely to require costly repairs, it will also begin to use more energy. 

Though different components of the unit will likely last longer than others, experts suggest having a full inspection of your air conditioner once a year, and ideally every six months, to determine if maintenance is needed.

Filters

Your air conditioner filter is the part of your AC that will require the most routine maintenance.

Over time, your filter will naturally collect dust and debris that will cause it to perform less effectively. Unmaintained air filters can cause damage to other parts of your unit, as well.

It is recommended to replace the filter every six months to guarantee efficient air quality. 

For those with young children or pets in the home, replacement should occur every two to three months. Other factors that affect how often filter maintenance should occur include home size, amount of AC usage, and overall air quality.

Coils

A more complicated but still necessary maintenance check is for the air conditioner coils, which also gather dirt and debris over time.

While a clean filter will help keep the inner evaporator coils clean, the more often your AC runs, the dirtier it will become over time. It is recommended to have your coils professionally cleaned once a year to make sure it is done safely and effectively. 

Outdoor coils also become dirty over time – especially during the Florida storm season. It’s crucial to clear at least two feet of space around the area of your unit to further prevent the unit from collecting debris.

Fins & Condensers

The aluminum fins that surround the outside part of the unit helps to move heat away from the compressor. Over time and during storms, the fins can become dirty or damaged. 

While many people decide to clean or straighten the fins themselves, often this causes further damage. Hiring a professional for yearly maintenance means the fins and compressor will be adequately and safely cleaned and repaired. 

Experts will also be able to check and top off your coolant level to ensure your unit runs smoothly throughout the summer.

Other Tips

Annually, people spend $11 billion to keep their homes cool. While regular professional maintenance will help to keep your operating costs down by about 15% a month, there are other tips and tricks to help keep your bill down and unit running.

  • Keep your thermostat updated
  • Install ceiling fans
  • Insulate attic and ducts
  • Use energy-efficient curtains
  • Use overhead fans in kitchen and bathroom

Hiring A Professional

We often take our AC for advantage…until it breaks down. These complicated machines require routine maintenance to keep you cool. 

There are simple steps you can take, such as replacing the filter and keeping the area around the AC clear. However, it is necessary to hire a professional to check more complex components, like the coils and compressor, to ensure there is no harm done to you, your unit, or your home.Our expert technicians at Art Plumbing, AC & Electric have been keeping South Florida cool and safe since 1983. Being in the midst of summer, you should schedule your AC inspection and maintenance soon! Give us a call today at 1-800-475-1504.

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