So, the kids are back in school, the days are starting to get a little shorter, soon the leaves will begin to change, the weather will get cooler… wait, who am I kidding? We live in South Florida where it goes from really-hot to just hot, to kind-of-hot, and our air conditioners don’t get much of a break. If I was to guess, there are probably ten or fifteen days a year that we might actually turn off the AC and open the windows because it’s so nice outside. The rest of the time we rely on what I think is the hardest working machine in our home — the air conditioner.
The next question that I don’t understand is, why do people take a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to the air conditioner in their home? I hear it all the time from clients when the unit is not functioning. I change the filter every month and it’s only six years old, why is it not working? The answer falls back on you the homeowner who did not have the proper maintenance performed on the system. Let’s face it, our air conditioners are just like any other machine and with the abuse we put them through because of our unique climate, maintenance is of the utmost priority.
How often should I have my air conditioner serviced you ask? The answer depends on a couple of factors. How old is your AC system? If the AC system is five years old or less the answer is the unit needs to be serviced annually, older than five and we recommend twice a year. Do you have a large furry family in your home? For our clients that have multiple cats and/or dogs in the home, once again we recommend twice a year.
In the world of trivial knowledge, 1/32 of an inch of dust on the blower wheel of your indoor air handler unit will reduce the efficiency of said air handler by 25%. Again, I hear from clients on a regular basis that the electrical costs to run the unit went way down when we first installed their system, but now four years later they are going back up again. I’m guessing here, however, I’d bet you a dollar that it is because you haven’t had your system cleaned and maintained.
What do we do when performing maintenance on your air conditioner? Let’s begin with the big things. We chemically treat and flush the drain line to help prevent condensate back-ups. We clean the indoor and outdoor coils for best air flow and efficiency. We check all electrical connections and electrical parts so we can warn you of something that is on its way to failure and hopefully prevent the dreaded I have no air situation. We check the refrigerant charge to ensure that the unit is running at its peak efficiency. In total, there’s an 18-point check list that is run through each time one of our maintenance techs comes to your home.
The decision is yours. You can get the air conditioner in your home serviced regularly and get the fifteen plus years of life that you deserve from it, or wait until it breaks to call us and enjoy replacing the unit every ten years or so due to lack of maintenance. You wouldn’t wait 25,000 miles to change the oil in your car, please don’t do that to your air conditioner, the system will thank you for it.
In my usual fashion, I leave you until next week with one more tidbit of completely useless trivia. Pull up Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon song, crank it up and after the heartbeats at the end, you’ll hear Roger Watters come back and say, “There is no dark side to the moon really, matter a fact it’s all dark.”
House Whisper out!!
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