Summertime is fast approaching which means it is time to get out my Maintain Your Air Conditioning System soapbox and step up on it for a bit!
Let me begin with the fact that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) considers South Florida to be in Climate Zone 1 which puts us among the hottest and most humid climates these United States have to offer. The central air conditioning system is by far the most crucial and hardest working part of your home. So, my question becomes my intrepid homeowner, other than maybe remembering to change your filter every couple of months, why do most of you choose to ignore your life saving indoor comfort system?
I have said this in the past, however, it is worth revisiting. You change the oil in your car every few thousand miles depending on the type of oil you use, you go to the doctor and get an annual physical every year, don’t you think that the thing that keeps your domicile at a comfortable 72 degrees deserves the same attention? Let’s delve into what is involved in doing a routine maintenance on your air conditioner.
The typical central air conditioning system has quite a few moving pieces and parts that make it up. The outdoor unit has a compressor, coil, run capacitor, contactor, and fan motor along with, in some cases, other things such as time delays, hard start kits and surge protectors. Your indoor unit or air handler consists of a coil, blower assembly and fan motor, heat strips, relays, a drain pan, safety switches and occasionally ultra violet lights. The indoor and outdoor units are connected with copper refrigerant lines that allow the Freon to cycle between indoor and outdoor units to produce that wonderful coolness. Both the indoor and outdoor units are electrically connected back to the circuit breaker panel with circuit breakers in the event of a power surge. I’ll bet you didn’t know there were that many components to your AC system, right? So what can go wrong you ask?
As with any machine over time and use, these various parts suffer wear and tear. The contactors start to get pitted, the capacitors that start the system begin to deteriorate, drain lines back up, coils and blower wheels get dirty and things stop working at their maximum efficiency.
On a typical maintenance check we are going to first clean and chemically treat your drain line in hopes you don’t have any water damage issues along with checking the safety switch on the drain line for proper function. Indoor and outdoor coils are going to be cleaned in place to help improve efficiency. All amp draws on motors and capacitors will be checked to ensure they are within range. All electrical connections are going to be checked and tightened as needed. Refrigerant levels will be checked and most of all, by maintaining your system we can hopefully prevent a no cool situation on July 4th at three in the afternoon when you have twenty people in your home for a party.
Think about this if you will… would you rather know that a contactor was going to fail in the not-so-distant future during a planned maintenance visit or wait until it fails? My answer is the latter obviously. If I can be proactive and prevent a failure I would certainly take that option over possibly waiting hours or maybe even a day or two to get my unit fixed in the middle of summer.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Even with proper maintenance systems can still fail in an unpredicted manner. If this happens, the nice thing about having our SPP maintenance agreement on your equipment is we will prioritize getting to you, you won’t pay a service call fee and you get to enjoy an automatic 10% discount on whatever the needed repair is. My final thought is that is pays to maintain your air conditioner for its longest life and maximum efficiency. Considering the air conditioner is likely the second most expensive part of your house it deserves the proper love and care.
Until your eyes come in contact with my words again, my friend asked me why I am always making puns, of course the answer is that it is my respunsibilty!SYSTE
House Whisperer out!!
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