Maintenance You Should Perform To Reduce The Frequency Of AC Repairs

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If you use an air conditioner in your home, you not only have to worry about the cost of operating your unit, but you also have to worry about the cost of maintaining and repairing your furnace. With all of the bills and unexpected expenses that the typical homeowner has to contend with, you might be tempted to eliminate costs wherever you can. You should not, however, neglect maintenance to save money in the short run because a poorly maintained system can increase operating and repair costs. In particular, make sure you take care of the filter, the ducts, and the condenser unit. 

Filter Maintenance

If you try to get more life out of your filter, you can starve your evaporator for air. When this happens, there is not enough air flowing over the evaporator fins to prevent them from freezing the water vapor present in the air in your home. As ice builds up on your coils, it will cut off air flow. Furthermore, a dirty filter can increase your operating costs by as much as 15%. At the least, you should replace your filter every three months, but if you are renovating your home, or you have a lot of dust in and/or around your home for whatever reason, you might need to replace your filter more frequently. 

Leaky Ducts

As your fan pushes air through your ducts, it creates outward pressure on your ducts. This pressure combined with a constant cycle of cooling when your AC unit turns on and heating when it turns off, will cause the joints and seams in your ducts to degrade until leaks form. As these leaks siphon off air from your system, they can decrease the volume of air available to cool your home and, thus, reduce your system efficiency by up to 40%. If you have exposed ducts, you can check for your own leaks with a stick of incense and seal the leaks you find with duct mastic. However, if your ducts run behind drywall, then you will need to contact professionals to check them for you. 

Dirty Condenser Coils

Condenser coils can get clogged with dirt and all kinds of yard debris. Dirty condenser coils can decrease your system efficiency by up to 37%. Use a commercially available coil cleaner and a stiff-bristle brush to remove stuck-on grime and keep your system running at its optimum level. 

As the above examples indicate, a poorly maintained AC system will reduce system efficiency, which increases your operating costs. While the immediate cost of not taking care of your system is that you pay more from month to month to keep your home cool, the longer and harder your system has to run, the more wear it incurs, and the more you have to pay for repairs. Thus, proper maintenance is the key to a healthy AC system and a healthy budget. Contact an HVAC contractor, like one from HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, for more information.

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8 July 2016

steps for preparing your air conditioner for use

So many of us make the mistake of assuming the air conditioning system is up and ready to go without having to do anything after a long winter. Unfortunately, oftentimes, this isn't the case. You know how I know that air conditioning systems need pre-summer maintenance? Well, I know because I broke my air conditioning unit trying to use it without even looking at it before starring it up for the first time. It was that moment that I learned a very valuable lesson the hard way. My blog will walk you through getting your air conditioner ready for summer without the expensive lesson that I had to learn.