Guide to Air Conditioner Maintenance
Air conditioning is absolutely essential to getting through the summer. Now that the days are getting even warmer, maintaining your AC unit has never been more important. At Affordable Plumbing and Heat, we understand that some people may not be sure when to purchase an air conditioner unit for their Colorado home. They may be concerned about getting a fair return on the significant investment they have to make.
The Expected Lifespan of Air Conditioner Units
Our team always advises our customers to treat their air conditioner well and consult us on the routine maintenance it requires. With our help, an air conditioning system should last for an exceptionally long time. To be more specific, the Department of Energy notes that a central air conditioner can last for up 20 years. That durability, of course, will depend on your use of the unit and how often you conduct routine air conditioner maintenance.
For many homeowners, that may be easier said than done. Nevertheless, Affordable Plumbing and Heat offers some tips you can keep in mind to make sure that the job of AC maintenance is one that you will be able to handle well.
Filters Are Key to Proper Air Conditioner Maintenance
As noted by the Energy Department, perhaps the most important maintenance task you need to complete if you want to keep your AC unit running efficiently is to either clean or replace the filters it uses. The agency notes that simply cleaning or replacing an already clogged filter can lead to a significant drop in the unit’s energy consumption. That will translate to more savings on your end.
So, how much time should pass before you go ahead and clean or replace the filters currently working in the air conditioner? There is no exact amount of time to track because there is no particular way to account for how much debris the filters have to keep out. Still, we advise consulting our expert team to conduct a routine maintenance check on your unit. We are trained and experienced in detecting any problems affecting air conditioning units.
The quality of the filter used in the air conditioner unit itself will also play a role in its lifespan. Some filters may last for half a year if the unit is not used constantly, while others may stop working after just a few weeks. In lieu of providing definite lifespans for air conditioner filters, you can schedule an appointment with us at Affordable Plumbing and Heat. We can perform a quick test to check if they can still be used.
You may also consider performing a simple check as described by CNET. This involves first removing the filter from the unit. Once that’s done, go ahead and hold it up to a light nearby. If the light is unable to shine through the filter because it is so clogged up with dirt and debris, then you should interpret that as an indication to change the filter. Conduct that aforementioned test at least once a week so that you are always aware of how the filters are doing.
Air Conditioner Unit Coils Also Require Your Care and Attention
Filters are not the only things you have to worry about if you want to maintain your AC unit properly. You also have to keep a close watch over the coils. Along with adversely affecting the efficiency of your air conditioner, unclean coils can also prevent the machine from providing the kind of comfort you need. On top of that, the lifespan of the unit itself may be affected because it has to work harder just to offer the comfort you have grown accustomed to.
Leave the coils unclean for long enough and they could even cause the entire unit itself to break down way earlier than it should, leading to bigger losses on your end. Once again, you may be asking how often you should clean the coils to keep them in great shape. Similar to how things are with filters, there is no defined amount of time that has to pass before you have to clean them again. Carrier notes that there are numerous factors that have to be accounted for when determining if it’s time to clean the coils. You have to keep in mind how often the unit is used, the filters installed, and how much dirt and debris end up in the air moving around inside your home.
The best thing you can do is to contact us and schedule an air conditioner maintenance check at least once before the start of the summer. If we see that the coils will require cleaning, our team will be sure to discuss it with you and recommend the best option for your needs.
Improve the Air Conditioning in Your Home by Maintaining the Fans
Next, focus on other elements of that machine that can experience a drop in performance if they are not maintained. Among those additional AC components that similarly require routine maintenance are the fans. When they stop working as intended, they are quite reminiscent of the things that can take place when the filters and/or coils are dirty.
The AC unit may no longer work as efficiently as it used to, you may not be able to enjoy the same amount of comfort inside your home. In addition, the overall condition of the machine can be at risk if you fail to address the problem immediately.
Thankfully, the signs that the AC unit’s fans need some attention are pretty easy to notice. Weaker air circulation from the machine is a telltale sign that the fans have to be cleaned. The other obvious sign that there’s something wrong with the air conditioner’s fans is noise.
If your AC is producing more noise than it typically does, take that as an indication that the fans are not aligned properly within the unit. You may have to go in there and tighten up blades to return to the unit to proper working order.
Electrical Issues You May Encounter During AC Maintenance
Thus far, the common air conditioner maintenance issues that have been highlighted are ones you should be able to spot yourself fairly easily. Even if you don’t have a ton of experience using air conditioners at home, you should be able to tell if the temperature is not as cold as it was previously or if there’s an unusual noise ringing through the air. Things are different when it comes to electrical issues, however.
For starters, some of the electrical issues that commonly affect air conditioners may not be obvious to the untrained. The wires used to keep the air conditioner running can corrode over time. They may still work for a short time even at the onset of the corrosion has started, but you will only have to wait for a little while longer before the machine stops working altogether.
As a byproduct of the wires becoming corroded, some of the buttons and terminals on the air conditioner may also malfunction. These problems can cause the air conditioner to get stuck, possibly causing it to remain at an undesirable setting.
You may be tempted to handle those problems yourself, but you should refrain from doing so. Handling wiring and other electrical components without the requisite amount of knowledge or the right skills can lead to injuries and possibly something even more severe.
For those reasons, Affordable Plumbing and Heat advises homeowners to seek professional assistance from our team when it comes to the wiring of the AC unit. We are more than happy to provide the professional service you need for your air conditioner unit. Be sure to contact us if you believe there is an electrical issue that must be remedied as soon as possible.
Correcting Refrigerant Levels Is Part of the AC Maintenance Process
Beyond the possible emergence of electrical issues related to your air conditioning unit, there are other instances wherein it’s necessary to call on our professionals. For example, when you think that something’s wrong with the refrigerant levels of your air conditioner, take the time to get in touch with Affordable Plumbing and Heat.
You should be able to tell if there’s something off with the refrigerant level of your air conditioner even without peering inside. Often, insufficient refrigerant levels will cause the unit to produce warmer air and some unusual noises. As you may recall, those are symptoms also associated with other problems that affect your air conditioning unit. To be certain, contact us to conduct a quick check. We will inspect if the other components of the unit are as they should be. If there’s nothing wrong with the filters, coils, fans, and the wiring, then that likely means the problem is indeed related to the refrigerant level.
There are many reasons why it would be best to bring in the professionals to take over an AC maintenance task related to refrigerant levels. these issues are caused by leaks. Trained professionals are better equipped to fix those leaks faster and then test them to see if they can hold up once you start using the AC unit regularly again.
On top of that, there is also a set amount of refrigerant that has to be put into the air conditioner so that it can work to its full potential. Our professionals can take on the job and handle those problems for you.
Get in Touch With Our Team for Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance
Apart from the things we mentioned, we also urge you to perform some other maintenance tasks to keep your air conditioner unit in great shape. The fins on the unit will have to be cleaned periodically. Otherwise, the AC unit will not be able to work properly.
You should also take the time to protect your unit when you know that it will not be used for an extended period of time. Remove the unit if possible or at least provide some protection that can keep its interior free from falling debris.
When it comes to air conditioner maintenance in Colorado, trust our experts at Affordable Plumbing and Heat. We have the tools, skills, and experience to take on the job and make sure your unit lasts a long time. As always, we are happy to lend a helping hand if you need help with those maintenance tasks.