Want to keep your air conditioner running reliably and efficiently? Like any other machine, regular maintenance is critical to keeping your air conditioner working as intended. However, many of us skip our maintenance. There are several reasons for that, but it is usually because people forget about it. At Crew Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer both yearly maintenance packages and one-time maintenance service, so you can find the solution that is right for you.
That is a great question. You should have your air conditioner maintained at least once a year. However, you may need to perform some, if not all, maintenance tasks more frequently. For example, changing or cleaning your filters is part of regular maintenance, but most homes will need that more than once a year. While you may need to perform some of those steps between maintenance calls, a yearly maintenance call should be sufficient for normal usage on most systems.
In a maintenance call, we do two things. First, we inspect the entire system. We look for any broken parts or wear. If we notice them, we recommend repair or replacement of those parts. Second, we perform regular maintenance. This includes replacing or cleaning filters, coils, and fins. We may also check your coolant levels to test for leaks and inspect your ducts to ensure they have no leaks or damage. While we are running our maintenance check, we will also check the belts, the thermostat, the cooling system, the electric terminals, and the airflow.
Air conditioner filters come in two types: replaceable and reusable. Your AC needs a clean filter to operate as intended. Clean filters can increase your system’s efficiency by up to 15%. More importantly, clogged filters can keep your system from cooling. That means that you either need to replace or clean your filter, depending on what type you have, every time it gets dirty. How often is that? Well, that depends on your household. Dust, dirt, and pet hair can all clog your filter. If you live alone in a well-insulated house and do not track in a lot of dirt, you probably need to replace your filters every couple of months. If you live in a house with pets and kids, you may need to clean your filters as often as once-a-month or more. Some HVAC systems have warning lights on their thermostats that will tell you when to change your filters. Not sure if your system has one? We can give you that information after looking at your system.
Your air conditioner has two sets of coils: evaporator coils and condenser coils. For most central AC units, the evaporator coils are located inside, usually in the attic. The condenser coils are outside in the main AC unit. Both of these types of coils can get dirty.
Cleaning your inside evaporator coils can be tricky. HVAC technicians can use tools and chemicals to get them clean, but they can be hazardous in inexperienced hands. The good news is that evaporator coils are protected from most dust, dirt, and grime by your air conditioner filters. As long as you maintain your filters, yearly maintenance should be enough to keep your evaporator coils clean.
Your outdoor condenser coils might be a different story. They can collect dirt, grime, leaves, pieces of grass, and other debris. Fortunately, they are easy to clean using with high pressure water from a regular garden hose.
Air conditioners remove humidity from air as they cool. If you go into your attic and look at your AC, you will notice a drip pan underneath it. The pan will have a drain in it that taps into another drain line in your home. It may also have an overflow drain that goes directly out of a hole in your house. In a properly working AC unit, all of the water will drain through the condensate drain; the overflow drain is strictly there for emergencies. If it stops draining, you have the potential for a flood or for a system to shut off if it has a water sensor. Cleaning those drains is part of regular maintenance. A clogged drain can also be a reason for an emergency AC repair call, if temps are hot enough. If you have an overflow drain on your system and notice any liquid coming from it, that it a sign that you need to clean your condensate drain.
Has it been a while since your last maintenance call? Schedule maintenance with us today. You can also select one of our maintenance packages, and we will handle scheduling maintenance calls when you need them.