23 Apr The Ultimate Guide to Spring Air Conditioner Maintenance
Spring is the time homeowners in Ann Arbor, and surrounding areas begin to feel rejuvenated, ready to put the frigid cold temperatures of winter behind. The spring season is when everything begins to look fresh and renewed – a time you are ready to get your home and lawn in tip-top shape. While you are taking care of those spring tasks, don’t forget the importance of A/C maintenance to ensure your HVAC system operates properly when temperatures rise to uncomfortable levels!
In most regions including Southeast Michigan, late spring and early summer are when temperatures and humidity levels can rise to uncomfortable levels, requiring you to turn on the A/C. It is during this peak time that HVAC professionals are super busy with customers who are having their systems checked or who have problems that need repair before using their cooling system. Wait too long, and you will be waiting days or even weeks for a cooling contractor to check your system to ensure it is ready for the hot summer season. You can avoid inconvenience and an uncomfortable home by having your system checked now.
Lower energy costs. Having your HVAC system checked twice per year can result in substantial energy savings – in fact, as much as 20% on heating and cooling your home. The reason is simple: when your equipment functions properly it is more efficient than one that’s been neglected for years. Lower your utility bills in 2018 while enjoying the ultimate in comfort.
Fewer repairs. Maintenance helps avoid costly repairs; it is that simple. This is true of any equipment and scheduling regular maintenance can help spot any potential issues before they become more serious. Why face potential repairs or even a complete breakdown that could leave your family uncomfortable and face unexpected expense?
Bi-annual maintenance can mean the difference in your HVAC system lasting for 15 or even 20 years, versus ten years if you neglect it. Maintenance plans are extremely cost effective when compared to the money you would spend on frequent repairs or even worse, a complete breakdown. Again, because your system will operate more efficiently when it is properly maintained, you will enjoy a more comfortable home along with energy savings.
When you neglect to have your heating and cooling system maintained on a regular basis, it could result in the manufacturer voiding warranties. Manufacturers are aware of how critical maintenance is to the longevity and proper functioning of your HVAC system. Keep all records of professional maintenance and be sure to change the air filters out every month or two. It is also important to note the importance of professional installation and using OEM components for repairs, as either of these could result in your warranty being voided by the manufacturer.
A maintenance visit typically takes about an hour to 90 minutes to perform and ensures all equipment is checked, cleaned when necessary, tuned up and more, including:
- When necessary, cleaning the air filter
- Monitor operating pressure of the refrigerant
- Indoor coil inspection
- Testing of thermostat for proper calibration, operation, and level
- Condenser coil inspection
- Blower motor – measure voltage and amperage to ensure proper operation
- Inspect fan blade, electrical for exposed wiring, service valves for proper operation, duct work for potential energy loss
- Inspect electrical wiring and tighten connections
- Clean condenser coil, removal of debris
- Measure supply/return temperature differential
- Inspect electrical disconnect box for safe installation and proper rating
- Compressor – monitor & measure volt draw, amperage and wiring connections
- Inspect and test contactors for pitted or burned contacts
There’s very little involved in DIY air conditioning maintenance. Be sure to check and replace your air filters when needed. Take a look at your filter each month; if it is clogged and you can see very little light pass through when held up to a light source, it is time to replace. While it may seem minor, the air filter is one of the most important components of your HVAC system, not only regarding comfort and indoor air quality but the efficiency and functioning of your equipment.
Other than that, be sure to take a close look at your outdoor unit (heat pump) to ensure there is plenty of space around it and that leaves, sticks, limbs, or other debris are removed. This is especially important when thunderstorms or high winds have passed through. Never attempt to stick anything in the condenser fins as this could result in serious damage to your unit.
Outside of the above DIY maintenance, it is best to leave the rest to professional HVAC technicians who are familiar with refrigerant, high voltages, carbon monoxide and other factors related to heating and cooling systems. The SE Michigan HVAC experts at Haley Mechanical have the necessary expertise, experience, and knowledge to ensure your A/C system is properly maintained. Give us a call today!