In southwestern Pennsylvania and north-central West Virginia, we rely upon our air conditioning units to keep us cool in the summers. Our average summer temperature in the mid-80s can get a bit stuffy. We especially need our air conditioners when it gets muggy and humid during the day and stays so into the evening. Many people ask us at Absolute Air, “What is a good maintenance schedule for my air conditioning unit?” They also ask us what types of things homeowners can do to keep their air conditioner running efficiently.
Why Regular Maintenance Is Important
Air conditioning systems run at higher levels of electricity than most all of the other devices in your home. When all parts of the system, both electrical and mechanical, are running at their top efficiency, you will save money on your electric bill. Also, parts that have not been maintained properly are more prone to failure. When one part is close to failure, it can cause stress on other parts of the system as well. Thus, it is actually more costly over the life of your system to neglect regular air conditioning system maintenance. Finally, poorly maintained air conditioning systems tend to fail when they are working in the most extreme temperatures, which is right when you need them the most.
If your air conditioner needs more than just a regular tune-up, you will experience some tell-tale signs.
- Unit won’t turn on
- Low cooling output
- Low airflow
- Slow cycling
- Odd noises
- Moldy smell
- Burning smell or smoke
If you have one of these signs, don’t wait for a yearly maintenance call. An easy fix that is inexpensive can become more costly if you let the problem continue. A few things you can do before you call is to check your air filter and see when it was last replaced. Dirty air filters can cause lower airflow. If there is no power on or cycling on, check your electrical panel first for a tripped circuit. Also, check your thermostat’s batteries.
If you are not experiencing one of the signs of trouble, we suggest that you schedule your air conditioner tune-up in the spring, so we can get your unit ready for the coming season. In the early fall, we can come out and perform your heating system maintenance and prepare your air conditioning unit for the winter, if needed.
Maintenance contracts usually save you money on your annual maintenance service call. Also, most companies, like ours, provide priority scheduling to customers with maintenance contracts. By having a contract, you can rest assured that you are meeting your manufacturer’s guidelines for regular maintenance required by your system’s warranty. Also, when we come out, we can alert you to issues we see that may come up down the road. We can also repair parts that are not performing optimally or are near failure during the spring maintenance service call, so you won’t be sitting without air conditioning on a warm summer day.
What We Will Do
There are several issues we will attend to when we come out for an air conditioner maintenance call.
- Replace air filters
- Clean and inspect condensate pump
- Clean and inspect indoor and outdoor coils
- Adjust and/or replace fan belts
- Check and clean blowers and fans
- Check thermostat
- Remove dirt and debris from system
- Lubricate motors and bearings
- Check for optimum electrical function
- Check control sequence and safeties
- Check refrigerant levels and pressure
- Check airflow in the system
- Verify operating temperature
Dirty air filters can lead to your system struggling, producing lower cooling output, and using more energy. We clean the evaporator coils because these rely upon being able to absorb heat from the air. If they are dirty, their ability to work is inhibited. This reduces the efficiency and output of your cooling system.
The condensate line takes the condensation that accumulates in your air conditioner and removes it from the system. If the condensate line clogs, there will be more humidity in your system. When an air conditioning system gets too humid inside, it operates less efficiently, and the accumulation of water will cause damage to parts.
What Can You Do?
Every three months, you should replace your air filters. If you have pets or people who live in your home with allergies, replace air filters every two months with a filter that has a MERV 13 rating. The MERV 13 filters take out very tiny mold spores, allergens, bacteria, viruses, and pet dander.
At the same time you replace the air filters, clean the vents and vacuum as far into the ducts as you can. This will help improve home air quality. Set the vents fully open so that you have the benefit of your system’s entire airflow capability. Check the ducts and vents for any indication of mold. If you find the ducts are very dirty, moldy, and/or dusty, we can come out and clean your ducts.
Trim back any vegetation that is near the outer air conditioning unit. Take a broom to the vents to get the spider webs and grass clippings out. Give all sides of the outdoor unit 2 feet of clearance. This will give your unit better airflow.
If you will be doing your own winterization, remove all of the leaves, twigs, and other vegetation from around the unit. Gently spray just the outer portion of the unit to get off any other debris and then let the outdoor unit dry. Insulate the outdoor pipes. Place an insulated cover over the unit. When it snows, be sure to carefully remove the snow from the top and sides of the unit daily so that the weight of the snow does not cause any damage.
Whenever you are doing homeowner maintenance tasks on or around your air conditioning unit, check for signs of rodent entry and possible damage, such as to wiring. Set your thermostat properly for the time of day and time of year. This will save you money and save on wear and tear on your unit, extending its service life.
Call the Experts at Absolute Air in Morgantown, WV and Pittsburgh, PA
At Absolute Air, we are here to help you with all of your air conditioning maintenance needs in Morgantown, WV and Pittsburgh, PA. Our maintenance contract will save you 15% on repairs and provides you with priority scheduling for service appointments. Our team is available to assist with both cooling and heating repairs and installation as well. Our team of Tru-Tech-certified technicians provides 24/7 emergency repairs on all makes and models of heating and air conditioning units. Financing of installations is offered on approved credit. We offer regular coupons and will help you find rebates where applicable. If you are concerned about your indoor air quality, ask us about our IAQ products and services. We can also help you with air duct cleaning and water heater installations. We are BBB A+ certified, so you can have peace of mind that we only provide top-notch services.
Call us today at Absolute Air to set up an appointment or learn more about our services.