Apr 30, 2012
An air conditioner is a very tough piece of equipment. It is engineered to withstand all sorts of abuse and keep on running. This is great in most respects, but like a car, air conditioners need regular maintenance to run properly.
Keep your air conditioner running like new.
Without regular maintenance an air conditioner loses about 5% of it’s original efficiency for each year of operation. This means that the 13 SEER unit that you bought just a few years ago may be functioning like a 10 SEER or less today! The good news is that you can recover most of that lost efficiency through regular maintenance. Studies show that with regular tune-ups a unit will maintain up to 95% of it’s original efficiency. This means that the cost of an annual tune-up is recovered very quickly in savings on your monthly electric bill and reduced repair costs. A properly serviced air conditioner will also do a better job of dehumidifying your home.
The system maintenance should include at least cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, oiling the fan motors, checking that belts are well adjusted, and checking the system operating pressures and temperatures against the manufacturers specifications. One of the most important items to check is the refrigerant level in the air conditioner.
Manifold gauges are used to measure refrigerant in your AC system.
A system that is only 10% low on coolant will cost about 20% more to operate! The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) recommends that coolant levels be checked every year.
There are some things that you can do in addition to yearly tune-ups that you can do to help ensure a high level of comfort and proper system operation. First, buy good filters and change them regularly. Next, keep bushes and other materials away from the outside unit of your air conditioner.
All equipment, even the most reliable, needs routine maintenance. Modern electronic equipment like today’s air conditioners benefit in many ways from annual service. They recover or maintain much of their efficiency, they are less likely to suffer a major break down, they have a longer life span, they increase your comfort, and they operate for less money.