Many people may not realize that air conditioning and heating equipment, even when it appears to be working just fine, can gradually become less efficient and therefore more expensive to operate. But just 42% of central HVAC systems receive the recommended annual air conditioning maintenance.
Signs of a system that is failing mechanically or ductwork that is leaking can include rising levels of humidity in the home or business and an increase in the amount of dust.
Regular air conditioning maintenance includes more than just changing the filter. Inside the evaporator, the coil is still going to accumulate dirt over extended periods of time. The buildup will reduce airflow and insulate the evaporator coil, and that reduces its ability to absorb heat. An air conditioning repair service should check the coil once a year and clean it as required.
Regular air conditioning service also should include an examination of outdoor condenser coils. They’re often in a dusty environment, and dirt can collect on the fins. Have a qualified air conditioning company perform a visual check and then do what’s necessary to correct any problems. You can help, as well, by clearing away any debris or foliage that can interfere with air flow to and through the unit. Try to create a clear area two feet back from all the surfaces.
Frequent sources of dirt and debris entering the condenser include dryer vents, lawn mowers and blowing leaves. So an occasional visual check of this part of the air conditioning installation can help to avoid any significant accumulation.
When it comes time to replace a central air conditioning system (especially one that has components that are more than 15 years old), energy costs will go down because modern equipment is so much less expensive to operate. If you see the EnergyStar certification, you can expect an efficiency improvement greater than 15%.
Regular air conditioning maintenance is relatively inexpensive and simple, and the steps outlined here will save you money both by keeping your system running as it should and by helping to prevent major problems from developing in the future.