As summer approaches, you want to make sure your air conditioning system is in proper working order, before it gets too hot. Too many times, consumers wait until the temperatures rise before they call an air conditioning expert. This can put you on a waiting list while your family bakes in the summer heat.
In order to keep your heating and cooling equipment in peak performance and keep your energy costs down, you should have a licensed contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. The best time to have this tune-up performed is in the spring for cooling systems and the fall for heating units. Plan the check-ups at the same time the time changes as a way to remember.
A licensed professional will clean the evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and may cause the system to run longer. This will increase energy costs and may reduce the life of the equipment. A heating and air professional will also check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust it if it is too high or too low. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. Be sure to have your blower components cleaned and adjusted to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
There are certainly some things you can do yourself in order to reduce energy costs. For example, inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and heat pump. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure. Ask your contractor to show you how. Be sure to monitor thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away. It is amazing how many people forget to change their thermostat settings while they are out of the house, leaving thousands of dollars on the table each year. Be sure to keep all moving parts adequately lubricated. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use. It also increases wear and tear and can shorten the life of your system. Don’t forget to check the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and heat pump. A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels. Just make sure you check the drain while it is in cooling mode. Finally, check the controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.