The Advantages of Having a Well-Maintained HVAC System
Maintaining your central air conditioning system is just as important as maintaining your hot air furnace on a regular basis. In the same way that your car needs regular oil changes, tire rotations, and tune-ups, your air conditioning system has operating components that must be serviced to prevent early failure.
It’s never too late to receive a health report for your air conditioning system and learn what you can do to optimize its performance, even if it’s been a few years since your last maintenance check.
A well-maintained air conditioning system saves energy and money by reducing the risk of insufficient cooling or, worse, system failure (which always seems to occur during the hottest weather). A well-maintained air conditioning system results in a more pleasant house, fewer or no service calls, and lower electricity expenses.
To get the most life out of your system, do the following:
- Make sure there’s enough ventilation and inspect the ductwork.
- Replace or clean your air filters.
- Examine the moving parts as well as other AC components.
- Make sure you’re using the right refrigerant.
- For frequent maintenance checks, consult a professional cooling system expert.
DUCTWORK AND AIRFLOW
Proper ventilation is essential for maintaining a suitable temperature in all of your rooms while also lowering your electricity costs. Inadequate airflow consumes energy, resulting in higher electricity bills, as well as lost time and money trying to fix an issue that shouldn’t happen if the system is maintained frequently.
Once a year, make the following adjustments to guarantee proper airflow:
Make sure your ductwork is the right size.
Ductwork airflow efficiency depends on properly sized ductwork. Is your air conditioner having problems cooling your home properly? Are your utility bills out of control? If this is the case, your ductwork was most likely not properly sized and may need to be modified.
Check your ductwork.
Inspection does not imply cleaning, which may be necessary only if routine preventative maintenance was not conducted in the first place. Instead, inspection entails looking for and repairing potential leaks. Leaking ductwork allows unnecessary heat from the outside to enter your home, forcing your system to work harder and longer to keep your home cool.
The central air conditioning is one of the most energy-intensive appliances in most houses, guaranteeing the performance of your air conditioning system can result in significant energy savings. A leaking duct system can lower the efficiency of your climate control system by up to 30%. These leaks can bring in unwelcome dust, unconditioned outdoor air, and humidity.
CLEAN OR CHANGE AIR FILTERS
The AC air filter collects dust and particle matter and filters the air that circulates throughout your home, allowing you and your family to breathe easier.
When your filter becomes clogged with dirt and debris, your air conditioner needs to work harder to push and pull air through it. A more expensive and less energy-efficient air conditioning system is one that works harder. Worst-case scenario: sufficiently clogged air filters can restrict airflow to the point where safety switches cause the system to shut down completely.
As part of a normal preventative maintenance schedule, air filters should be cleaned and, in most cases, replaced. The interval is determined by a variety of criteria, including the manufacturer’s instructions, the type of filtration used, and whether or not you have pets. Consult your HVAC (Heating, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation) specialist to decide the best time to clean or replace your air filters.
CHECK THE AC MOVING PARTS AND COMPONENTS
It’s not just about the unit inside your home when it comes to ensuring optimum airflow. Your outside air condensing unit is another important component. Anything that obstructs the space around your outdoor condenser, such as dirt or shrubs, makes it difficult for your condenser to breathe effectively.
Keep the area around your outside condenser free to guarantee optimal ventilation. In addition, examine the coils and remove any debris that has accumulated. An HVAC professional should do the following:
- As part of a regular maintenance regimen, inspect all moving parts to verify everything is in working order. Electrical components, such as capacitors, should be inspected to ensure that there are no symptoms of imminent failure and that they are working properly.
- Vacuum the air conditioning unit’s fins and/or clean with a soft-bristle brush. Gently press down on bent or broken fins to realign them. It is necessary to proceed with caution because the fins are delicate and easily twisted or crushed.
- Remove any obstructions from the condensation drain tube. Condensation from the air conditioner coils contains microorganisms that might clog the tube by creating slime. If you find water puddling around the furnace when the air conditioner is on, you most likely have a clogged condensation drain tube.
Change the R-22 refrigerant in your air conditioning system with an R-410A system. They offer R-22 drop-in replacement refrigeration, however it is not advised by the equipment manufacturer and may void any current warranty. Because R-22 is an ozone depleting material, the Environmental Protection Agency (which also banned its imports and production) requires its replacement.
This has both advantages and disadvantages. R-22 is approximately five times more expensive than R-410A. Purchasing a new R-410A system will have a greater initial cost. The trade-off is that your system will function more efficiently, lowering your energy bills. And you’re helping to create a cleaner environment that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer.
A well-maintained air conditioning system is more efficient since it does not have to work as hard to move air through the coils. A well-functioning system does not experience abrupt temperature drops. The temperature should be gradually reduced so that the heat emitted by the furniture, walls, and ceiling in the space is dispersed.
When the system reaches the correct temperature, it remains off for a longer period of time since the items in the space can now absorb heat before the air temperature changes. This improves the comfort of the environment. A well functioning system also maintains humidity low because the air moves slowly enough across the evaporator coil to eliminate all excess humidity.
A well-maintained air conditioning system is considerably less likely to break when you least want it to—on the hottest days of a scorching summer. A well-maintained and efficient air conditioning system also results in decreased energy costs and utility bills.