AC Maintenance Tips for a Long-Lasting Air Conditioner
It’s long been established that air conditioners are not a luxury but a necessity. This goes doubly so if you live in the southern part of the country, and in the desert southwest in particular. On the other hand, as the recent heat waves in Washington State and Canada’s British Columbia show, not even the northerly regions are safe.
In fact, State of Arizona dictates that air conditioning is a human right rather than an amenity. That’s why it is so important to ensure that your AC runs smoothly and doesn’t break down then you need it the most. Arizona’s premier AC experts at Hughes Air weigh in on proper maintenance that homeowners can do on their own to ensure the longevity of their systems.
Keep Your System Clean
Pretty much the most important thing for running your AC is an uninterrupted air flow. That means that your air filters and intakes need to be clean and free of obstructions.
Most AC manufacturers provide a very detailed and comprehensive cleaning guide for their AC systems, but you should know that replacing or cleaning air filters at least once a month (although this varies depending on the manufacturer) is the best way to ensure your air conditioner lasts longer.
There are two basic reasons to having a clean air filter. The first is that the air that you breathe will also be cleaner as a result of this – which is a great benefit, but not the primary function of an air filter. The primary reason for air filters being clean is to keep the delicate machinery of your AC system protected from dust and debris, as well as any obstructions to the air flow.
If the air flow is constricted somehow, the system will have to work harder to achieve the same temperatures, which puts unnecessary stress on the parts that may break unexpectedly if the problem persists undetected and untreated.
Check Your Thermostat Settings
If your thermostat is older, chances are that it may not be calibrated well, which means that your AC is not calibrated well either. The simplest solution to this problem is installing a new thermostat. Fortunately, you’re spoilt for choice in this area – there are plenty modern ‘smart’ thermostats which are not only accurate, but also able to be controlled via your smartphone.
That basically means that you can control when your AC works and when it can rest (which is ideal if you’re away from home most of the day). Imagine coming back from work into a pleasantly cooled house where your AC did not run all day and ramp up your electricity bill.
Check for Leaks in the System
If you notice something weird, like if your system is louder than usual, or if it works for longer periods of time than before, there might be a problem. For instance, your system might have a leak in the refrigerant line.
Checking for this is pretty easy, fortunately. Take a look at the indoor unit – is there ice forming on the thin metal fins? If so, chances are that your system has sprung a leak. This is when you need to call in the experts – professional AC maintenance service will be able to fix and recharge your system with refrigerant. That means that your system will be back to operating at the peak of its limits instead of struggling to achieve the desired temperatures.
Noticing any more serious problems than these simple issues typically requires the attention of a professional. Even then, you should not waste time. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that something will break and result in a much more urgent and expensive repair call instead of a maintenance call.