If you are a homeowner, by now you are probably firmly aware of the many costs and responsibilities you have to keep your home in top shape and up to date.
Managing your AC system is just one small chore you need to do at least once a year, or so we are told by AC manufacturers and technicians alike.
However, do you even know what is being done during your routine maintenance? Do you know what you are paying for?
We asked professionals at Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar to tell us what a standard annual checkup is all about. Even though the order of the tasks done in by no means important, here are the most important parts of the inspection.
The Outdoor Unit
The heat exchanging coils in the outdoor unit are important because they get rid of the excess heat and enable the whole system to work well.
However, they work best when they are unobstructed and clean, which is why one of the first tasks is to disassemble the outdoor unit and thoroughly clean the metal fins of the heat exchanger.
You shouldn’t do this alone, because you can easily bend or even break the delicate and thin fins.
Changing Air Filters
You probably know that you need to change your air filter as often as the manufacturer indicates on the spec sheet of your AC unit.
However, not everyone is that meticulous, as there are a lot of things on our minds, so it is always good to have your filters changed by a professional as long as they are around.
Keep in mind that a clean filter will not only keep your air cleaner, it will also help your AC run smoother and not struggle more to achieve the same amount of cooling, prolonging its lifespan.
Check the Levels of the Refrigerant
The refrigerant is the chemical inside your AC system which is really good at cooling down your system. It is kept in a closed system, so none of it should be released into your air.
However, whether due time or a leak, your refrigerant levels can drop below a useful level, causing your AC to struggle to achieve the same temperatures, often times failing.
An AC maintenance professional can help you determine if there is a leak or if your refrigerant levels dropped due to time and recharge the system for optimal performance.
Check the Electrical Installations
All of the previous tasks can be done by non-professionals if they have some handyman skills and the proper tools.
However, checking the electrical grid and handling electricity should really only be done by a licensed professional.
During an AC checkup, your technician will check the capacitors to see whether they are able to store and transport the appropriate amount of electricity. If not, they will need to be replaced. This way, the electric motor can run smoothly and without sudden starts and stops which can wear it out ahead of its time.
Additionally, the electrical connections i.e. the wires need to be up to code if your AC system is expected to work well. The technician will need to check for any fraying of the protective coating or loose connectors which may affect the amount of electricity your device is receiving.
Comprehensive spring maintenance will include several other tests and inspections, but these steps listed above are crucial to your AC for proper functioning.
Most experts will tell you to do your maintenance in spring before the heating season starts, because this way you can avoid the crowds and the waiting lists when the season actually starts.