If you want to make sure your home always stays cool and comfortable during the hottest parts of the year, one important thing to consider is having your system maintained and serviced regularly. Proper maintenance can affect how well an AC system works and how long it lasts. In this article, we’ll show you how often AC systems need to be maintained, what this involves and what benefits it can provide.
How Often Should an AC System Be Maintained?
Virtually all HVAC manufacturers recommend that central air conditioning systems be inspected and serviced by a certified technician every year. Reputable HVAC manufacturers provide a limited parts warranty on all units they produce, and the terms of these warranties often stipulate that the unit must be serviced yearly by a certified technician. If you have a part that is covered under warranty and fails due to a manufacturer’s defect, the manufacturer can ask you to provide a maintenance record when filing the warranty claim.
In addition to yearly professional maintenance, HVAC manufacturers also say that you need to replace the air filter in your AC system every three months at the least. If your system has components that fail because you didn’t replace the air filter, this will be considered neglect and can also result in your warranty being voided.
Numerous issues can arise if you let the air filter get too dirty. A dirty air filter will make your air conditioning much less effective. It also puts lots of extra strain on the compressor motor and blower and can lead to either one overheating. If the filter is too dirty and restricts the amount of air being drawn into your AC system, there is also a major risk of the evaporator coil inside your house freezing up. When the evaporator coil freezes, the system will start blowing hot air. If you let the system continue running when frozen, it also puts the compressor motor at risk of seizing up.
What Professional AC Maintenance Entails
One of the most important tasks in maintaining an AC system is cleaning all of the various components like the evaporator coil, condenser coil and blower. A dirty evaporator coil will make the system cool much less effectively. It will also be prone to freezing since dust prevents the warm air coming into the system from directly contacting the evaporator coil. This means that the refrigerant will absorb very little heat and stay so cold that the coil starts to freeze.
A blower that is caked in dust and debris can also cause the same issues. When the blower is dirty, it can’t move air nearly as effectively. This limits the amount of heat the system can capture, which can again cause it to freeze up.
If the condenser coil in the outdoor unit is dirty, the system will struggle to release all of the heat it removed from the home. This will decrease the system’s effectiveness and can cause the compressor to overheat and shut down. Overheating is an issue you want to avoid since it can damage the unit’s wiring and electrical components.
Another important task is cleaning the debris inside the unit or stuck in its sides. Keeping the unit free of debris helps to ensure that it always has proper airflow. If your AC is clogged, the compressor fan won’t be able to move sufficient air through it. This also makes it nearly impossible for the unit to release all of the heat stored in the refrigerant, which can again lead to overheating.
It is also necessary to check the refrigerant level or charge when servicing an AC system. Low refrigerant charge often indicates that there is a leak somewhere in the system, and this is especially common with older systems. Pinhole leaks can form in the refrigerant lines or the coils, and the rubber gasket on the service valve can also wear out and start leaking over time. Extreme heat can also sometimes cause the weld joints in the refrigerant lines or valves to blow out.
At Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation, we have a full 20-point checklist that our technicians follow whenever performing an AC maintenance and tune-up service. In addition to cleaning and checking the refrigerant level, the technician will also inspect and test all of the essential components to ensure the entire system functions effectively. If they find that any component is malfunctioning or starting to wear out, they will usually be able to repair or replace it then and there. This will help ensure that your air conditioning keeps cooling effectively all summer long and lower the chances of it suddenly breaking down.
Benefits of Annual AC Maintenance
As you can see, one of the main reasons why you should have your AC serviced yearly is that it will help keep the system working more effectively. A poorly performing AC system will often have major issues keeping your home cool. It may work just fine on cooler days, but it can struggle mightily when the weather is extremely hot or humid.
If your AC is struggling, it must run much more than it should. This will lead to your energy bills being much higher, and it also leads to all of the components suffering much more wear and tear. As such, there will be a much greater risk of components wearing out or the system completely breaking down.
Annual maintenance will improve the efficiency of your AC so that your energy costs stay lower. It can also help you avoid having to pay for potentially expensive repairs and even extend the life of your system. AC systems usually have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, but regular maintenance can often allow you to get even more life out of your system. As an added bonus, many companies offer discounted repairs if you are a member of their annual maintenance plan.
Sacramento’s AC and Heating Experts
Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation is a locally owned and operated company with years of experience in all HVAC services. We offer complimentary estimates on all air conditioning and heating maintenance, repair and installation services. We provide a full 10-year warranty on all installations we perform, and we also offer financing for new installations on approved credit. Our certified technicians service all brands and models or central air conditioners, heat pumps, ductless mini-splits and furnaces. We also install and service whole-house fans and water heaters and can help if you need any insulation services as well.
If you want to get the most out of your HVAC system, you should consider signing up for our Cool Club Maintenance Program. Program members receive a yearly AC tune-up and heating tune-up, discounted repairs, and free diagnostic services. You’ll also receive other great benefits like priority scheduling and extended parts and labor warranties. For more information on the benefits of joining our maintenance program or to schedule any HVAC service in the Sacramento area, contact Atticman Heating and Air Conditioning, Insulation today.