Good advice when referring to AC repair would be, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Some like to say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” In some cases this is good advice, but not when it comes to your air conditioner. Regular maintenance can significantly reduce the number of repairs that your air conditioner will require in its lifetime. Having your air conditioner cleaned and fine-tuned each year before the onset of warm weather can prevent future breakdowns that would be inconvenient. The fine-tuning can keep bigger problems from happening which would be more costly to repair. Regular maintenance also keeps your air conditioner running efficiently and using the least amount of energy possible.
One of the most important parts of an air conditioner are the filters. If filters become dirty and clogged it reduces or blocks the flow of air, which cuts down on efficiency and can cause your air conditioner to fail. When air gets past the filter it carries dirt into the evaporator coil which will keep it from absorbing heat as it should. Filters should be replaced every month or two during the cooling season, or sometimes more often under dusty conditions (such as a newly built house) or if you have pets.
Even if you replace your filters regularly, dirt will still build up on the evaporator coil over time. This will obstruct air flow and prevent the coil from absorbing heat. The outdoor condenser coil can also become dirty, especially in dusty environments. The coils need to be cleaned regularly to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. It is also important to keep the area around the outdoor condenser unit clear of foliage and debris. Also, on the condenser coils there are aluminum fins that can easily become bent and obstruct air flow. These need to be combed back into place periodically to keep your air conditioner running properly.
Another part of air conditioners that needs to be checked regularly are the condensate drains. If they become blocked or are not draining excess moisture out as they should, your home will become humid. Excess humidity in the home can cause all sorts of issues from staining of walls and floors to causing mold and mildew to grow on surfaces.
The biggest advantage to keeping your air conditioner well maintained is the money you will save on energy. A well maintained air conditioner can run at up to 95% of its original efficiency. Without maintenance you’re lucky if it’s running even 50% as efficiently as it was when it was new.
One more thing to consider is the warranty on your air conditioner. Some warranties are only honored if annual maintenance is performed on the system. If you neglect maintenance you may find yourself having to pay for parts and repairs out of pocket despite the fact that your system is still under warranty.
Patterson Heating and Air Conditioning offers their Comfort Guard Protection service plan for regular maintenance of your air conditioner which can reduce the need for costly air conditioner repairs.