Keeping Your Air Conditioner Properly Maintained is the Best Way to Prolong Its Life
Replacing your air conditioning system is expensive. No one wants to do it until they absolutely have to. The best way to keep your old one alive for as long as possible is to have your HVAC regularly serviced twice each year. This service is comparable to a tune-up on your car.
Most reputable HVAC service companies offer an annual service agreement for a flat fee. The fee covers inspection and routine AC repair and maintenance each spring. The spring service usually includes:
- Inspection of all of the machinery and its parts, including the coils, fan belts, motors, blowers, fans, and refrigerants.
- Performance, charge, and control tests.
- Leak tests.
- Cleaning, including changing filters.
This service will identify small repairs that need to be done before they become serious and expensive. Another advantage to having a service agreement with a reputable HVAC service is you receive priority treatment if you need an emergency AC repair, and the fees for it are usually reduced. In short, regular service on your system is a good investment, and it will keep your system operating at an optimal level until you need a new one.
Signs You Need an HVAC Technician to Diagnose a System Problem and Conduct an AC Repair
The AC Blows Warm Air
Suddenly, the air conditioner is not blowing cool air. This could simply mean the system is low on refrigerant and needs charging, or it could mean that the compressor, a major component of your system, is failing. You will have to call your HVAC technician to service it. Sometimes the refrigerant is low due to a leak in the system that must be repaired. If you have a leak, your technician may be able to repair it and determine if the system is able to hold a charge, or if it must be replaced.
No Air Flow or Little Air Flow
Another sign of potentially serious problems is when the system is running but no air is blowing at all, or very little is blowing. This can be another indication that the compressor is failing. On the other hand, it could simply be that something is blocking the air ducts. Change your air filters. And, if it has been several years since you last had your ducts cleaned, this may be a good time to do it. Again, your HVAC service technician easily can diagnose this problem.
Moisture or Leaking
If you see signs of moisture around your any of the components, you probably have a leak somewhere. The leak can be refrigerant, which needs to be repaired immediately. Refrigerant is a chemical that can be hazardous to the health of humans and pets. The leak could also be clogged tubing that drains the system’s condensation. This is a simple AC repair for the HVAC technician, but if the leak is bad enough it can damage wood and drywall, and cause mold growth.
System Makes Loud Noises
When you hear grinding or squealing in the outdoor unit, you need to have it inspected. A belt may have slipped off or something may have broken and is interfering with the unit’s mechanisms. It may be repairable, but if left untended for too long, you could be faced with a major AC repair or replacement.
Signs You Need to Fully Replace Your System
If your system is over ten years old, regular service to keep it functioning well is even more important. Once the system reaches fifteen years, it really is considered old. It may be time to replace it once you need to have it serviced more frequently or if you notice your energy consumption is higher but the comfort level in your home is not as pleasant as you would like. You may also notice that some rooms are cold, but others warm. The humidity levels may be noticeably higher than they should be. These are all signs that you should be preparing to replace your system.
If you do need to replace your system, discuss your options with the HVAC expert. Air conditioning systems on the market now are very energy efficient and can operate at less cost than older systems. Depending on factors such as your lifestyle and where you live, you may be able to offset the cost of a new system with the savings in reduced utility bills.
Contact a Reputable HVAC Technician for Help
In the HVAC world, it pays to be proactive with system maintenance. Your HVAC system is probably the most expensive mechanical system in your home. Don’t let an easy repair turn into a major expense. Keeping it in peak operating condition is in your best financial interest. Have a licensed qualified HVAC technician evaluate your system soon.