All equipment, even the most reliable, needs routine maintenance. Your air conditioner’s manual recommends that you have your unit serviced in the spring and the fall. Complicated equipment, like today’s air conditioners, benefits in many ways from semi-annual service.
It helps them retain efficiency. Without routine maintenance, an air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency for each year of operation. This means that the 12 SEER unit that you bought just a few years ago may be functioning like a 9 SEER unit today. The SEER rating of air conditioning efficiency calculates the amount of cold air that is produced for each KWH (kilowatt hour) of electricity used. Losing 25% of your SEER rating could cost you 25% more money for the electricity to produce the same amount of cold air.
This means that the cost of routine maintenance is recovered very quickly in savings on your monthly electric bill and on reduced repair costs. Also it helps dehumidify your home and makes your unit last longer.
The routine maintenance should include cleaning the condensing unit coils, checking the amp draw of the compressor, oiling the fan motors, checking the belts for proper adjustment, cleaning the evaporative coils and checking the system operating pressures and temperatures.
One of the most important items that need to be checked is the coolant level (commonly known as Freon). A system that is only 10% low on coolant will cost about 20% more to operate. If your unit is low on coolant, the technician by law cannot put more Freon in your system until the leaks are repaired. Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that will damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer if released into the atmosphere.
Buy good filters and change them regularly. Next, keep your shrubbery and other materials away from the outside unit.
Don’t close off indoor air supply outlets (by placing furniture in front of the vents), because your system needs to “breathe” to work properly.
Like a car, air conditioners and furnaces need regular tune-ups to run properly. You are responsible for routine maintenance as specified by the equipment manufacturer. If maintenance is not performed, Nations cannot cover product failures. Rather than paying for a major repair, have routine maintenance done TODAY!