Just with any major investment such as a vehicle or appliance ensuring that it is regularly maintained, although a hassle can save you a lot of money and grief in the long run. An air conditioning system is no exception and just the regular do-it-yourself stuff doesn’t really cut it. Sourcing and maintaining a good relationship with a reliable HVAC company is a good idea and can help avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
When looking at what areas of your air conditioning system need to be maintained here is some more information to assist you with this process:
- Leaky ducts – surprisingly enough, this relatively simple problem to solve is one of the main reasons that air conditioners don’t operate as efficiently as they should. It is estimated that over 50% of central home AC systems have ducts that leak air. Checking the ducts and sealing any leaks is very important and by not doing so, you are risking losing from 10% to 30% of the central AC energy efficiency. Dust must be airtight and sealed with dust ‘mastic.’
- Poorly insulated ducts – is another problem that affects the efficiency of an AC system. Duct systems that run through areas such as a basement or an attic are subject to outside temperatures which can result in the overall AC system working harder than it should. Also, keep obstructions away from the registers will make the system more efficient. Don’t block registers with furniture or even drapes to ensure they are working properly.
- Inadequate airflow – some systems do not have enough airflow which is due to return ducts being too small. Making these ducts larger can be very expensive and a huge hassle, but it might be the only option. Other things that affect air flow can be dirty coils, a low fan speed, or leaks or obstructions in the ducts. To test air flow, a professional can measure it through the evaporator coil. Sometimes they will use a duct blower or a flat plate or flow hood so make these determinations.
- Wrong size AC – a simple problem to diagnose really, but many ACs are asked to do way more than they are programmed for. So make sure that your system is not too large or too small for the area that you are wanting cooled. If it’s too big then it will waste a lot of energy unnecessarily. Also if it is too big, it can affect the humidity levels in the space, making the room feel damp. Conversely, if the unit is too small, then it will have to work extra hard and will probably burn out a lot faster and use more energy than necessary to keep up.
Other duties that should be preformed regularly by a certified home cooling system technician should include: 1) thermostat control and checking; 2) electric terminals and connections cleaning and tightening (whenever necessary it should also be applied a non-conductive coating),
3) belts checking and 4) oiling of the motor among other basic cleaning and repair.