Would we expect top performance from a car that hadn’t had a tune up in over a year? Would we expect a piano to play every note on key without a tune up? So why do we expect this from our air conditioning and heating systems especially during a hot Houston summer? Regular air conditioner maintenance is akin to a tune up and should be a crucial part of every homeowner’s spring cleaning routine.
As you turn off the furnace and throw open the windows to welcome the coming warmth, you need to begin thinking about air conditioner maintenance. Don’t wait until it is too late! The first hot day of the year is the worst time to discover that there is something wrong with your system. In addition, most large repairs could be avoided with proper air conditioner maintenance. We all know that trying to find an ac repair man at 4pm on a sultry Houston day can be near impossible!
What Can You Do on Your Own and What is Best to Leave to the Professionals?
Here are 5 tasks to add to your to do list:
Check Your System Twice a Year – As soon as you turn off your heat, it’s time to start thinking about air conditioner maintenance. And as soon as you turn off the air conditioner, it’s time to look at the heating. Don’t wait until the last minute! If you do discover a problem that needs professional assistance, you want to have it dealt with before the hot weather strikes so that you aren’t left on a waiting list with the other procrastinators.
Don’t Use Your Condensing Unit as a Storage Shelf – The outdoor part of your air conditioner works by drawing air into the system. This requires it to have plenty of space on top and around it. When you check your system, clear away any leaves or other debris that has gotten caught in and around the unit and resist the urge to store lawn furniture and other objects on top of it to prevent damage and keep it clear when you do need to turn it on.
Change or Clean Your Filters – A dirty filter will restrict air flow to the unit. This can cause serious damage to the system and will make it inefficient to run. Make sure to replace or clean your filters regularly. How often is regularly? That depends on the type of filter and how often you run the system. Ask your air conditioner maintenance professional for a recommendation.
Check the Thermostat – A thermostat will have a heating setting and a cooling setting. Make sure that it is properly set for the time of year. In addition, a professional can let you know if it is keeping the temperature as it should.
Turn It on Before You Need It – Turn on the air conditioner before you hit a heat wave to check that it’s working properly. If it doesn’t seem to be producing cool air, the system could have a problem like being low on refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels are a sign there is a leak in the system. A professional can assist you in finding the leak and sealing it so that new refrigerant can be added to the system. Remember that an air conditioner is not meant to burn through refrigerant. If your air conditioner lacks, this is a sign of a problem not the root of a problem.
What Should Air Conditioner Maintenance Include?
Air conditioner maintenance geared for the Houston, Gulf-coast area generally includes:
- Check & clean condenser coil
- Check voltage & amperage on motors
- Check & adjust blower components
- Check & clean condensate drain
- Check operation pressure for proper refrigerant charge
- Check all safety controls
- Calibrate the thermostat
- Lubricate the blower
- Check that the condenser is level
- Check starting capabilities
- Lubricate outside fan
- Check all electrical connections
- Check temperature drop
- Check fans on outside condensing unit
- Clean evaporator coil
- Inspect the suction line & the liquid line
- Inspect the air filter
Whether you attempt to do it yourself or hire a professional to take care of the entire project, make sure that air conditioner maintenance is marked down on the top of your pre-summer to do list.
Call Cy-Fair Mechanical today and schedule an appointment to have the air conditioning maintenance performed. Please call 281-213-2733. Cy Fair Mechanical services the North West Houston area.