Whether you are a home or business owner in Texas, your HVAC system plays an important role in protecting you and your belongings from extreme temperatures and humidity. These systems are expensive, however, with routine AC maintenance you can extend the life of your unit and keep it energy efficient for many years.
Your air conditioner maintenance will include a thorough inspection and cleaning to ensure there are no problems developing and to replace parts that have weakened due to regular wear and tear. In addition to scheduling annual maintenance for residential HVAC systems and biannual maintenance for commercial HVAC systems, you should be changing your air filter out every 30 to 90 days, depending on your specific needs.
Maintaining Your Air Conditioner
The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters reduce the amount of airflow and significantly reduce a system’s efficiency. In addition, when airflow is obstructed, air can bypass the filter and deposit dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings, or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.
Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.
Air Conditioner Coils
The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary.
Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.
You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) allow for adequate airflow around the condenser.
The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into nearly original condition.
Occasionally pass a stiff wire through the unit’s drain channels. Clogged drain channels prevent a unit from reducing humidity, and the resulting excess moisture may discolor walls or carpet.
Window Seals for Room Air Conditioners
At the start of each cooling season, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to ensure it makes contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape from your house.
Hiring a Professional
When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, such as when it does not reduce the indoor temperature to a comfortable level, hire a professional service technician. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system.
The technician should:
- Check for correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
Benefits of HVAC Maintenance
In addition to increasing the lifespan of your HVAC unit, routine maintenance can help to increase your indoor air quality, lower your electricity bills, and keep your system energy efficient. If you have not had your heating and cooling system serviced in the last 12 months, schedule an appointment with the team at LoneStar Heating and Cooling today.
Schedule Your Air Conditioning Maintenance Appointment in Houston Today
Reach out to the team at LoneStar Heating and Cooling for all of your commercial and residential cooling and heating needs. Our team provides affordable HVAC repairs, maintenance services, and installations to help you maintain total control over the climate in your home or business.
LoneStar Heating and Cooling
7941 Katy Fwy #287
Houston, TX 77024
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