In today’s modern world, we take a great deal of things for granted. We have cars with GPS, computers to help us work, TVs that entertain us and smartphones that do more than we need! And let’s not forget about our beloved air conditioning, too. A well-functioning cooling system makes those sticky hot days of summer tolerable. But we often take this chilled relief for granted. In all honestly, we rarely think about our air conditioning system until it tanks on one of the hottest days of the year, right? Fortunately, there is a way to prevent this type of AC breakdown or AC repair. It’s called AC maintenance.
How Cool is Our AC Maintenance? It’s Righteous.
When you purchase a cooling system installed by Buehler, we know one thing—it’s going to run with the super sweet efficiency of a brand new Ferrari. Still, in order to keep that high-class system running smoothly all season, you need to play it smart by scheduling annual maintenance. Whatever your system—from conventional duct–based central air units and heat pumps to ductless mini splits, our cool dudes will perform a thorough cleaning, inspection and adjustment of your entire cooling unit.
The Benefits Are Totally Rad
Annual air conditioner maintenance is a totally awesome deal and one of the best things you can do for your system. Regular upkeep can make that system run like it’s brand new and allow you to take full advantage of everything your system has to offer—like perfectly chilled comfort. What could be cooler
As with many mechanical devices, maintenance is an essential part of ensuring proper function and optimum performance in air conditioners. Whether central, in-house, or portable, should be maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications and in accordance with a manual. as commonly used in large industrial spaces and inside professional buildings and homes, consist of two main components, each of which require specific maintenance and treatment.
The exterior component of a central air conditioning system, called the is composed of several important subcomponents: a compressor, a fan, and coolant lines that connect the unit in its entirety to the interior evaporator coil. Typically, a condenser unit is located outside, either on the roof or in another safe, outdoor location. The evaporator coil tends to be installed in close proximity to the furnace.
Because the condenser and evaporator are often sealed in a central air conditioning system, do-it-yourself maintenance is somewhat restricted and annual system maintenance should be scheduled prior to using the system for an extended period. However, if the system isn’t sealed, there are several methods for maintaining a properly functioning unit.
Why Get Air Conditioner Maintenance?
Most people don’t know this, but having your air conditioner system maintained every year is one of the smartest things you can do. Here’s why:
1. You get better energy efficiency and spend less on electricity. An air conditioner can drift out of spec as time passes.
2. You reduce the likelihood of sudden breakdowns.
3. Add years to the life of your system. Like any machine, an air conditioner is subject to wear and tear over time. One part that is out of spec can stress all the systems it connects to. As the years pass, the whole system has to work harder, and becomes more likely to give up. Replacing that bad part can mean everything else works the way it was meant to.
How to Repair Central Air Conditioners
Central air conditioners have two separate components: the condenser and the evaporator. The condenser unit is usually located outside the house on a concrete slab. The evaporator coil is mounted in the plenum or main duct junction above the furnace.
Most central air conditioners are connected to a home’s forced-air distribution system. Thus, the same motor, blower, and ductwork used for heating are used to distribute cool air from the air conditioning system. When a central air conditioner is operating, hot air inside the house flows to the furnace through the return-air duct. The hot air is moved by the blower across the cooled evaporator coil in the plenum and is then delivered through ducts to cool the house. When the air conditioner works but the house doesn’t cool, the problem is probably in the distribution system.
Both the evaporator and the condenser are sealed. Therefore, a professional service person should be called for almost any maintenance other than routine cleaning. Central air conditioners should be professionally inspected and adjusted before the beginning of every cooling season. However, don’t let your maintenance end with this annual checkup. While there aren’t many repairs you can make yourself, there are specific maintenance procedures you can follow to keep your system operating at peak efficiency.
Caution: Before doing any work on an air conditioning system, make sure the power to the system, both to the condenser and to the evaporator assembly, is turned off.
One simple way to potentially save money and prolong the life of an AC system is to make sure the outdoor unit stays clean. During normal operation, a fan in the outdoor unit pulls air through the condenser coil. Airborne dust and dirt particles and debris from nearby foliage can get lodged in the coil fins, restricting airflow and affecting performance.
Four air conditioner preventative maintenance tasks that can keep the outdoor unit clean:
Trim back or clear the area of shrubs or flowers that can restrict airflow to the unit. Physically remove any leaves or other debris that has accumulated near the base of the unit or is clinging to the side of the unit.
Vacuum the coil fins
Your dealer will turn off the system either at the thermostat, the power cutoff near the outdoor unit, or the breaker box. Once they have ensured the system is disconnected from power, they will vacuum the coil, which wraps around most of the outside of the unit using a soft bristle brush attachment. Most AC coils are composed of refrigerant tubing and thin metal “fins” that bend easily. Your dealer will be careful not to bend the fins as this can also restrict airflow and affect performance.
Cleaning the coil fins
Your dealer will turn off the system either at the thermostat, the power cutoff near the outdoor unit, or the breaker box. Once they have ensured the system is disconnected from power, they will clean the coil fins with heavy-duty coil-cleaning chemicals and using a garden hose (NOT use a power washer – too much pressure can bend or damage the fins), they will gently rinse dirt and debris from the coil starting at the top and moving down.
Cleaning the evaporator coil
The indoor evaporator coil also requires airflow for proper operation, but because it is typically difficult to access, we recommend leaving indoor coil cleaning to a licensed Carrier indoor comfort expert.