Many homeowners might not realize that once the weather starts to warm up, they can turn their air conditioner on before having it maintained by a professional. Rest assured, you can flip your thermostat over to “cool” or “AC” on the first warm spring day. This won’t just help you stay cool, but running the unit early in the season could potentially help you detect any problems before they result in a breakdown. Make note of any strange noises you hear, or if you see any leaks or rusting on the unit.
However, it’s important to remember that you still need to have your central air conditioner inspected and cleaned by an expert, especially before summer temperatures arrive. Nobody wants to deal with a hot, uncomfortable home because of an AC problem that could have been dealt with early in the season by a cooling professional.
Benefits of cooling maintenance
- May help to extend the life of your system.
- Improved indoor air quality for your family.
- Improved efficiency of the system and potentially lower energy bills.
- Fewer repairs may be needed over the life of the unit.
Maintaining your home’s cooling system
Your air conditioner has numerous parts that work in unison to provide your family with a cool, comfortable home. Failure to properly maintain your unit could mean premature wear and tear or a total system breakdown.
An HVAC maintenance professional will be sure to inspect and clean all major components of your system, including the coils, blower fan, filter, condensate drain line, and refrigerant levels.
The two primary coils in your cooling system are the evaporator coil and the condenser coil. The evaporator coil’s job is to absorb heat from the air and transfer it to the refrigerant inside your unit. Once the indoor air is rid of excess heat, it’s pushed out through the ducts in your home.
The condenser coil’s job is to release heat from the refrigerant into the outdoor air with the use of a fan. This coil is typically found on the exterior of the home in the condenser unit.
Regardless of how often you change your filter, these two coils will collect dust and dirt throughout the year. If they aren’t properly cleaned, they may not be as efficient as they could be. This means it may take longer to cool your home.
This component is responsible for pushing the hot air from inside your home over the evaporator coils, where it’s then absorbed. Often, this part of your cooling system is referred to as the air handler. If the fan’s blades are full of dust, the fan won’t be able to push air as it’s intended to do.
Filters are used to prevent dirt and dust from clogging up your heating and cooling systems. Changing your furnace filter on a routine basis will help to improve your home’s indoor air quality, and it will also help to improve the efficiency of your heating system. ENERGY STAR® recommends changing your filter 4-12 times per year. Routine replacement of the filter could potentially result in an annual reduction of 5-15% on your air conditioning and heating-related utility costs.
Not changing your furnace filter often? You run the risk of having your blower fan get clogged with dirt, dust, hair, and allergens. This build-up causes your AC to work extra hard to push air through your ductwork. Extra work on the air conditioner means higher than normal energy bills, and it could mean premature wear and tear on your system.
Worst of all, a dirty filter could mean your family is breathing in the contaminated air!
Condensate drain line
This important part of your system is responsible for getting rid of condensation produced by your AC’s evaporator coils. This line needs to be cleaned regularly as it can grow mold or mildew from the excess moisture and humidity coming from your unit in the spring and summer months.
Refrigerant is sometimes referred to as coolant. If your AC starts to run short on it, the system may not come on at all, or your home may not feel as cool as it should. A cooling expert will be able to check the refrigerant level in your system to be sure it’s where it needs to be. Low coolant levels could mean there’s a leak somewhere in the unit.
Common problems caused by a lack of AC maintenance
If you choose to ignore the maintenance your cooling system needs to keep it running efficiently, you may run into a myriad of problems, including the following.
Frozen AC pipes
If your home doesn’t feel as cool as it should, you may have ice forming on your evaporator coils. When your unit is running, air passes over the cool evaporator coil and it can freeze up. This is often a problem caused by a dirty air filter, obstructed registers in your home, or problems with your ductwork. Anything that prevents proper air flow through your unit may lead to a rapid freeze-up.
AC not blowing cold air
If the air coming out of the registers doesn’t feel cool, you may have a problem with your air filter. It could be dirty and preventing air flow, or you may have a filter in place that is “too efficient.” High-efficiency air filters are designed to stop even the smallest particles from passing through. This could also obstruct air flow to your cooling system, and it can result in a freeze-up, as mentioned above.
Additionally, an AC that isn’t blowing cold air could indicate a problem with your compressor, or you may need to have your refrigerant charged.
AC keeps cycling on and off
Do you keep hearing your AC coming on and shutting off randomly? This could be caused by debris in your system which is obstructing air flow. Also, this could be a problem with your thermostat settings.
AC won’t come on
A non-functional air conditioner can be the result of a number of problems, including dirty and dust-filled parts, a refrigerant leak, or even just a tripped breaker.
Poor indoor air quality
If you’ve noticed some extra sneezing or allergy-related problems in your home, your air conditioner may be blowing out dust and other allergens. The cause could be a dirty air filter, or a system full of dust that’s in need of cleaning.
Finding an AC maintenance professional
It can be difficult to find a service provider who you trust to come into your home to take care of a problem.
At Pivotal Home Solutions, we strictly work with experienced, trained, and skilled professionals who have performed numerous AC cleaning appointments over the course of their careers. You can rest easy knowing that the individual we send to your home has the right qualifications for the job.
We offer an affordable Cooling Maintenance Plan that includes the following:
- Annual performance tune-up on one primary central cooling system, ducted electric central air conditioning, and blower motor located in the furnace if necessary for proper operation of the cooling system.
- Checking and installing new filter when necessary (additional cost for filter).
- Checking refrigerant level and adding up to a maximum of 2 lbs. of replacement refrigerant, not to exceed $100 per annual term, at no additional cost if needed.
- Additional refrigerant can be added, but the cost is not included.
- Inspect and clean condensers.
- Check the electrical connection and AMP draw.
Additional exclusions and restrictions may apply. For complete information on the plan, including applicable terms and conditions, see the Customer Agreement.
Schedule an air conditioner maintenance appointment
Ready to learn more, or do you want to sign up for the Cooling Maintenance Plan and make an appointment? Give us a call at 855-890-2163, or you can chat with a customer service representative on our website.
We also offer an affordable a Cooling Repair Plan that provides comprehensive protection for your air conditioning unit. The plan came in handy for Susan W. of Normal, IL: “It’s probably been ten years since we first got coverage. The call center has been very helpful, and they’re very quick to get someone out because there are some people that need to be restored sooner than later. When my partner went through radiation and then the air conditioner acted up, they got someone out that same day!”