The short answer is yes, but it’s important to put this into some kind of context to prove how crucial regular servicing is for your AC system. At this time of year, we start to think about using our air conditioning system in the cooling season ahead, and this is the ideal time to get your equipment serviced. This will be carried out by an HVAC technician, it will involve a comprehensive check of your components, and any defective parts can be repaired or replaced. This will make your AC system ready for the months ahead, but if you’re still unconvinced read on, and we will demonstrate why regular servicing is essential.
The Value of Your AC System
Let’s face it; when you install an AC system, it represents a significant investment. Much like your car, a modern air conditioning system is a complex piece of equipment with many key components. Every car owner knows that you need to service and maintain a car to keep it running efficiently and an AC system is no different. When you invest money into your indoor comfort, it makes sense to protect that investment with a regularly scheduled service prior to each cooling season.
Components Wear Down
Eventually, the component in your air conditioner will begin to degrade and wear down. This can occur naturally due to the age of the part, or it could be caused by excessive wear and tear. Some parts, such as a worn fan belt or a loose electrical connection can be identified and corrected as part of your regular service. But, other problems may require a more extensive repair or a replacement to fix. An air conditioner also has moving parts that can travel a little over time, and when these parts become loose, they can affect other components. Getting these types of problems identified and fixed before the summer arrives is a great way to ensure that your AC system is ready for use. When your air conditioning is well maintained the chances of a system failure on a hot day are significantly reduced.
Components Get Dirty
Over time, the components inside your air conditioner can become covered with dust or clogged up with debris. Because it’s located outside, the external unit that houses the compressor is subject to the elements and these risks. The external unit should be covered during the fall and winter months to prevent leaves, dirt and other debris from getting inside the unit. Wet leaves and debris can cause problems such as damp, mold and even corrosion inside your external unit.
If the coil is covered with dust or dirt, it may not be able to release the heat gathered in your home out into the surrounding air. This will degrade the entire cooling process, and the coil will need to be cleaned properly. This is not a job for someone without formal training in AC systems, and it should be carried out by an HVAC technician. The components inside the external unit are sensitive, and an untrained person could easily cause damage that will be expensive to fix.
A trained HVAC technician will be able to professionally clean the outdoor coil if it’s coated in dirt and dust. This may require a high pressure hose or even a chemical cleaning product if the dirt buildup is especially severe. There may also be debris such as leaves and twigs inside the blower fan and in other locations and this must be cleaned out.
Early Detection of Problems
One of the most important aspects of a regularly scheduled service is an earlier detection of potential problems. An HVAC technician will be able to spot minor issues before they can develop into larger problems. A minor issue will typically be easier and cheaper to fix, but a larger problem could mean more downtime and an expensive repair or replacement. Any broken component will only get worse over time, at best this will degrade the cooling performance, and at worst it could even damage other components. If your AC system has a regularly scheduled service before each cooling season, you may save a significant amount of money on more extensive repairs later.
Increasing AC System Efficiency
The AC system in your home will gradually lose energy efficiency over time. This is perfectly natural and like your car it will need to be tuned up before each cooling season. The HVAC technician will make some significant adjustments to improve the performance and energy efficiency. This will make your AC system more effective at cooling your home, and it will reduce your energy bill at the same time.
Basic AC System Maintenance Tasks
There are some basic AC system maintenance tasks that anyone can carry out without formal HVAC training.
The air filter needs to be changed every month to allow enough airflow into the air conditioning system. This will improve the air quality by removing the dirt, debris and other contaminants that could be on the surface of the filter. A cleaner air filter will also help your system to work efficiently; if the AC system cannot draw in enough air it will be forced to work harder, and this can cause damage.
The exterior unit is where the AC system dissipates the heat that was collected in your home. This area needs to be kept clear of outdoor items, and any plant growth needs to be kept trimmed back. This will also be helpful when the HVAC technician checks the internal components during the service.
Ignoring or skipping a regularly scheduled air conditioning service before each cooling season may seem like a way to save money, but it’s a false economy. A poorly maintained AC system will be less effective at cooling, it will cost more to run, and it’s far more likely to break down when you need it most. If you’ve skipped a service in the past, you can still get your air conditioning into great condition by scheduling some much needed maintenance.