Spring provides an excellent opportunity to service your heating and air system, as the typically moderate temperatures of the season ensure a lighter workload, making repair and maintenance work less disruptive to your daily life.
Regularly scheduling professional air conditioning services to inspect and maintain your HVAC system can help you avoid high power bills and add years to the life of the system. The usual lifespan of a central air conditioner is 15 to 20 years, and these devices typically cost between $3,600 and $7,100, according to HomeAdvisor. By properly maintaining the system and stretching its lifespan to its upper limits, homeowners can get the best value for their investment.
Spring Cleaning To-Do List.
If you want to service your HVAC system during the summer months, here are a few tasks you and your air conditioner repair company can collaborate on performing:
Replace air filters
You should be changing the air filter for your HVAC system every month or so, but, if you’re behind on changes, spring is a great time to get back on track. This simple maintenance task is one of the most important and effective things you can do to ensure your system operates properly. It’s also one of the easiest. Clogged air filters can cause extensive damage to an air conditioning system.
Clogged filters cause the system to work harder, putting more wear and tear on your system and increasing your energy costs. Regularly changed filters can save you up to 15 percent on power bills.
Clogged filters also let more dirt and particles through, which can cause damage to your system. Also, when HVAC systems fill up with dirt and other contaminants, they are continuously cycled through your home, impairing the indoor air quality of your home. Poor indoor air quality is a major cause of illness, so keeping your filters changed is important not just to your wallet, but also to your health.
Have an HVAC technician inspect outdoor and indoor units
HVAC technicians have the specialized tools and training to thoroughly inspect your system and detect any possible problems. HVAC technicians can:
- Inspect the unit’s refrigerant level and add or reduce it as needed.
- Check the base pan for clogged drain openings and clear obstructions.
- Inspect electronic components such as the control box, wiring, condenser, compressor, etc.
- Check lines and tubing for leaks.
- Inspect and maintain the blower assembly.
- Check for furnace leaks.
- Check furnace ignition system for safety concerns.
- Clear debris from the outside unit.
- Evaluate unusual noises or odors coming from the system.
- Evaluate the system as it operates.
Clean Duct work
Even if you regularly change your filters, some dirt and particles will accumulate in your ducts. Over time, this accumulation can cause problems for your system. Having your ducts cleaned can stop accumulated dirt and debris from harming your system. Duct cleaning also improves the air quality of your home by preventing your system from continually recycling dirty air through your home. Professional AC maintenance technicians will clean your ducts using special brushes and vacuums to optimize duct performance.
They will also inspect for leaks. Energy Star estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through a typical home’s system is lost because of leaks, holes, and poorly connected ductwork, resulting in higher energy bills and impaired performance. Hiring an AC professional to inspect, clean, and seal your ducts is a great home improvement investment.
Think about installing a Smart Thermostat
Lennox is a leader in the area of smart thermostats. Their iComfort® series saves energy when you’re away but always provides comfort when you come home. The iComfort® S30’s Smart Away Mode uses the GPS in your smartphone to detect when you’re leaving, and automatically increases system efficiency. If you or a family member returns home, Smart Away then returns your system to a normal schedule and comfortable temperature.
Other incredible iComfort features:
- Allergy Defender: Monitors the air quality and pollen levels in your area, according to your ZIP code and automatically turns the fan on to clean your home’s air when outdoor levels are high.
- Balanced Temperature and Humidity: Create the temperature you want to feel, not just the temperature you set—much like the “Feels Like” temperature in a weather report. So when you set it to 72 F, it feels like 72.
- Simplicity and Intelligence: Set the iComfort® Perfect Temp, and your system will heat or cool as needed to maintain your temperature in any weather, year round. With the Schedule IQ feature, you only need to program the thermostat once. Whenever there’s a change in your routine, the thermostat adapts heating and cooling to match
NEST thermostats give you greater control over your HVAC system. Using a NEST, you can program your thermostat to operate during the hours that you’re home and reduce service when you’re away.
You can also control these thermostats using your smartphone, allowing you to control the system when you’re on vacation or out of town on business. By optimizing your system to only operate when needed, you can greatly reduce your energy bills and cut down on wear and tear to your system. Air conditioning service technicians can install these devices for you during routine maintenance.
Caulk windows and doors
Improving the sealing around your windows and doors can reduce the workload on your device, helping extend its useful life and reducing your power bill. Drafty houses require more effort to heat and cool, so good caulking is vital. Spring is a great time of year to perform this simple DIY task.
Give your home a thorough cleaning
Dust and dirt can get through filters and cause problems for your HVAC system. While you’re having an HVAC maintenance service inspect and fix your system, take the time to do a little spring cleaning in your house. Dust the furniture, thoroughly vacuum and mop the floors, and tidy up. You’ll enjoy the cleaner environment and the reduction in dust and dirt will help maximize the value of your efforts to maintain your air conditioner and heater.
Five Most Common Causes of HVAC System Failure
HVAC systems are robust devices, built to endure years of work and various environmental conditions. Like all other mechanical devices, they do have their vulnerable points. Consider some of the most common causes of HVAC system failure:
- Fan motor failure. Condensing fan motors operate in extremes of temperature and, depending on how much you run your system, can be almost constantly at work during some parts of the year. Condensing fans are built to last, but even they can malfunction at times. The cost of repairing a fan is typically between $300 and $400.
- Low refrigerant. Air conditioners require refrigerant to perform the heat transfer that will cool your home. Systems low on refrigerant work harder, are less efficient, and break down easier than systems with adequate refrigerant. Systems requiring frequent refills of refrigerant likely have a leaky refrigerant circuit and are in urgent need of repair. Finding leaks in the refrigerant circuit can be difficult and requires the assistance of a professional air conditioning repair service.
- Dirt accumulation. Dirt and debris can cause huge problems for your HVAC system. For example, dust and other particles can accumulate in your system’s condenser coil and reduce its efficiency. In severe cases, an accumulation of particles in the coil can cause ice to form around the copper lines and result in system failure.
- Compressor problems. Compressors can fail for a number of reasons, and these components of your HVAC system can be quite expensive to replace. In many cases, particularly with older units, it is better to replace the unit instead of repairing or replacing the compressor.
- Contractor and capacitor problems. Capacitors and contractors handle a large amount of electricity and can get very hot. If they get too hot, they can malfunction. Regular repair and maintenance may head off problems, allowing the quick identification and replacement of problem components.
A consistent schedule of maintenance and repair can help homeowners head off many of these problems with early diagnosis and proper service. The earlier potential problems with HVAC systems are caught, the less likely they are to lead to major damage. Finding a reliable air conditioner repair service to provide maintenance services is important, as homeowners want only well-trained technicians working on their systems.
Kaiser Air Conditioning is a family-owned AC repair company that has served the Oxnard, California area for more than 30 years. Founded with just one truck and a small facility, the company has grown and now has a 50,000-sq.-ft. facility, 12 trucks, and 20 employees. For home and business owners seeking a trustworthy partner for their HVAC needs, Kaiser Air Conditioning provides honest, ethical, and effective service.