Like every other household equipment, your air conditioner needs regular care and maintenance. Periodic AC maintenance addresses current problems and prevents potential issues.
When temperatures soar, an AC that does not cool properly is the last thing you need.
AC maintenance keeps your AC running. Well-maintained ACs are reliable and cost less to run. Regular maintenance can help you avoid costly air conditioner repairs in Vancouver, WA, saving you money and down the time road.
Have an AC contractor inspect and maintain your AC at least once every year. An experienced contractor can prevent the following problems, helping keep your AC running efficiently.
Lack of maintenance and regular wear and tear can damage wires and other electrical parts. Damaged wiring is a recipe for disaster. In addition to affecting your unit’s performance, damaged wires can cause a short circuit, starting a house fire.
During maintenance sessions, your contractor will check all AC wiring and electrical connections. They will find and fix loose connections and any worn wires.
Your AC’s evaporator coils absorb the heat from the air inside your home and condenser coils release it outside your home. Dirty evaporator and condenser coils can affect air conditioning performance. Air conditioners with dirty coils are forced to work harder and longer. An overworked AC can overheat and stop working.
Coil cleaning is a part of AC preventive maintenance. AC contractors use foam coil cleaners to remove caked-up dirt. Though in many cases, yearly coil cleaning does the trick, you may want to schedule a professional coil cleaning more frequently if your coils tend to get dirty easily.
AC parts can wear out over time. A worn belt or pulley can snap anytime, causing your system to shut down. During tune-up sessions, your contractor will check different AC components for wear and tear and replace worn parts before they fail.
Clogged Drain Lines and Drain Pan
AC drain and condensate lines can become clogged with debris over time, causing the pan to overflow. An overflowing drain pan can cause your system to shut down. If you ignore the problem, water damage can occur and mold or mildew can start growing in your AC drain pan or evaporator coil.
A professional can prevent this problem. During maintenance sessions, your contractor will inspect the drain pan to see if it has become clogged. In case a clog is developing, they will flush the drain line with a cleaning solution.
Airflow problems can indicate an underlying issue, which, if not addressed in a timely manner, can snowball into a serious concern. Some common causes of airflow problems include dirty filters, unclean outdoor unit fans, blocked or leaking ducts, blocked vents, and faulty thermostats.
If there are hot and cold spots in your house or no air is blowing from vents, reach out to a pro for help. Whatever the cause of airflow problems, your contractor will address them.
Low Refrigerant Charge
Your AC’s refrigerant absorbs the heat and humidity in your air. Small holes or cracks can develop in the refrigerant lines, causing your system to leak refrigerant. When this happens, your air conditioner is unable to cool your home.
As part of professional AC maintenance, your contractor will check the refrigerant charge. If refrigerant levels in your AC have dropped, they will add refrigerant to the system. They will also look for leaks and holes in the refrigerant line and fix them.
Note: AC refrigerant is extremely dangerous. When handled poorly, refrigerant poisoning can occur. Instead of trying to add refrigerant to your system yourself, leave the task to a professional.
Faulty or Improperly Set Controls
Electronic controls on new AC models can help cut cooling costs but can be tricky to program. If these controls are programmed incorrectly, your AC may not turn on or off. During maintenance sessions, your AC contractor will test thermostat settings and other controls. They will help you find the perfect thermostat setting for your home, check thermostat wiring and replace dead batteries.
Dirty Fan Blades
Your outdoor unit’s fan is exposed to the elements and can accumulate dust easily. Fan blades caked with dirt and dust move slower than usual. When this happens, your AC is unable to meet your household’s cooling demands. Moreover, your AC will consume more electricity and your electricity bill can go up. During maintenance sessions, your contractor will clean fan blades to prevent dirt buildup.
What is Included in Professional AC Maintenance?
During maintenance sessions, your AC contractor will:
- Replace dirty and damaged filters
- Check electrical connections and tighten them if necessary
- Ensure that the thermostat is working properly
- Lubricate moving parts
- Inspect bearing and other parts for wear and tear
- Inspect contactors for pitted contacts
- Clean evaporator and condenser coils
- Clean AC drain and check it for leakage
- Check coolant levels in your AC and top it up with refrigerant if necessary
- Inspect ductwork