In Texas, spring is a few short weeks before summer. In preparation for the demand on your air conditioner, now is the time to clean. You should also call a licensed HVAC professional. Many companies run a special in April and are slammed with business by May. Now is the best time to act. Even if you do not hire a professional, there are a few things you can do:
Check your outside unit’s liquid coolant line. It should be completely insulated. If the insulation is cracked or looks like an “alligator,” it needs to be replaced. This is inexpensive and easy to do. Some people add a wrap on the outside that resists UV light and extends the life of the insulation. Proper insulation will increase the unit’s efficiency.
Change your air filters or media filter. If you change this yourself, write the date on the filter so there is no question when it was last replaced. Also, be sure to find the flow of air and insert the filter accordingly. It is possible to put a filter in backwards. Some A/C installers mark the direction of air flow on the unit to help you.
There are three benefits to having your system professionally cleaned and serviced before the heat wave.
1) Peak Performance
Dirt and debris in your filter or system can obstruct air flow, causing the unit to work harder. With regular maintenance, the air can flow freely and wear is reduced. This will improve your unit’s performance and extend its lifetime expectancy.
2) Reduced Repairs
The old saying “A stitch in time saves nine” applies to maintenance on equipment. By having a professional clean the system and check the coolant annually, you can avoid breakdowns and reduce the severity of issues. No one wants to be without A/C and waiting for repairs during the blazing heat of summer.
3) Improved Air Quality
The air conditioner cools by drawing out the humidity as it crosses the evaporator coil. The cool air is dispersed into the house and re-circulates through the return vents. Keeping the unit and filters clean means most dust and pollutants will be filtered out, which improves the air quality and your health.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends regular maintenance for your air conditioning system to increase its efficiency and improve its performance. Take advantage of the mild spring weather and have your system checked now!