Is Your Air Conditioner Making a Cry for Help?

From on September 19, 2011 in Air Conditioning & Heating


With the machinery in our lives, we either pay a smaller amount for service, or a larger amount for repair.

The same is true for air conditioning units. No doubt your air conditioner got a lot of usage this summer, if you were anywhere near the extreme heat that prompted record A/C upgrades.

The good news is that air conditioners are built to withstand longtime use and wear and tear. While this is great for us today, it means we forget to take care of it after a long season. But A/C maintenance is an extremely important task.

Each year without maintenance, your air conditioner loses about 5% of its original efficiency. This is needless waste, considering that the efficiency can be maintained with regular air conditioning check-ups.

The cost of an annual tune-up is therefore recovered with the savings in your electric bill. Not to mention eventual repair costs. And you don’t want to be stuck in the heat, frustrated and sweating with a broken AC.

To get pricing on air conditioning check-ups or installation, click here.

Many local air conditioning contractors offer lower prices this time of year, heading into the “off season” for AC. They will do a comprehensive check, which includes cleaning coils, checking the compressor, oiling motors, and checking belts. They will also check the coolant level. A system that is only 10% low on coolant will cost about 20% more to operate. Not an enticing idea. The idea is to save money, right?

How to Keep Your A/C in Tip-Top Shape

If you had an air conditioning check-up before the summer, then you’re on top of things. However, you might want to take this early fall season to do some maintenance of your own. If you want your A/C to pay for itself, you should do your own check-up before the machine is needed again. Change the filter (which should be done monthly).

Here are some preventative maintenance tips:

  1. Put a cap on your air conditioning drain. Then use a dry vacuum to suck out the dirt. Don’t forget to remove the cap.
  2. Disconnect the power from the unit to clean the coils.
  3. Wet the area with a garden hose.
  4. Spray the commercial air-conditioner cleaner onto the coils. This is available at an HVAC supplier.
  5. Let it set for a while before you come back to it and rinse it with a simple garden hose.
  6. There are also plenty of ways to cool your home naturally.

Small check-ups throughout the year (and more in the hot summer months) will keep your A/C working beautifully. And with that annual professional maintenance check, you’ll be prepared for when that first draft of oven-hot air blows your way.