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What to Expect during an Air Conditioner Tune-Up
When an HVAC techician comes out to perform preventative maintenance on your air conditioner, his work will be split into three categories: inspection, cleaning and servicing.
While inspecting your air conditioner, the tech will look for signs of possible problems. He will inspect everything from the thermostat to the condenser coil. Along the way, the technician will look for cracks, worn parts and other problems. By catching these issues early, the tech will be able to make quick and easy repairs that will help you avoid repair bills later.
In addition to inspecting the components in the indoor and outdoor units, the HVAC technician will inspect the pipes that carry refrigerant through the system. He will also check refrigerant levels. If there’s a leak, the tech will find the source of the leak and repair or replace the tubes as needed. Your air conditioner’s refrigerant will then be balanced to ensure optimal operation.
Components like the condensing unit are easy for homeowners to clean. Internal components like fan motors, blades and coils should be cleaned by trained professionals only. Not surprisingly, these components accrue a lot of dust, grime and debris over time. If they aren’t cleaned periodically, they can stop working properly.
During the tune-up, your air conditioner will be cleaned thoroughly. The drain will also be cleaned, which is important because if the drain becomes obstructed, that water can drip down from the indoor unit over the furnace or collect on the floor.
A few more routine services may also be performed during a maintenance call. One example involves the blower motor. Over time, it can become unbalanced, which can reduce the efficiency of the air conditioner. The HVAC technician will make adjustments as needed to ensure the optimal performance of your air conditioning system. The thermostat, or temp control, will also be examined and potentially serviced. Small issues may be repaired. If a component like this is close to failing, it may need to be replaced.
Keep a 2 to 3 foot clearance around your outside air conditioning unit to ensure proper circulation. At the same time, one can plant trees or shrubs to shade an air conditioning unit, but not block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses less electricity.
Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.