Just as doctors encourage yearly physical exams, many heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) manufacturers suggest periodic HVAC checkups to ensure your system is running properly. Preventive maintenance will extend the life of your unit and save you money.
Although most heating and air conditioner systems are built strong enough to endure snow, wind, heat, rain or bitter cold, every system needs regular maintenance like all things mechanical. Pickerington Heating & Cooling offers a number of routine maintenance services to help protect your precious HVAC equipment.
The filters, the coils, fins, and hoses on an air conditioner unit must be kept in an optimal condition to help the whole unit run smoothly and without strain year-round, for the life of your home. Since the heating and cooling systems carry one of the largest replacement expenses of any mechanical equipment in a home, it’s important to properly maintain it to protect your investment. We can help.
A/C Unit Coil Condenser – Potential Problems
On an air conditioner unit, the coil of the condenser needs better maintenance since it’s located outdoors, unlike the coil in the evaporator. The exposed condenser coil gets dirty far too often due to the dust and pollution or because of nearby trees. In the Reynoldsburg area, pollen released from Dogwood trees can frequently clog a condensor coil and cause long-term damage if not removed quickly.
Anything coming in contact with the coil can have an insulation effect of sorts – dust particles, grease, dirt, soot, dry leaves, seeds, corrosion, bugs and even microorganisms like bacteria can be an impediment to the much needed heat transfer from the refrigerant to the outside air. Unwanted heat needs to escape from the refrigerant, and foreign matter clinging to the outside of the system prevents the efficient transfer of that heat.
The amount of refrigerant used in an air conditioning unit determines whether the makers would get the highest SEER level of efficiency or not — the lesser, the better. The units are designed in perfect balance, and so the slightest hindrance to the heat transfer usually conks out the balance and deteriorates the functioning of the unit. If dust or dirt accumulates on the coils, the right amount of heat doesn’t go out, thus increasing the temperature and pressure of the refrigerant going into the compressor to abnormal degrees. Consequently, the compressor stresses itself to work more on the cooling of the “abnormal” refrigerant, thereby drawing more amperes of electricity. As a result of this fiasco, the cooling capacity of the air conditioner obviously dwindles and the mechanical parts wear out. So a dirty coil simply boils down to three things: insufficient cooling, worn machine parts and a higher cost for functioning.
What Happens If You Don’t Maintain Your Air Conditioner?
Over time, if you neglect to clean the coils, they get choked with seeds and dirt and restrict proper airflow. And if the airflow is impeded on a hot day, the head and cylinders of the compressor automatically gets too much hot. Next, the oil will start breaking down and fail to lubricate. This fosters decay and allows contaminants into the air conditioning unit. If that happens, the pistons, rings and cylinders decay and as a result, the compression lowers, valves leak, metal debris float in the oil. Finally, total failure of the compressor nears.
Air conditioners function in a closed circuit system. It is not at all an easy and simple procedure to replace the full lubricant. The oil used in air conditioning units is originally quite resilient but impurities in it or into the system and regular neglect accelerate the end. The result is same as trying to drive a car without changing its engine oil for a decade. In an air conditioner, when the compressor stops working, there’s no way out other than to throw it away and replace it with a new one. And this of course means opening the system, removing the refrigerant and the oil, and filtering dryers to tidy up the unit. Moisture and acid can enter when you open the system or when the system fails. This is a very time-consuming and expensive process. And the worst news is that, many air conditioners, at this point, are not in a condition that’s worth the trouble.
Preventive Maintenance Agreements
With a Preventive Maintenance Agreement (PMA), offered for an annual fee from Pickerington Heating & Cooling, a technician will visit your home to test and inspect your HVAC system before any minor issues turn into major problems. Among other things, the technician will check system functions and safety controls; inspect electrical components and connections; ensure proper airflow and change dirty air filters; and inspect pumps, lubricate and check flow rates, where appropriate.
Our technicians usually visit your Reynoldsburg-area home twice a year (once before the cooling season and once before the heating season) to ensure everything is working properly. Another all-inclusive option is a lifetime PMA that includes the cost of all maintenance, repairs, components, emergency service and equipment replacement.
It is important to remember that warranties are different than PMAs. A warranty will only last for a certain amount of time and, sometimes, only apply to specific parts of the unit. If a part is not working and it’s still under warranty, the manufacturer will provide a free replacement part. However, since warranties do not cover labor, you will still be responsible for the installation costs.
Manufacturers such as Comfortmaker point out that while it is important to have a service technician carefully inspect your unit to uncover any leaks, soot, rust, rotting parts, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires, there are also a few simple maintenance tasks you can perform to improve your unit’s performance:
- Clear debris away from intake and exhaust vents to ensure unobstructed airflow.
- Check the thermostat wire entry point and, if necessary, apply caulk, so a draft won’t influence the thermostat reading.
- Remove several supply and return registers to see if your ducts need to be cleaned. Vacuum the ducts to remove any dust or lint that is present.
- Use an air conditioner cover to keep the coils free from dust and dirt when you are not using the cooling system during the winter months.
- We recommend you have your air conditioner serviced each spring and fall.
Save Money with a Routine Maintenance Agreement
Contact our office to discuss details or make arrangements for an annual maintenance plan. You’ll save money from individual service calls in Reynoldsburg and prevent catastrophic failure of your home’s precious heating and cooling equipment.
Contact Pickerington Heating & Cooling at 614-837-4026. Our offices are open 7:00 am to 9:00 pm weekdays; 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Saturday & Sunday; emergency HVAC repair service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.