It may seem like a waste of time and money to have your air conditioner serviced each spring, but an air conditioner has mechanical parts just like a car does, and you know how important it is to keep up with automobile maintenance. Besides that, you might void your warranty if you don't have an annual AC tune-up.
You might wonder what's involved with a maintenance call. Here are some air conditioning maintenance services a technician can provide and why they're important.
1. Clean And Check The Condensation Drain
You might not even know your air conditioner creates condensation, but it does. When air passes over the cold evaporator coils in the indoor air handler, condensation forms and drips into a collection pan. The pan has a drain that allows the water to flow outdoors.
Some condensation drain systems also have a pump that pumps the water out the drain, and some systems have a float switch that will shut the AC down if water gets too high in the pan. A technician can clean and check all the parts in the condensation drain system to make sure the drain doesn't clog and cause water to spill out of the pan and that the drain pan doesn't leak due to corrosion.
This is an important check since water that backs up due to a clog can get in the air handler and cause damage, or it can cause water damage and mold growth on the floor.
2. Test The Refrigerant Level
One of the most important air conditioning maintenance services the technician can do is test the level of refrigerant in the system. Plus, they'll clean the refrigerant lines if they're coated in grime or dust. Maintaining the refrigerant system is important because your AC can't make cold air without refrigerant.
If anything is wrong with the lines, the technician will do repairs before adding new refrigerant. Although it may be an annoyance that you need new refrigerant, your AC will drive up your power bill trying to run with low refrigerant and you may not even stay cool in your home.
3. Clean The Condenser
The important parts of your air conditioner, except for the blower and evaporator coil, are all in the condenser. The maintenance technician will probably spend most of the time outside cleaning and testing the parts in the condenser.
Since it's outside, it may even have leaves, dirt, and mice nests inside it that need to be cleaned out. The wiring might have gnawed areas from mice, and the condenser fins might be smashed closed and need to be pried open.
It's important that the condenser is clean and has adequate airflow because the fan in the condenser blows on the other parts to cool them off. If air can't circulate freely, heat can build up and cause stress on the motors and the compressor and lead to a breakdown of your AC.
To schedule air conditioning maintenance services, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.