As a homeowner, you have many responsibilities. Your mortgage payment might be the biggest one, if you have one. However, you also have to pay for utilities, taxes, and various home services. Some homeowners get lax about keeping up with their air conditioning. Three things in particular that are often neglected can result in repairs later. You need to know what they are so you can make sure you’re doing them. If you’re not, then you need to start soon. Keep reading to find out what these three things are and why they matter so much.
1. Keep a Clean Filter
Perhaps your most basic responsibility as a homeowner is keeping a clean air filter in your air conditioning system. You need to check it once a month to see how dirty it is. Clean it if you can, but also be prepared to swap it out for a new one as needed.
Dirty air filters are very common causes behind HVAC system failure. When the filter is dirty, it restricts the air flowing into the air handler. That restricted air flow puts unnecessary strain on the fan motor. In time, the air handler might burn out. That would result in the system overheating and failing completely. Replacing a filter only costs a few dollars at most and a few minutes of your time, and yet it can protect one of your home’s most expensive appliances.
If your system has a dirty filter, then it uses more energy than it has to in order to keep the motor running. You won’t just be protecting your HVAC system, as you’ll also be saving money on your monthly utilities. You’ll also be saving money by avoiding HVAC cleaning costs since dirty air filters make the ducts and entire system get dirty even faster than they would otherwise. The air filter is supposed to trap particles and dirt that might wind up caking your cooling coils. If that happens, the system might burn out or even freeze over.
Make sure you have a supply of properly sized air filters on hand at all times, and be sure that you check your current filter in 30-day intervals so you know when you need to swap it out. Setting a certain day of the month, such as the first, is a great habit of making sure that you keep up with this. Failing to do so can result in repairs that cost hundreds or thousands of times the cost of a single filter.
2. Pay Attention to AC Noises
Modern AC systems and ductwork are made in ways that you should never really hear them that much. They’re not totally silent, but they should be gentle background noise most of the time that they’re running. However, that means that noises out of the ordinary should be a warning sign you pay attention to. Some of them mean you need to call a contractor in.
Roaring or whistling sounds from your air vents might indicate one of two things. First, there might be too much air coming through. Second, something might be restricting the normal flow of air. Some homeowners might close vents in unused rooms to save on their energy bills, but closing too many might make the system malfunction.
Chattering or rattling usually indicates that something has gotten loose. Do a visual check of your condensing unit outdoors. There might be a stick or some other piece of debris making contact with the condenser fan, and that might be an easy fix if you safely remove it. However, noises coming from inside require a professional touch. It could be loose screws, but it might also just be a wobbly fan.
Gurgling or bubbling inside the walls or refrigerant piping might indicate low refrigerant, and that’s going to need a professional’s attention to look for leaks and correct coolant levels. If you hear dripping water instead of bubbling, then you probably have a water leak instead of low coolant. If so, you need a contractor out immediately to prevent system damage or structural damage to your home due to moisture escaping.
Squeaking noises or high-pitched sounds could mean worn bearings or loose fan belts, and those are easy fixes for most technicians. However, screeching sounds from the condensing section might be the last cry of a compressor that is dying. If you hear that, turn the system off until professional help arrives.
3. Schedule Enough Maintenance
Your teeth need regular dentist visits, and your car needs oil changes on a set schedule, too. The air conditioner in your home also needs regular maintenance under the skilled watch of a professional. Regular maintenance on your air conditioner keeps the cool air coming, so you stay comfortable and the system keeps operating efficiently. Failing to keep up with this runs the risk of many different things happening, and they all include eventual repairs.
For starters, the system will start breaking down. It’ll also start doing so with regularity. At a minimum, have air conditioning maintenance done each spring. Some of the system parts aren’t going to last forever. Regular maintenance gives a technician a chance to see what parts need to be replaced and swap them out before they completely fail.
Air conditioner maintenance improves the efficiency of your cooling system and can lead to better indoor comfort. When you neglect AC maintenance, the opposite outcomes occur. The cooling system loses efficiency, indoor comfort is hindered, and you run the risk of enduring costly repairs. Poor indoor air quality and premature AC failure are likely to take place as well. Let’s take a closer look at what happens when you neglect AC maintenance in your Louisville, Kentucky, home.
You’ll also lose cooling efficiency over time without regular maintenance. The parts that are still working aren’t going to continue doing so at peak performance levels. That means your utility bills are going to go up. Neglecting AC maintenance might also mean the coolant levels run low, so it’s harder for the system to cool the air. That takes more energy and more time.
Your indoor air quality will start going down. That can hurt your health and the AC system inside. Ductwork might even get damaged as holes and tears can leak cooled air before it gets to the rooms you are in. That can create hot and cold spots that wind up making the system run even harder, leading to more breakdowns. Eventually, all this needless wear and tear will start taking years off the life of your air conditioner.
Don’t Make the DIY Mistake
While your air conditioning comes with responsibilities, your primary task should be knowing when to schedule professional technicians to show up. Keep your ears open for noises and maintain a clean filter, but leave the rest to industry experts. They have the appropriate training and equipment, they won’t hurt your system or get hurt themselves, and they’ll keep your warranties intact. They’ll also do the work right and quickly. For professional repairs in Ronkonkoma and the surrounding parts of Long Island, NY, contact us at Cool Power LLC. Call us at Cool Power LLC for all your home’s heating and cooling needs.