How Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance May Extend the Life of Your Unit

When the hot summer months arrive, it is a real pleasure to turn on your central air conditioning unit and enjoy the cool, refreshing air without a second thought. In fact, you might not think about your AC unit at all until it malfunctions or does not turn on at all. From a broken suction line accumulator to leaks, many things can go wrong with your AC unit over the course of the season. However, having your unit maintained regularly may catch problems before they start and help to extend its life, no matter how often you use it.

Pre-Season Maintenance Properly Preps Your Unit
You might think that removing your unit’s winter cover and sweeping away some dead leaves is all the maintenance your air conditioner needs before you start it for the season, but you be overlooking minor damage from winter weather that could cause problems down the road if it is not repaired. Having your unit looked over by a HVAC specialist may catch issues such as rusted coils or tubing that has been cracked or worn by frigid temperatures. When these problems are caught during pre-season maintenance and inspection, they can be fixed right away to avoid costly repairs later on.

Discovering Hidden Insulation Issues
AC units typically contain insulation that protects the suction pipe, which supplies coolant to the outdoor section of the air conditioner. When this insulation becomes damaged, the unit may not work as efficiently and you might notice that the air is not as cool as it should be. A number of issues can cause this kind of damage, including damage from the sun, melting ice, and even nesting rodents, such as mice and rats. An HVAC professional can let you know if your air conditioning unit’s insulation needs replacing and how new insulation might help improve your unit’s energy efficiency.

Stopping Refrigerant Leaks
If your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, it can put serious strain on your unit’s compressor and may drastically shorten its life. When the compressor is damaged, this can lead to further breakdown of components connected to it. It can also be costly: in 2015, the EPA curbed the production of R-22, (Freon) which caused the price to rise. With prices now sitting at nearly $125 per pound, Freon is now a resource that you cannot afford to waste. A qualified HVAC repair company can test your unit for leaks, which may extend its life and save you money.

Preventative Care Can Prevent Emergency Repairs
Chances are that when you do have an air conditioner emergency, it will happen on a holiday or over the weekend when it is difficult to find a repairperson. Emergency services can be costly and if you cannot find someone, a refrigerant or water leak might end up costing you hundreds of dollars in property damage or lost coolant if you must wait until a weekday for service. While you cannot predict every breakdown, having regular maintenance performed on your AC unit may prevent small issues from becoming big emergencies and keep it running smoothly all summer long.
A central air conditioning unit is both a convenience and an investment that you must maintain properly if you want it to last. Having your AC checked regularly may help extend its life and allow you to stay cool for years to come.