Now is the time to think about getting your air conditioning system in shape so you can keep your comfort…and keep your utility bills comfortable, too. It’s a breeze to do when you call on one of the professionals who belong to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) for help.
You should have your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) system checked twice a year for safety and comfort. For summer’s heat and winter’s chill, one thing is a must: a clean outdoor coil.
To provide cooling in the summer, air conditioners work by moving the hot air in your home to the outside. A refrigerant in the system picks up the heat at the evaporator coil inside the house and takes it to the compressor and condenser outside
There, the hot air is released and the refrigerant turns back into a liquid and returns through the coil for another batch of heat. Fins in the condenser can become clogged with dust and dirt, which act as insulation and slow the process. The condenser has to work harder, so it uses more electricity. Eventually, the strain becomes too much and the system fails. To provide heating in the winter, air conditioning heat pumps work in reverse operation. However, whether for cooling or heating, improper maintenance of the outdoor coil can lead to problems.
A Better Idea from Your ACCA Contractor
To maintain year-round comfort, have an ACCA-member contractor service your system regularly. It’s your best bet for energy efficiency, safety, and comfort. Your contractor’s trained technician will perform a number of inspections, checks, and tests of the indoor and outdoor components of your HVAC system and clean the condenser with a brush, vacuum, pressure washer, soap, water, steam, or non-acidic cleaner as recommended by the manufacturer.
Your HVAC technician will also inspect the outdoor coil fins (straightening them as needed) and he or she will clean and lubricate the condenser fan and motor if necessary. Additionally, the technician will advise of restricted outdoor air flow due to vegetation or other obstruction.
There’s a lot you can do between regular maintenance visits to keep your HVAC system humming.
- When you cut grass near the outdoor condensing unit, make sure grass cuttings are blown away from the outdoor coil.
- Cut, pull, or trim shrubs, bushes, plants, and weeds around the condenser to allow
a freeair flow.
- Keep the area around the condensing unit cleared of leaves, dirt, grass cuttings, and other debris that can cause clogs and restrict the flow of air.
- Be sure not to build fences, walls, or other obstructions too close to the unit or cover it with a roof or overhang.
Keep It Simple
The easiest way to stay cool in summer…and warm in winter… is to have a Planned Maintenance Extended Care Plan through your local ACCA contractor. Just contact the contractor listed below for more information.