With summer coming, there’s still time to make sure your central air conditioning system is ready for the heat and the pressures of the season. There are important routine maintenance tasks your HVAC professional should perform at this time of year (with others equally as important in the fall to prepare for winter).
Semi-annual system maintenance protects your system (and investment) from breakdowns which could end up costing far more to repair if problems go unnoticed. After all, it’s cost effective to fix a minor problem before it gets out of hand (and expensive to correct). Routine maintenance also ensures that your central air will run as efficiently as possible—and more reliably during peak times. Just as you wouldn’t let your car run for many thousands of miles without an oil change or engine check, the same goes for your HVAC unit.
When your air conditioning contractor shows up, ask if the following tasks are on the punch list.
- Check the refrigerant charge – Refrigerant cools the air in your home; depending on which make and model of central air conditioning unit you have will inform how much refrigerant you need. Make sure the technician checks the refrigerant lines for any necessary repairs. Note that in the U.S., HVAC service contractors must have an EPA refrigerant usage certification in order to buy refrigerant and to repair systems that contain ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs) which are typically used in older air conditioning systems. Your technician must know which type to use on your unit.
- Change the air filters – Air filters grab the billions of particles floating through your home as the air circulates, thereby delivering better air quality and protecting the system. We recommend high-efficiency pleated air filters, which have an electrostatic charge that attracts the tiniest particles, including pet dander and bacteria spores. These must be changed a few times a year to ensure your circulated air is as clean as possible, to reduce system wear and tear, and to lower energy costs by reducing the power needed to do the job.
- Blow out the drain system – It’s important to clear debris and make sure the condensate drain for the air conditioner is not clogged. A clear drain avoids wasting energy and putting undue load on the unit (which will send out less cool air if the drain is obstructed). A properly maintained condensate drain enables the water to flow from a tray that captures it to a drain. Obstructions can cause water damage to the unit and in the winter, this can create high humidity levels promote the growth or mold or bacteria buildup.
- Clean the condenser coil – Before any cleaning happens, the technician should remove the condenser covers or blankets outside (if you put them on in the winter) and ensure that the unit is intact after the winter. The suction line, which helps supply cool refrigerant back to the compressor in the outdoor unit, should be properly insulated (damaged insulation should be noted and addressed) to maintain optimal cooling. All debris (vegetation or trash) that has collected on and around the outdoor coil must be cleared in order to get the best possible performance from your system with good air flow. (Note: if you put mulch down around the compressor, don’t pack it too high here).
At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, Inc. you can always rely on our certified HVAC technicians to perform the proper maintenance and notify you right away of potential problems … and provide you with an estimate for any repair work that they deem necessary to support your central air conditioning system. We not only pride ourselves on delivering superior customer service, our customers think the same thing; Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric has been named Best HVAC Contractor three years in a row by the readers of Suburban Essex magazine in the annual Best of Essex Readers’ Choice Awards, and we are recognized for superior service year after year by Angie’s List.
Prolong the life of your HVAC system, keep your energy costs in line, and avoid costly repairs. Contact us for your spring and fall HVAC maintenance or for a quote on updating your existing system or installing a new one. We’re at 973-237-0505.