Summer officially begins June 20, but the unseasonably warm spring has many of us ramping up the AC ahead of schedule. And similar to backyard landscaping and annual bike tune-ups, our HVAC systems also need routine maintenance between seasons. In addition to maximizing performance and system efficiency, the long-term cost savings multiply with regular check-ups.
But don’t take our word for it…According to Energy Star, consumers can “keep cooling and heating systems at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups.” As listed on Energy Star’s website, a typical maintenance check-up should include the following steps:
- Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
- Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
Actions you can do yourself:
- Inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump. Front Range HVAC can teach you how to do this as well.
- Hire a licensed contractor. The last step in routine maintenance seems obvious but is one that many ignore. When scheduling HVAC maintenance, beware of unlicensed individuals offering a quick visit. These annual appointments should take a licensed contractor 1.5-2 hours. If the appointment lasts only a fraction of that time, it is likely that your air filter was changed, but not much else.
At Front Range HVAC, we follow Energy Star guidelines and more, ensuring your summer stays cool and comfortable. Schedule your annual HVAC maintenance today by calling 303-529-9467.