Air conditioning is a must-have in Nashua, New Hampshire. Purchasing a quality air conditioner is a solid long-term investment. However, even the highest quality air conditioner needs to be repaired from time to time. If you do not give your air conditioning unit maintenance, it will struggle to function. This will lead to inefficient energy use, frequent breakdowns, and your house’s discomfort. The question is, how frequently should you have your air conditioner serviced?
How Frequently Do ACs Need to Be Serviced?
While there is no hard and fast rule, at Proactive Comfort, we typically recommend that our customers have their air conditioning unit serviced two times a year. We recommend that this be done once in the fall after the warm season is finished and once in the spring to catch any damage that took place during the winter and ensure that the unit will function as desired during the summer. In addition to having professional cleaning and maintenance done, there are steps that you can take to maintain your air conditioner year-round.
What Happens When Your Air Conditioner Is Professionally Serviced?
You may be curious about what an AC technician does when they professionally service your unit. They are focused on several things, all of which impact the lifespan and the efficiency of your AC.
One of the first things our technicians will do is lubricate the moving parts of your air conditioning unit. We want to make sure that they are functioning as smoothly as possible. We will also do a detailed cleaning to remove any grime or debris that could impact how well your unit functions.
There are a lot of electrical components in an air conditioner unit. So the technician will gauge these to make sure that each unit is getting a sufficient amount of power, there are no shorts, and you don’t need to have any parts or wires repaired. We will also gauge the airflow to ensure that you get the unit’s maximum cooling power. If the technician notices something is awry during these tests, they will bring it to your attention and provide you with options for addressing the issue.
Special attention is given to the blower, condenser, and ductwork. Evaluating refrigerant levels will help determine if there is a leak or if there is some impediment that is preventing the refrigerant from moving as freely as it should.
A significant source of problems with many AC units is the condensate drain. It can get clogged up during the spring and fall because your air conditioning unit is not running during these months. Mold and debris build up quickly. Once the condensate drain gets filled with junk, this can lead to leaks that can damage it.
At Proactive Comfort, we may recommend installing a ceiling saver switch. This way, if your condensate drain becomes clogged for any reason, the unit turns off, preventing leakage that could damage your ceilings and walls.
During our check, we will look at your thermostat to ensure that it is communicating well with your AC unit. If necessary, we can reprogram it or recalibrate it for you.
A technician will do an in-depth examination of your AC unit. We take our time as we go through the maintenance to ensure that it operates efficiently.
Steps That You Can Take to Maintain Your Air Conditioner
In addition to having your AC unit maintained twice a year, you can take specific steps to keep the unit working its best. Most of the maintenance tips homeowners can follow are very simple to perform.
Change Your HVAC Filter Frequently
This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your air conditioning unit working its best. Your air conditioner sucks in all sorts of dust and dirt either from the outside of your home or inside of your home. As debris collects in the filters, the unit has to work harder to suck in the air it needs to cool itself or to transfer heat from inside your home to outside.
Regularly changing your AC air filters allows your unit to function at max capacity. Depending on your unit, the type of filters you have purchased, and the air quality in your home and your neighborhood, you may need to replace your air conditioning air filters between once a month and once every three months. If you have pets in your home or if family members are struggling with allergies, it is recommended that you make these changes more frequently.
Keep the Area Around the Condenser Clean
Your AC condenser is the part of the unit that sits outside of the house. Because of this, it is exposed to falling branches, dirt, stones, and overgrowth. Occasionally, branches and leaves fall from trees and jam the mechanical parts of the condenser.
Squirrels, mice, and other animals chew on electrical wiring. Since your AC unit produces a lot of moisture, these animals are attracted to the water. Biting into electrical wiring can be dangerous for the animals and completely ruin your AC unit.
During your twice-annual professional maintenance, technicians will look for any signs of pests and the damage they cause. However, you can help with this process by keeping the area around your condenser clean. As a general rule of thumb, you want five feet of cleared space on all sides of your AC unit. This will make it less attractive to local wildlife.
Pour Vinegar Down the Condensate Drain
Vinegar does more than add flavor to your salad. It can help you keep your condensate drain clean. Over the spring and fall months, your air conditioner is probably not running, as the outside temperatures are moderate. This creates the perfect conditions for your condensate drain to build up gunk, mold, and algae. You will be surprised at how quickly this vegetation will grow. When your condensate drain is clogged, you may end up having a severe water problem.
You should pour plain white vinegar down the condensate drain for every change of season. When your unit is professionally serviced, talk to the technician about long-term solutions to prevent these potentially hazardous clogs.
Monitor Your Vent Covers
Every so often, look at the vents of your AC unit. Check for any mold buildup. If there is excessive mold, it could indicate you have a humidity problem. You want to take care of a mold problem immediately because mold can grow very quickly and seriously impact your health and your family’s health. If you don’t feel comfortable attacking mold growth on your AC unit, talk to the technicians at Proactive Comfort. We can help you address the issue.
Getting Help With HVAC and Plumbing Needs in Nashua
If you are looking for the best plumbing, heating, and air conditioning in Nashua, New Hampshire, contact the experts at Proactive Comfort. We have built a reputation for being able to provide quality, dependable HVAC and plumbing services. We are committed to offering reliable, professional service as a family-run company. That’s the best way to do business. Contact Proactive Comfort today if you need AC repair, furnace repair or replacement, or plumbing. We look forward to working with you.