Is Your A/C Ready For Summer?

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Is Your A/C Ready For Summer?

Waking up in the middle of the night sweating due to a malfunctioning air conditioner can be a nightmare. While regular maintenance can help prevent issues, it’s not a foolproof solution. Your system can be running fine one day and completely burnout the next. Some things are not preventable. As summer approaches, consider a tune-up for your air conditioner to ensure your system runs smoothly all summer long. It can prevent many small problems from becoming big, expensive problems later.

Q: How often should I recharge my air conditioner with new freon?

A: Contrary to popular belief, air conditioners do not use up refrigerant (freon). Refrigerant runs through a closed loop, therefore, low refrigerant level indicates a leak that must be repaired before adding more. Although newer systems typically have welded connections to minimize leaks, older units (8+ years) may have mechanical flared fittings that can gradually loosen over time, resulting in leaks.

If a leak is not repaired:

  1. Low refrigerant levels decrease the efficiency of the air conditioner.
  2. Refrigerant leaks can cause the evaporator coil to freeze, resulting in ice buildup.
  3. Refrigerant is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) controlled substance and hazardous if released into the environment.
  4. The compressor, which is the heart of the unit, is cooled by the refrigerant. Low levels can lead to overheating and premature failure of the compressor, often necessitating costly repairs or complete replacement of the entire condensing unit.

Q: Are regular tune-ups worthwhile?

A: We highly recommend annual air conditioning tune-ups in the spring and furnace (heater) tune-ups every fall. Although regular maintenance will not absolutely guarantee that a unit will continue to work perfectly throughout the season, it can help identify most minor issues that, if neglected, could lead to major and far more expensive problems.

Q: What is an air conditioning tune-up?

A: The process involves the following procedures:

  1. Check for proper refrigerant (freon) level. A low level indicates a potential leak that must be identified and fixed before adding more.
  2. Inspect all electrical components and controls.
  3. Clean the evaporator and condenser coils as necessary.
  4. Calibrate the thermostat.
  5. Perform a thorough check of the condenser.
  6. Check filters.

By thoroughly cleaning your air conditioning unit, you can ensure it operates at its highest efficiency. Homeowners should strongly consider contacting a licensed HVAC technician rather than attempting to clean it themselves. Regular maintenance is much more cost-effective than dealing with repairs or having to replace the unit altogether.

Get A Tune-Up Before Summer

If your air conditioner hasn’t had a tune-up yet this year, or for several years, contact us via our contact form or call (760) 477-0072 and we can send a certified HVAC technician to your home. Summer is coming!

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