We take our air conditioning and heating systems for granted, particularly since newer systems are both reliable and energy efficient. That reliability can be affected if routine regular maintenance is not performed. Small problems can become big expensive ones. Let’s look at why regular maintenance is recommended for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

AirConditioner-1024x683Cleaning: Cleaning an air conditioning system requires more than changing the inside air filter once in a while. On a regular basis, perhaps twice per year, the outside condenser should be cleaned thoroughly. The homeowner can and should hose the outside condenser with low-pressure water once per month or so, but that will only remove some grass clippings and surface dust. Inside the condenser is a lot of surface area that should be cleaned professionally. Keeping the condenser clean will reduce your electric bill, because the compressor won’t have to work as hard as it will if the unit is dirty.

The evaporator, either located inside the home in many cases, or outside on a package unit, also needs inspection and cleaning. The contractor will clean the condenser, often using an anti-microbial cleaner to remove bacterial and other contaminants from the evaporator surface. A clean evaporator can reduce the amount of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can affect your family indoors. They will check the evaporator drain to make sure it is clear, because this is where water goes that is removed from the home. If the drain clogs, it can leak into your home or cause damage.

Pressure Testing and Electrical Tests: When the unit has been cleaned, the contractor will connect pressure gauges to the refrigerant lines and check the operating pressures while the unit is running. These pressures are an important diagnostic, because they will tell the contractor if the unit is running correctly and has a correct refrigerant charge. Low charges, due to age or a small leak, will eventually affect the unit’s ability to cool the home, and can damage the compressor. If a leak is suspected, the contractor has equipment that can look for the source of the leak, and can recommend repair or replacement options.

The contractor can also check the electrical load from the air conditioner while it is running. Excess power above recommended limits can signal operating problems that need further investigation.

Warranties and Life Expectancy: Many HVAC manufacturers require a homeowner to have professional maintenance performed on their units in order to maintain warranty coverage. It makes sense, since a non-maintained system may fail sooner, costing the manufacturer expenses in warranty claims. When you purchase a new HVAC system, make sure you understand what regular maintenance will be required to maintain the equipment warranty.

Properly maintained equipment will also last longer. A clean and regularly serviced HVAC system will operate more quietly, use less electricity, and have a longer service life beyond a system that is ignored. With the cost of equipment today, it is very cost-effective to pay for routine maintenance.

In Summary: Here at Parkside Fuel and Boiler, we feel that routine maintenance of our customers’ existing equipment helps them in the long run. You can expect good performance for many years with a HVAC system that is regularly maintained. Call Parkside Fuel and Boiler at (631) 928-4645 to set up a service program, or if you have any questions about our services.