It’s time folks. We’ve been driving all over Plano, Dallas, Allen, Richardson, Garland, Sachse, Wylie, and Murphy getting our customers air conditioning systems checked out and ready for the hot Summer season. This entire week has been a blur or air conditioning cleaning, refrigerant additions, filter changing, amp reading, compressor testing….whooo, I’m tired and out of work-shape. We mail out our flyers and send out emails for Spring Check Ups usually in mid to late March and hope to be finished by the end of April so that when May hot weather hits we’re ready to fix the broken air conditioners. Well, this year the heat decided to delay itself a little and as I type this it’s only 54 and cool outside, I’ve scheduled a heat call for later this afternoon for goodness sake! Oh well, we all know Texas and know that in just a few weeks we’ll all be begging for 54 degrees, me especially.
I wanted to take this time out to talk about the importance of air conditioning maintenance in early Spring. I have my loyal customers who call me each Spring for their cleaning and inspection and then I have those who call about every other year and I have lots of customers ask me how often should they actually have their units checked. Having your air conditioner checked out in the Spring is such a great idea. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll be repair-free for the rest of the Summer but what it will guarantee is that the air conditioner is clean and fully charged with refrigerant before the 100 degree days get here. I’m not one to spout statistics but I know that a dirty air conditioner cannot work at maximum capacity and not only that but it makes the unit run hotter and cause damage to the compressor and more than likely will cost you, if you’re lucky, at the bare minimum, capacitor replacement. Let me go into how that works: Bare bones, an air conditioning system takes the heat from your home and dumps it outside. It does this by a lot of technical things but in layman’s terms it absorbs the heat into the refrigerant in the evaporator coil inside your home, carries it outside to the outside condensing unit and it is released from the outdoor condenser coils to the outside air. If you’ve ever noticed when your air conditioner is working well, you can feel the air coming out of the top of the air conditioner and it’s hot. That’s the heat from your home. The outside air blows across those condenser coils with the help of the condenser fan motor which pulls the outside air across those condenser coils and the refrigerant “gives up” the heat from your home to the outside air.
If your air conditioning condenser coils are dirty it’s harder, if not impossible for the condenser coils to give up that heat and to remove heat from your home. The air conditioner works harder to remove less heat and this is equals less efficiency. How often should I clean my air conditioner? I get that question a lot. You can’t clean it too often. At the very least, if you don’t clean it yourself, you should have us come out and clean it for you in the Spring. If you have cotton wood trees in the area or if there is a dryer vent blowing near the air conditioner outside your home, anything that causes the unit to get dirtier than normal, it should be cleaned more often. If you’re like most people, say 80% of my customers, you’re not much on maintenance, you do good to remember you even have a filter that needs to be changed. It amazes me the customers that don’t clean their air conditioner themselves, don’t call us to clean them, call us when they break down and wonder why they keep replacing capacitors. Somebody needs to be cleaning the air conditioner. Now, the refrigerant levels: again, a lot of service calls are clean the coils, add refrigerant. Another thing I get a lot is: “I haven’t had freon added in awhile, it’s probably time.” Your air conditioning system is a sealed system. The way I explain it to customers is that your air conditioning system is like your body and the refrigerant is like your blood, you don’t have to go once a year and have blood added unless you are bleeding. Same with your system, you don’t need refrigerant added unless you are leaking somewhere. Unfortunately a lot of the systems out there are leaking, it’s a fact of life. So, more than likely you will need a refrigerant recharge and it’s best to do that in the early Spring before the air conditioner has to start really working hard. Low refrigerant levels cause the unit to work harder to cool less. Doesn’t make sense does it? Also, the cool refrigerant coming back from the indoor evaporator coil keeps the compressor cool and running at optimal level, low refrigerant levels will also cause the compressor to overheat. I can’t believe it, but I have people, when I tell them they need about 5-6 pounds to fill their system, tell me to add only a couple of pounds. Your system needs to be cleaned, inspected and filled to the PROPER levels with refrigerant to keep your utility bill down, keep your house nice and cool and keep your system repair bills to a minimum. Thanks for reading….see you next week!