The days are getting longer, and that means it’s time to break out the grill, the lawn chairs, and of course, the air conditioner. Fortunately, the sweltering summer temperatures haven’t hit yet, meaning there’s still time for an air conditioner tune up in MD or DC that will make sure your air conditioner is well equipped to handle the warmer weather ahead. At Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing, we receive questions every year from homeowners in the Maryland and Washington, DC area asking if there are any air conditioner maintenance steps they can take on their own.
Are routine air conditioner tune ups worth it?
If you have an air conditioner that’s more than a couple years old, regular air conditioner tune ups can be highly beneficial, because they ensure that your air conditioner works as efficiently as possible. While there is no guarantee that having an air conditioner tune up in Maryland or Washington, DC will make your air conditioner run perfectly all summer long, it is a great way to expose and correct potential problems with your air conditioner before they lead to costly disasters.
Is there anything I can do to maintain my air conditioner?
Yes! In fact, any maintenance you perform on your air conditioner in between professional air conditioner tune ups can be a big help in making it run more efficiently throughout the summer. One of the easiest things you can do is make sure the outdoor condensing unit is not blocked by anything, including leaves, grass clippings, bushes, etc. Your condenser works by pulling transferring the heat from the inside of your house to the outside. Needless to say, if air can’t get to the condenser, it’s going to have a harder time eliminating the heat from inside.
In addition, you should make sure to clean or replace your air filters regularly (once a month is a good idea). Dirty air filters can impede air flow, making your air conditioner run at much lower efficiency levels. If filters get too dirty, it could even cause your evaporator to ice up!
How often do I need to refill the Freon/Refrigerant in my air conditioner?
Ideally, never. Refrigerant is not consumed during air conditioning, meaning the only way you can run out is if you have a leak in your air conditioner. Refrigerant leaks should be taken care of as quickly as possible – refrigerant is a controlled substance that can be devastating to the ozone layer. Most modern air conditioners are specially designed to minimize leaks, but if you have an older air conditioner you may not be as protected. Refrigerant leaks, especially slow leaks that are harder to notice, can be a problem because:
- They can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner
- They can cause the evaporator coil to freeze
- Low refrigerant levels can cause the compressor in your air conditioner to overheat and give out, which will require you to replace the compressor (or the entire condenser!)
If you take a few basic air conditioner maintenance steps now, along with having annual air conditioner tune ups, you can save yourself from a lot of trouble later. If you need an air conditioner tune up or air conditioner maintenance this spring, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing today!