Most experts recommend having your air conditioner cleaned and serviced once a year, typically at the start of the warm season so that it’s ready to work hard for you all summer. But why is this so important? While it might not seem necessary to schedule with a professional when there’s nothing technically wrong with your AC unit, regular cleaning and maintenance can actually save you a lot of money down the road. Not only does taking good care of your air conditioner save you money down the road by extending its life and protecting you from snowballing repair costs, it also can save you money in the present by reducing your energy bills. Here’s how.
Better Air Flow
You probably already know that replacing your filters will improve the flow of cold air into your house, but that’s only part of the picture. If you’ve ever looked at your furnace filter when you’ve replaced it, you know that they can look pretty dirty after even a month of having air pushed through them all the time. As the dirt particles build up, they will block the flow of air more and more, causing the system to have to work harder to get enough air. And working harder means using more energy, which means more of your money is being spent to achieve the same level of comfort you could have for less if you’d had your air conditioner cleaned.
When you have your air conditioner cleaned, the technician will also make sure your outside unit, your condenser, is getting sufficient ventilation. Air conditioning works via transferring heat from inside your home to the outside, and for the transfer to work properly, the condenser has to have good air flow around and through it. The tech will therefore ensure the landscaping is cut back to promote air flow around the condenser, clear out any debris that might have gotten inside, and straighten out any of the delicate metal fins that help to channel the flow of air. Improving the ventilation allows the heat transfer to work more effectively, allowing the air conditioner to cool your home more easily and ultimately costing you less money.
More Efficient Heat Transfer
We’ve already talked a little about how better air flow makes the heat transfer work better, but there’s another way in which an annual air conditioner cleaning will improve efficiency. Another of the things that the tech will clean is the metal tubing, or coils, inside your condenser. The coils carry refrigerant from the house into the condenser, where it releases its heat into the outside air. The coils are made of metal to facilitate the heat transfer, but dirt buildup can insulate the metal from the air, preventing effective heat transfer and making your system work much harder to achieve the same results. Ensuring these coils stay clean helps your system to do the same job while using less energy. The tech will use a chemical made specifically for the HVAC industry to clean the air conditioner. The chemical is designed to remove the particles clogging up your AC coils.
Finally, your air conditioner has some parts that your technician will want to inspect for signs of problems. A great example is the fan and motor. As these parts wear, they can cause resistance inside the system, requiring more energy to do the same job. For instance, as the fan bearings go out, they won’t allow the fan to turn as easily, requiring more power and increasing your energy bill. Your technician can catch problems like this before they become evident to you, replacing parts as needed and keeping your energy costs low.
Experienced, Professional Service
Many homeowners feel comfortable changing their own furnace filters, but there’s a lot more involved in an annual air conditioner cleaning. Having an HVAC professional set eyes on your system once a year means that it will be cleaned thoroughly by an experienced technician, increasing efficiency and reducing or preventing high energy costs. It also means that problems are more likely to be caught while they are minor, avoiding not only expensive repairs but also high energy bills as the problem worsens.
For more information about what air conditioner cleaning entails, or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians, contact Maeser today.