More than 8 in 10 Australian homes have an air conditioning unit. The cooling solution is so prevalent that people often take it for granted.
For instance, what most homeowners or business owners probably don’t realize is that you service your AC four times a year. It is one way to make sure that your system is optimized, as well as avoiding the health risks associated with AC exposure.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost to repair an American air conditioning system is between $160 and $600. You might think that it is substantial, but you are looking at a minimum of $3,000 to replace the whole system. So, it is always a good idea to make sure your AC is well-maintained to extend the lifespan of your unit.
Signs that You Need to Find an Air Conditioning Professional
You should contact a maintenance specialist immediately when you spot the following symptoms from your AC unit:
- Warm air — When your unit stops blowing cold air even if the thermostat is at the correct level, then it is a common symptom of a failed compressor or restricted airflow. The AC unit is supposed to control the humidity inside the house even if it is so hot outside.
- Poor airflow — If this happens, the air filter could be clogged, or the motor may be broken. You can also ask the AC professional for an energy-recovery ventilator, which will convert stale air into fresh air following each cycle.
- Strange noises — When you hear unfamiliar sounds every time you turn on your AC, it is usually a warning sign that everything is not functioning correctly. Make sure to have a professional look at your air conditioning system.
- Odor — When you smell something odorous when you turn on your AC, then it could signify something worse. Bacteria and mold growth are common occurrence when the AC is not properly maintained or cleaned.
- Leaks and moisture — If the drain tube is damaged or blocked, it will typically result in unwanted moisture. However, a more expensive issue is a damaged refrigerant.
AC Unit Maintenance Tips
Here are some tips to optimize the use of your AC unit:
- Make sure to change the filters regularly — If you do not have pets at home, you should service your AC every three months. Cut it down to two months if you are caring for a dog or cat. Failing to perform this task will result in a damaged evaporator coil, which can be an expensive undertaking.
- Check the evaporator coil and condenser coil — The coils will gather grime and dust over time. If you have a clean air filter, it should prevent dirt from entering the coils. If the evaporator coil is contaminated, it loses its ability to absorb heat. The condenser coil outside, meanwhile, is exposed to the elements. As such, it can get dirty quickly. You need to remove the debris around the coil for adequate airflow.
- Clean the evaporator drain — Mold and algae may grow if the pipe is not properly cleaned. A blocked drain may cause a leak or flooding. It may also stop blowing cold air, especially if it is equipped with a drain float.
- Level your AC unit — Another area that people often take for granted is the level of the pad, which secures your air conditioner system. If the condenser unit is not leveled, the compressor inside might sustain damage. However, it is not the case for people with a heat pump system.
When you bring in a technician, they should be able to:
- Inspect all electrical components
- Tighten and clean all connections
- Check for leaks and excess moistures
- Look at the level of refrigerant, as well as any signs of a refrigerant leak
- Make sure there is proper airflow using measuring gadgets
- Look for wear and tear on motors and belts.
Health Risks of Improperly Maintained AC
If you are installing an AC unit in your home, you have a responsibility to make sure that it is adequately maintained. A little investment on your part guarantees the safety of your children, especially.
Here are some things you need to look out for:
- Dry eyes and dry skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Skin allergies