Professional and DIY Cooling System Maintenance For Lower Energy Bills
Posted: June 21, 2016
The number-one way to keep your cooling system happily humming away all summer long is to stay on top of maintenance. The Department of Energy points out that a poorly-maintained cooling system may operate as much as 25 percent less efficiently than a well-maintained system, and it won’t cool you as effectively, either. This means that if your cooling system hasn’t been tuned up for a few years, you’re paying far more than you should be for an inadequate level of comfort. You may as well fuel your system with dollar bills.
The Benefits of Professional Maintenance
Before the hot and humid Brevard County summer is in full swing, it’s a good idea to schedule a cooling system tune-up with a reputable HVAC contractor. A comprehensive tune-up will offer a number of benefits, including:
- Improving the cooling power of your system.
- Extending its operating life.
- Increasing its energy efficiency.
- Preventing common operating problems during the hottest part of the year.
- Preventing the premature failure of interior components.
- Improving dehumidification.
- Reducing your carbon footprint.
If you miss the recommended spring tune-up, keep in mind that professional maintenance will improve your system’s efficiency any time of the year.
What Professional Maintenance Includes
Over time, dust builds up inside your system and gunks up the coils and blower assembly. Electrical connections loosen, lubrication dries up, and belts weaken. Just one of these problems can reduce your system’s efficiency, but combine them, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’re paying more than you should be to cool your home, and it’s likely that you’re going to start seeing operating problems in the near future.
During a comprehensive tune-up, your technician will perform a wide range of tasks, including tightening electrical connections and applying a non-conductive coating; lubricating moving parts; measuring airflow; testing the controls; removing dust buildup from the system’s interior; cleaning the coils; flushing the condensate drain to prevent clogs; and inspecting the ductwork for damage and the thermostat for accuracy.
The Importance of DIY Maintenance and Two Essential Tasks
Cooling system maintenance isn’t finished when your technician packs up and leaves. In order to maintain the system’s efficiency for the duration of the cooling season, there are two essential tasks you should perform on a monthly basis.
Check the air filter. A dirty air filter reduces airflow and allows dust to build up inside the system, both of which will reduce your system’s efficiency. It also reduces your indoor air quality, since a dirty filter won’t effectively trap the harmful particles in your home’s air. Check your filter each month, and when it’s covered with dust and debris, replace it with a high quality clean filter.
Hose down the outdoor unit. Dust, dirt, and plant debris can clog up the fins on the outdoor unit and reduce the efficiency of essential heat transfer. Plants growing in close proximity to the outdoor unit can also reduce its efficiency. Each month, hose down the outdoor unit to remove debris, and remove any plant growth that occurs within 18 inches of the unit. If any of the metal fins are bent, use a fin comb to straighten them.
Other things you can do to keep your system running efficiently during the cooling season include keeping obstructions away from your vents and cold air returns, repairing holes and loose joints in your ductwork as soon as possible, and keeping the area around your indoor unit clean to help prevent dust buildup inside the system.
For more tips on how you can improve your comfort level during the long, hot Florida summers–or to schedule a tune-up for your cooling system–feel free to contact us at Brevard Cooling & Heating.
We proudly serve all of Brevard County and surrounding areas, and we enjoy a high level of customer satisfaction thanks to our dedicated, skilled, and courteous technicians.