In hot, humid climates like those in Clearwater, Florida, most people consider an air conditioner a necessity for comfort. People rarely think about their air conditioners until there is a malfunction. Regular maintenance ensures that heating and cooling systems work at optimum levels. A well-maintained unit needs fewer repairs and lasts longer. Since heating and cooling account for almost half of household fuel usage, keeping equipment in good working order helps save on utility bills by using less energy.
Preventive Maintenance Checklist
Seasonal check-ups for furnaces and air conditioners are recommended by most manufacturers as part of the conditions of warranty coverage. Regular tune-ups keep a unit running efficiently. What should be done as part of a preventive maintenance program for air conditioners? The checklist below explains what should be included:
- Check and balance refrigerant levels. Coolant that is too high or too low affects efficiency. A reduction in coolant levels of even 10 percent can increase operating costs by 20 percent.
- Clean or replace air filter. Dirty air filters are the primary cause of breakdowns that require air conditioning repair. Dirty air filters make a unit work harder and affect indoor air quality. Airborne particulates are re-circulated through the system and blown into the air you breathe.
- Clean, level and calibrate thermostat. Energy usage increases by 8 percent for each degree a thermostat is lowered. Dirt in the housing affects temperature readings. A thermostat that has been bumped and loses its level also affects calibration.
- Inspect and clean condenser and evaporator coils. Dirty coils reduce energy efficiency and make the compressor run longer.
- Inspect wiring and connections. Frayed wiring is a fire hazard. Improper connections affect voltage and flow of current, which can damage a unit.
- Make sure the unit cycles on and off properly. The system should turn on, run through a full cycle and shut off properly.
- Clean compressor housing. Leaves, dirt and debris affect air flow. If the compressor is in full sun, plant shrubs nearby, not closer than 3 feet, to provide shade.
- Check and clean drains and tubing. Clogged drains keep moisture from leaving the system. Water can back up and damage not only the unit but nearby structural elements of the building. Excess water in the system affects indoor humidity.
- Oil all moving parts. Sluggish fans and motors make a unit work harder.
- Check blower and grilles to ensure that air moves freely. Restricted airflow can reduce efficiency by up to 15 percent.
About Cox Air Conditioning and Heating
Cox Air has served Clearwater FL, Pinellas County and nearby areas since 1958. We are a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, which means we follow Carrier’s best business practices and guarantee 100 percent customer satisfaction. Our technicians are certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the industry leader in HVAC and refrigeration technician certification.
We also offer:
- 24-hour emergency service for heating and air conditioning repair
- Residential and commercial installation, service and repair
- Service for all brands and models of HVAC equipment
- Annual maintenance agreements
- Saturday service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Attractive financing