Summers in the Hampton Roads area can get pretty hot and humid quickly! During those few brutal months the last thing that you want to happen is for that magical metal box that cools you off to break down, leaving you hot and sweaty. No one wants to suffer in the middle of the summer waiting on the repairman yet some of us may be doing things that can cause just that situation to occur.
We don’t like seeing our customer’s waiting it out in the heat for relief so we have complied the top 4 mistakes that homeowners make.
Why? All systems are sized to work with a certain amount of airflow, closing vents will reduce the amount of air flowing over your evaporator coil making it work harder. Overworking your air conditioner will cause the system to freeze up, leading to overheating and tripping the breaker. Without the proper airflow the evaporator coil gets too cold, moisture from the air then freezes to the coil. Once the coil starts to frost the coil temperature drops even further thus causing even more freezing to occur.
Most people close vents to unused rooms in the hopes of saving money on the monthly utility bills but they are really only costing themselves more money. With an overworked system your utility bills will actually increase and if that’s not bad enough you may also be on the the hook for costly repairs, ductwork problems, and even possible replacement.
Check to make sure all of the vents are not only open, they should also not be blocked by furniture.
Why? Dirty filters cause the same problem as closed vents, they greatly reduce air flow. Filters are inexpensive and very easily replaced. They should be, at the very least, checked once a month. If you notice dust and dirt buildup on the filter it should be changed immediately to allow the return to pull in the appropriate amount of air.
Filters are there to allow fresh clean air circulate your home. Continued use of dirty filters will cause the air quality in your home to greatly reduce that can lead to health problems for people who suffer from breathing problems or allergies. Filters are the first (and cheapest) line of defense for your air conditioner and indoor air quality.
While different filters are rated for multi-month usage they should still be checked at least once a month. We recommend checking your filter whenever you get your energy bill in the mail.
ALLOWING DOGS TO “GO” ON THE OUTSIDE UNIT
Dogs will sometimes urinate on the outdoor system to mark their territory. Dog urine, in particular, is acidic causing damage to the coils and fins. Coils and fins are an essential part of your cooling system. Once they are damaged or destroyed the whole condenser will likely need replaced, which is always a costly repair.
Pet owners should be watchful and stop them from urinated on the outside system. If all else fails, you can always put up a removable fence around the system. You should be sure that you leave ample space around the system to allow ample air flow (we told you air flow was important). The gate should be easily removed for any future repairs or cleanings.
Why? Next to checking your filters, a good professional cleaning is the best TLC you can give that glorious piece of machinery that keeps you comfortable. A good maintenance tech should take the time to clean the coils with an industrial cleaner, clean out all derbies both in and out of the unit, lubricate all moving parts, and make sure it is running properly.
The technician will be able to notice and inform you of any potential problems and fix them before they happen. Low refrigerant levels, bad electrical connections, clogged condensation drains, and dirty coils are only part of the problems that can be caught and addressed before your system breaks down on you.
Showing your air conditioner a little TLC twice a year will go a long way, saving you cash in multiple ways. You should see reduced electrical bills, longer system life span, and less breakdowns. Often companies will also offer discounts to customers who are on the maintenance plans as well.
If you are need of a repair before the heat hits or are looking for a good cleaning, R. A. Styron can help. Scheduling your service or maintenance call is easy both online or over the phone at 757-420-5488. We have proudly serviced the Hampton Roads area over 60 years now.