Would you drive a car year after year without ever changing the oil or taking it to a mechanic for a tune-up? Like your car, your cooling and heating systems must be maintained in order to run efficiently and dependably. You should change your air filters monthly. Your air conditioner and furnace should each be inspected once a year. Annual heating and cooling check-ups allow a technician to identify minor problems before they become major problems. It also enables your heating and cooling systems to run more efficiently and more dependably. Proper maintenance may add years to the life of your units’ major components.
Beware of “Free” Cooling and Heating Inspections
Some air conditioning and heating companies offer free (or below cost) unit inspections. Many times these inspections give the company a “foot in the door” so that they can encourage you to replace your current unit or one of its major components.
At TWIN Heating & Air, our policy (whether we are doing an inspection or have been called in to repair a malfunctioning unit) is to identify any problems the unit is experiencing and to advise our customers of the options available for resolving those problems.
It is not unusual for a company to recommend that a unit be replaced, when it can actually be repaired at a lower cost. While it may be more cost effective in the long run to replace an old system with a newer, more efficient one, the customer should be aware of his options and of the respective cost of each.
Q. What does an Inspection of Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Include?
- A thorough examination of system components including coils and all electrical components.Over time, coils may become dirt encrusted. Dirty coils cause a cooling system to work less efficiently. A unit with dirty coils uses more electricity, cools less effectively, and places undo stress on the compressor. An annual inspection allows a technician to identify dirty coils and failing electrical components before they cause long term damage to your system. It is much cheaper to have your coils cleaned replace failing electrical components than it is to replace a compressor.
- Examination of air filters.Clean air filters improve the efficiency of your system and improve the quality of air circulating through your home or place of business.
- Check to insure condensation lines are draining properly.Clogged condensate drain lines can cause water to leak through your ceilings or walls or worse get back up into your ductwork creating conditoins that promote mold growth.
- Check refrigerant charge.
Proper refrigerant charge is critical for efficient operation of your air conditioner. Too little refrigerant & your air conditioner will loose some of its capacity, have longer run cycles & increase your electrical costs. Too much refrigerant causes the compressor to run at higher than normal pressure, increasing energy cost and shorten the life of your compressor. Too much refrigerant will also reduce cooling capacity.