Proper air conditioning maintenance affects your comfort and your wallet. Your home’s HVAC system cools and heats better with regular maintenance and runs more efficiently. As much as 50 percent of your home’s energy usage comes from HVAC use.

Some maintenance tasks can be taken care of by the homeowner, but most need to be addressed by a professional. Be sure to ask questions before hiring any service technician to service your air conditioner. Here are four of the most important questions to ask your HVAC contractor about the essentials of air conditioning maintenance:

How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?

A clean filter is the most critical aspect of air conditioner maintenance. Changing your filter is also one of the simplest ways to ensure your air conditioner runs at maximum efficiency. Check your filter each month. If it looks like it needs to be changed, then swap the old one for a new one.

Filters can be changed every three months if residents do not have allergies, if the home is pet- and smoke-free, and if you vacuum and dust regularly. Otherwise, air filters need to be changed every 45 to 60 days.

Do I Really Need My Air Ducts Cleaned?

Ducts can accumulate small amounts of dust and lint without necessarily needing a cleaning. Regularly changing air filters and vacuuming registers will keep ducts cleaner longer. If anyone in your home is an allergy sufferer, ducts should be cleaned yearly. Your HVAC contractor will look for the following when checking whether your ducts need to be cleaned more or less often:

  • Mold or water contamination
  • Rodents or other animals
  • Clogs of dust, debris, or fur thick enough to be blown back through return registers

How Often Do I Need to Have My System Maintained?

Proper air conditioning maintenance includes more than just changing filters and keeping ducts clean. Your system’s coils, fins, fans, motors, belts, and terminals need to be checked yearly for cleaning and maintenance. These parts will become dirtier with normal use, but heavy pollen seasons, pets, indoor smoking, and irregular or improper housekeeping accelerate this buildup.

Ideally, your system should be maintained seasonally, especially if added allergens are in the home. Seasonal HVAC maintenance includes preventive maintenance just before each time of the year that you use the air conditioner and heat. We recommend having your trusted HVAC contractor visit every spring and fall.

Do You Offer a Maintenance Service Plan?

Maintenance service plans save time and money, and they often pay for themselves in extending the life of your air conditioning system. Ask your HVAC contractor if they offer a maintenance plan. If so, be sure to obtain a checklist of what is included in each routine maintenance visit. Although Del-Air Heating & Air Conditioning offers a 20-point maintenance checklist, a service technician’s maintenance visits should include the following:

  • Checking thermostat, starting and stopping cycle, and other controls
  • Tightening of all connections
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Inspection of condensate drain
  • Cleaning of evaporator and condenser coils
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Adjustment and cleaning of blowers and components.

Annual and seasonal preventive maintenance agreements give you the biggest bang for your buck. They help extend the lifespan of your cooling system and reduce air conditioning repairs.

Conclusion

Major appliances all require care and maintenance, and your air conditioner is no different. Even without added allergens in the home, your system needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly. The more allergens you have in the home, the more often you will need maintenance.

As with any major appliance, always check your manufacturer’s suggested maintenance plan to keep your system running at maximum comfort and efficiency. Visit Del-Air Heating & Air Conditioning online for more information about maintaining your air conditioning system or call us at 844-574-4578.