Do you have questions about your air conditioner? From maintenance and regular care to other air conditioning services and replacement, take a look at the top home cooling system questions answered.
How Should You Care for Your Air Conditioner?
You don't need to wait for a problem to call an HVAC service company. Even though these contractors handle repairs and replacements, they also help customers with routine maintenance tasks. These tasks can extend your AC system's lifespan, reduce overall energy usage (and the related utility bills), and improve interior home comfort.
Schedule an annual pre-season AC check-up. If you missed this season's service, you can make up for the missed maintenance with a mid- or post-summer tune-up. These services check for potential problems and include cleanings/filter changes. The technician can also show you where the filter goes and how to either clean or change it.
Do You Really Need To Change the Filter?
The answer to this question is always yes—unless you have a reusable filter. Even though you won't need to replace a reusable filter, you will need to clean it periodically throughout the cooling season. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, filter replacement or cleaning is the most important part of AC maintenance and could decrease your system's energy usage by 5 to 15 percent.
Who Should Repair An Air Conditioner?
AC repairs are not do-it-yourself jobs. Your home's cooling system is a complex piece of machinery. Only a knowledgeable, qualified, and experienced technician should inspect, diagnose, or repair a central air conditioner. Failure to find a problem or fix it correctly could pose a safety risk, cause additional damage to the cooling system, or increase energy use/costs.
What Do Warranties Cover?
A new air conditioner should come with a warranty. A manufacturer's warranty should cover the cost of parts or replacement if the system prematurely fails. A warranty typically won't cover wear-related costs or problems that result from misuse. The warranty may also require you to use a specific service contractor or complete maintenance and care tasks. Failure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines may void the coverage. To learn more about your system's warranty, talk to the HVAC technician or the manufacturer.
When Should You Replace An Air Conditioner?
There isn't one definite answer to this question. Some older systems work well, have lower energy-related costs, and don't show signs of wear. But others may come with high cooling bills and the need for constant repairs. While most AC owners should expect to pay for some repairs over the cooling system's lifespan, the cost to fix your air conditioner should not outweigh the price of replacement.
Contact an air conditioning service near you for more information.
A few years ago, I could tell that we were having serious furnace problems. In addition to dealing with a house that was constantly too cold or too warm, we were also plagued by a noisy, smelly furnace that seemed to have trouble on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I didn't know enough about furnaces at the time to spot the problems quickly. One day, the entire system died, and it was beyond repair. After having that experience, I learned a lot about HVAC systems, so that I could troubleshoot future systems. This website is all about teaching you what you need to know so that you don't end up in the same situation.