When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

4 Tips for Creating a Practical Maintenance Plan For Your Residential Air Conditioning Unit

by Clara Fernandez

Creating a maintenance plan for your air conditioner extends the unit's lifespan and improves indoor comfort during summer. Air conditioners account for around 12% of the total energy costs in United States households; therefore, proper maintenance can also lower annual energy costs. However, there's more to creating a schedule than picking the most affordable plan for your service company. Below are four tips to keep in mind when creating a maintenance plan for your residential air conditioning unit.

Choose the Right Maintenance Times

As a complete unit, an air conditioner should be serviced before and after the peak usage season. For example, schedule your annual maintenance before summer to optimize the system's performance throughout the season. However, if you have a reverse cycle unit that you use all year round, you must service it before winter to avoid mid-season breakdowns.

Individual AC components may have varying maintenance needs. For example, you may need to clean and replace filters more often to improve air quality. Therefore, just because you serviced your unit before summer doesn't mean you are good to go. Check your manufacturer's manual for the specific maintenance instructions for the various components. These include:

  • Moving parts such as the bearings
  • Blower motor
  • Refrigerant 
  • Indoor and outdoor coils
  • Compressor
  • Thermostats
  • Safety devices
  • Electrical wiring

To save money, group together components that require maintenance around the same time. For example, every six months, lubricate the bearings, check refrigerant levels, and clean the filters, indoor unit, and outdoor unit. During your annual service, clean the ducts, inspect the electrical wiring, test for air loss, and inspect the entire system for performance issues. 

Customize the Plan Meet to Individual Needs

An effective maintenance plan should be customized to your individual needs. For example, the frequency of AC maintenance may depend on your environment. If you live in an area that gets a lot of dust, your ducts and filters may clog more often. Therefore, bi-annual cleanings may not be enough to improve indoor air quality. You may have to schedule more regular cleanings.

Similarly, if you have kids or pets, your AC needs regular maintenance to boost air quality. Also, if you have a heat pump that acts as an AC and heating system, you need to service it often to extend its lifespan. Therefore, address any individual factors that may determine the frequency of AC servicing. 

Distinguish Between DIY and Professional Maintenance

A good maintenance plan should account for both DIY and professional tasks. While you may want to maximize DIY maintenance to save money, this isn't always the best choice for your AC. Therefore, know when to fix the unit yourself and when to call in the pros. Some examples of simple DIY tasks include:

  • Cleaning and changing air filters
  • Cleaning the indoor and outdoor units
  • Clearing vegetation around the outdoor unit
  • Inspecting the AC for condensate leaks

Don't attempt DIY repairs on key components such as the compressor, motor, refrigerant line, and condenser coils. Also, don't attempt any electrical maintenance work, as you could expose yourself to electrical hazards. Instead, list these tasks in your maintenance plan, so they can be addressed by a professional.

Plan for Emergency Services

Even with proper maintenance, your air conditioner may break down when you least expect it. If the system stops functioning, you need emergency services for prompt repairs. When creating your maintenance plan, ask your contractor about emergency services. Besides undertaking scheduled maintenance, the company should offer 24/7 emergency services. This way, you don't have to worry about not having a working AC in the middle of summer.

Proper air conditioner maintenance can optimize indoor comfort, save energy, and lower your annual cooling bills. A practical maintenance plan takes the guesswork out of AC maintenance and ensures timely servicing and repairs. Ask services like Orlando Air Conditioning Experts to create a schedule that will keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape.


About Me

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.