How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Efficiently

The most important maintenance task to ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace or clean your filters on a regular basis. Dirty, clogged filters reduce the amount of air flow and significantly reduce system efficiency. Look for the minimum filter efficiency value, or MERV, which ranges from 1 to 12 for domestic air conditioning units; the higher the number, the better the filtration (and the more energy it will take to extract air through it, so balance air quality issues with energy costs). Federal laws require air conditioning units to be much more efficient than they were just 10 years ago.

For central air conditioning, look for the seasonal energy efficiency index, or SEER; for window units, the measurement is simply called the energy efficiency index, or EER. The standards require a SEER of 13 and an EER of 8, but devices with higher numbers will cost less to operate. Air conditioners and air conditioning systems must be checked regularly by experts to keep them operating efficiently for a long time. The average lifespan of an air conditioner is between 15 and 25 years.

Several variables can increase or decrease that time, such as the type of system, the brand, and the consistency of maintenance. If you take care of your heating and cooling system diligently, you'll maximize its lifespan and maintain greater efficiency for a longer period of time. You need a professional who can give you the right numbers when it comes to equipping your home with an air conditioning unit. An air conditioner is a complex ecosystem of electrical cables, motors, and tubes that makes it inaccessible to people who are not familiar with the systems.

If you're looking for an expert, reliable company for your HVAC needs, call Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today. While sometimes it may not seem necessary, preventive maintenance is better than having to repair a broken HVAC system. Condensation from air conditioner coils contains bacteria that can form sludge and clog the drain pipe of the condensate tray. Consider scheduling two seasonal HVAC adjustments each year, one in spring for air conditioning and one in fall for heating.

Cleaning the air conditioner in spring, before putting it into operation, will help it work better during hot summer days. We asked Richard Trethewey, plumbing and heating expert at This Old House, to share his tips on air conditioning maintenance for central air units and windows. An air conditioner consumes a lot of energy, and electrical faults can definitely lead to risks of fire or even worse electrocution. Use this handy checklist to evaluate your HVAC system, then schedule an appointment for any air conditioner maintenance or repair you need before summer begins.

The air compressor and condenser in a central air conditioning system are usually outside the house, close to the foundation. For units with a window, turn on an incense bar and hold it where the unit and window frame meet; in the case of a central air conditioner, hold the rod close to the duct connections. The actual annual maintenance of an air conditioner requires experienced hands and should not be taken lightly as there are several things that require careful calibration and testing. To keep your AC unit running efficiently all year round it is important to have regular maintenance checks done by a professional technician.

This will help identify any potential problems before they become serious issues that could lead to costly repairs or replacements.

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