Maintaining your air conditioner (HVAC) unit will ensure that it’s ready to properly cool your home all throughout the summer. Keeping your unit in good condition is also important for your wallet: lack of maintenance shortens a unit’s lifespan by 10-15 years, meaning you’ll need to buy a new one sooner. Lack of maintenance also results in a 5% efficiency loss, which results in higher energy bills.
The first air conditioners and refrigerators employed toxic or flammable gases, such as ammonia, methyl chloride, or propane, that could result in fatal accidents when they leaked. Thomas Midgley, Jr. created the first non-flammable, non-toxic chlorofluorocarbon gas, Freon, in 1928. The name is a trademark name owned by DuPont for any chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), or hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant. The refrigerant names include a number indicating the molecular composition (e.g., R-11, R-12, R-22, R-134A). The blend most used in direct-expansion home and building comfort cooling is an HCFC known as chlorodifluoromethane (R-22).
Sometimes a heating and air conditioning system just needs to be repaired rather than completely replaced. You may need air conditioning repair services if there is leaking around the outside unit, the air coming into the house isn't hot or cool enough, the unit is short-cycling or constantly turning on and off, using the system is consistently resulting in higher-than-normal energy bills, or if there is excessive noise during startup and operation.
AC air handler buzzing sounds. Do you hear a buzzing sound when you turn on the thermostat? The only thing that comes on in the house when you turn on the thermostat is the fan relay and fan in the air handler or furnace. Try switching the thermostat HEAT/COOL switch to OFF. Then switch the fan switch from AUTO to ON. The fan (only) should come on. If the air handler makes a buzzing sound, it probably has a bad fan relay or, more likely, blower fan.
An air conditioner's filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases. Check out our Energy Saver 101 Infographic: Home Cooling for more ways to help improve your comfort and the efficiency of your air conditioner.
When central air conditioning service fails during a heat spell, you may have to wait days for an HVAC repair technician or a ac contractor to show up, and you’ll probably pay at least several hundred for the repair. But if you’re comfortable working around electricity and are willing to spend about $50 on parts, you can probably repair your air conditioning service yourself in about two hours and save about $225 on parts markup and labor.