Nothing brings more comfort on a hot day than a perfectly working air conditioner. It cools down your home, takes away that heavy humidity, and filters out all the impurities in the air. You can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy.
For you to keep enjoying your air conditioner’s functions, it is necessary to maintain it and have it serviced at least once a year.
However, it’s easy to take your AC for granted or to delay taking care of it. As long as it works, it should be fine, right? Even if your AC seems fine now, the consequences of not maintaining it can appear shortly, and they can be quite expensive and inconvenient for you.
What can happen if you don’t have your AC serviced?
Diminished Cooling Ability
One of the most noticeable and inconvenient consequences of AC neglect is the loss of its primary function: cooling. If you forgo regular cleaning, air filter replacement, and your yearly recommended servicing, you may find your air conditioner struggling to cool your home or ceasing to do so completely.
There are many reasons behind the loss of cooling ability, but most can be traced back to non-maintenance.
Low Indoor Air Quality
Your air conditioner removes not just humidity, but a whole host of impurities and pollutants from the air. Your AC filter can catch dust, mold, fungi, bacteria, pet fur, dander, smoke particles, and more.
This function is a godsend to people with asthma and allergies and those susceptible to respiratory problems. If your AC is dirty and not maintained, these impurities will just be cycled through your AC repeatedly, accumulating in your home and causing health issues.
Strange Noises coming from AC
It’s normal for your air conditioner to make a low noise while it’s operating. This is something you can tune out as you live your day-to-day life.
However, an unmaintained AC can produce loud and unwanted noises. These noises are not isolated and are usually symptoms of bigger problems.
For instance, a hissing or bubbling noise is a sign of a refrigerant leak, while a loud rattling noise could mean loose internal parts.
A water leak is a common result of too much dirt in your AC. The dirt clogs up the system and creates condensation, leading to mold that clogs the draining system. These clogs, when left unchecked, lead to water leaks coming from the interior unit of your AC.
When you’re relaxing at home, the last thing you want is water dripping on you and your valuables. Knowing that it’s dirty and moldy water is even worse. This can be avoided by simply replacing your AC filter on time.
A more pressing issue that can happen is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant, or what most people call Freon, is what runs through your AC motors to make cooling possible. This compound can leak due to poor AC maintenance. Debris can get into the AC interior and create holes for it to leak through.
A refrigerant leak creates a lot of problems from diminished cooling to frost forming inside the air conditioner. A leak must be addressed by calling in experts to repair its source and to replace the refrigerant that was lost.
Your air conditioner has a lot of electrical components that are essential in its operation. Your thermostat and controls are just some of the components that need to be checked at least once a year by a professional.
A professional also needs to take a look at your air conditioner’s wiring and other components, since electrical problems can not only destroy your AC but also cause a house fire.
Issues with Moving Parts
Your air conditioner is made up of many moving parts. These parts like the fan motor can eventually break down if not maintained. They need to be cleaned and oiled regularly to make sure that they don’t break down.
High Utility Bills
An unmaintained air conditioner can spell trouble for you financially as well. If you don’t check on your AC, it may be not just accumulating dirt, but also other small problems that are causing the whole system to strain.
When your AC takes more effort to run and cool your home to your desired temperature, it uses up more energy, which shows up in the form of higher electricity bills.
When your AC is not maintained, it is likely riddled with a lot of internal issues that aren’t being addressed. Wait long enough, and these issues can lead to constant breakdowns.
Breakdowns are expensive to repair, and having them repeatedly takes away your comfort at home. Over time, these breakdowns will lead to your whole AC deteriorating and shutting down for good.
High Repair Expenses
Another way you can lose money by not maintaining your AC is through expensive repairs. Air conditioners are made up of many sensitive interior parts. These parts can break due to poor maintenance and lead to bigger problems.
You can avoid spending a lot of money on repairs by simply cleaning your AC and hiring a yearly maintenance service. Spending on maintenance can help you save money in the future.
Overall Shortened Lifespan
Air conditioners are built to last 10-15 years. It’s an expensive appliance that’s meant to give you comfort for a very long time. This lifespan can be shortened by not maintaining it.
Constant breakdowns, straining, and exposure to dirt can accelerate the natural wear and tear of your AC, which eventually leads to its degradation and early demise. AC replacement is something you want to avoid because it’s expensive and inconvenient, especially if you need it done during the summer.
What should be done during AC servicing?
When it comes to maintaining your AC, there are some things you can safely do by yourself. These include air filter replacement, which should be done every 30-90 days. You can also safely clean the exterior parts of your air conditioner like the vents.
If you have more DIY confidence, you can also clean and wash down the interiors of your AC. You can clean the coils, the fan, and the drain pipe, and clean the surrounding areas of your outside unit to prevent debris from coming in.
Another thing you can do by yourself is to prepare your air conditioner’s outdoor unit for the colder months. You can buy special breathable covers and place plywood on top to prevent any falling leaves and snow from falling into the unit.
There are some maintenance procedures, however, that are too difficult or dangerous to DIY. Only air conditioning technicians can safely do such procedures, which include electrical/motor maintenance and refrigerant handling.
This is not to say that professionals don’t do basic cleaning. A good maintenance session includes taking care of all the AC parts from the filter down to the motor.
Here are some of the services a licensed technician can do during annual servicing:
- Air filter replacement
- Full cleaning of the AC system
- Checking of electronic parts
- Recharging of refrigerant
- Testing for any leaks using accurate equipment
- Checking airflow
- Oiling the fan motor
- Checking the drain pan
- Check thermostat accuracy
When is the best time for AC servicing?
A lot of people put off servicing until the very last minute, which is why summer is not a good time to schedule. You can get caught in the rush and end up not having an efficient and clean AC in time for summer. If a technician finds a bigger issue with your AC, you may also find yourself having no cooling in the summer until the issue is resolved.
It is also not recommended to have your AC unit serviced during the colder months. The temperatures are too cold and may cause some issues with your AC refrigerant, which is always attracted to where the temperature is lowest.
The best time to schedule AC maintenance is during spring. The temperature outside will be ideal, and you have time before the summer to sort out any issues with your AC. This kind of preventative scheduling ensures that you have a fully functional and clean air conditioner by the time the hotter months roll around.
Professional technicians recommend that you do a full servicing of your HVAC system at least twice a year. You should schedule once during spring for your air conditioning maintenance, and once during the fall for your heating maintenance.
CPI Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Services
Want to schedule servicing for your air conditioner? Contact a trusted contractor in Mount Vernon now!
CPI offers high-quality services for your air conditioning system. You can contact us and schedule a full maintenance session, or you can also avail of our HVAC service agreement, which gives you at least 2 maintenance visits a year: one for cooling and one for heating.
Call us now at (360) 822-9306.
Our team of experts is ready to help you with all your plumbing and HVAC needs.