Professional AC Maintenance in Houston
With the heat and humidity that we endure in Houston for close to eight months out of the year, our air conditioning systems are among the most essential appliances we own. For most of us, it’s not considered a luxury. It’s regarded as a critical piece of equipment. We tend to take our AC systems for granted, seeing AC almost in the same vein as running water—as a fundamental feature of any home. We expect AC to operate at peak performance during the longest and hottest summer days.
How long does an AC system last?
High-quality HVAC systems can have a lifespan of fifteen to twenty years. But proper AC maintenance is critical to get as many years as you can from the unit. It will ultimately determine how long an AC unit will last. Indeed, the more often you use the system, the more wear-and-tear it withstands. A system can endure for decades in a temperature region such as Maine. But it won’t last nearly as long down here in Houston by comparison.
Why is maintenance so essential?
Heavy usage of an AC unit does not doom a cooling system. Still, if the homeowner uses it daily for months on end without a bit of maintenance, it will start to show wear and tear. The air conditioning system becomes less efficient. Compressors and fan motors begin to wear out more quickly, refrigerant lines become corroded and brittle, creating freon leaks, among other issues.
Having regular maintenance performed on your AC system should be a part of your routine annual household schedule. The best time of year for air conditioning maintenance in Houston is early spring before the summer heat kicks into gear. Performing maintenance on your AC system just before the summer months will increase the system’s efficiency and extend its lifespan, saving you money.
During your annual AC maintenance, our licensed HVAC technicians will perform several checks, make adjustments, and advise you of any problems in your air condition system.
Why should I schedule air conditioning maintenance?
Maintaining your air conditioner is the best way to ensure it will operate at maximum efficiency, minimize a costly breakdown, and reduce your energy bill. Regularly scheduled maintenance will offer the following:
- Better air quality: A well-maintained air conditioner means better air quality insider your home. An annual tune-up ensures that your ductwork and air filters are clean and free of pollutants. These are the things that can cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
- Reduced fire risk: Any appliance or piece of equipment that uses electricity can always pose a fire risk. By neglecting your air conditioning unit, you could dramatically increase your chance of a house fire, even if the unit is located outside your home. Just because the fire starts outside the home doesn’t mean it can’t travel into the home through tubes.
- Environmental benefits: If you’re concerned about your green footprint, remember that a well-maintained air conditioning unit does consume a lot less fuel, and that is good for the environment.
Also, if you use a programmable thermostat with your A/C unit, then you are being even kinder to the environment. You will only cool your home when you’re in the house. When you’re at work or out for an extended period of time, you can program it to raise the temperature, thereby conserving energy.
- Reduces energy bills- Preventative maintenance helps ensure that your air conditioning runs at close to maximum efficiency. That can translate to a savings of up to 30% on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Help protect your warranty-Most A/C manufacturers require proof of annual maintenance in order for their warranty. This is especially true when a repair claim is submitted under warranty. That’s why investing in regularly scheduled maintenance can save you a tremendous amount of money should something go wrong with your air conditioning unit.
What kind of air conditioning maintenance can I do myself?
1. Vacuum your unit clean
You can vacuum the fins of your AC unit clean with a soft bristle brush. Remember, the fins of a unit are very fragile and can be easily bent. On many units, you’ll have to unscrew and lift off a metal box to get at them.
2. Fix a sinking air conditioner pad
All air conditioners sit on some sort of square concrete pad because of their enormous weight. This is so they don’t sink into the ground. Over a period of time, the concrete will settle into the ground. It’s okay that the pad has sunk as long as there’s no strain on the copper coolant tubes, the electrical lines and that the unit stays dry and level. But if it continues to sink and starts to pull the lines tight, you’ll need to do something about it. There’s lots of information online about how you the homeowner can do something.
3. Fix Fins
You can realign bent or crushed fins with gentle pressure using a butter knife. Remember, don’t insert the knife more than ½ in and do it gently. Straightening these fins will go a long way in helping maintain proper airflow of your unit.
What types of air conditioning maintenance services do you offer?
- Clean condenser and evaporator coils: The two coils have the job of removing heat from circulated air, first at the condenser (located outdoors), and then again at the evaporator coil, which is inside the house, just before your HVAC ducts. Keeping the fins of both coils clean allow for efficient cooling
- Check for the proper amount of refrigerant: Not having enough refrigerant in your HVAC system makes it work harder to cool your home.
- Check drain pans and condensate drain: Drainage pans have holes in them to allow condensation to drip off the AC unit, which often becomes clogged with leaves and other yard debris. Additionally, the condensate drain tube must also be cleaned and have debris in or around it removed.
- Check outdoor and indoor fans for proper operation: As air conditioning units age, the hardest hit components are always the moving parts. The indoor and outdoor fans will tend to have motor issues after a few years of use and may require repair or replacement.
- Lubricate any applicable parts: Modern HVAC systems generally do not require any periodic oiling of its components, where older units may have a port for lubricating fan motors and other bearings.
- Replace filters: Dirty air conditioning filters allow dust to build up in your HVAC ducts and cause your air conditioning to work harder, making it less efficient. Changing your air filters alone can increase the efficiency of your AC by 15%. Some things you can do in-between annual air conditioning maintenance are to check the filters each month and replace them if they start to look dirty. Keep an eye on the area around your AC unit’s drainage pan, remove any weeds or other debris that could block the drain holes of the pan.
AC Maintenance Services
If you notice a sudden change in performance or efficiency from your AC system, call Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning to schedule an air conditioning maintenance appointment. We are the premier air conditioning maintenance service company in the Houston area. With over 40 years of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise that our loyal customers have come to rely on when they require air conditioning maintenance.
We look forward to hearing from you!