Avoid AC system breakdown in summer with preventative maintenance

Avoid AC system breakdown in summer with preventative maintenance

Tampa Bay area residents will tell you that one of the benefits of living in our slice of paradise is the abundance of warm weather. What makes it better is having a cool, comfortable home in which to retreat after spending time outdoors in the summertime.  That will only happen if your air conditioner is properly functioning and routinely maintained.

Air conditioning is crucial in the Sunshine State for establishing and maintaining home comfort, but what’s even more critical is expert ac maintenance in the Tampa Bay area to keep your home climate cool and your air conditioner working smarter not harder. Preventative air conditioner maintenance will help extend the life of the ac unit and improve its energy efficiency.

Air conditioners in tropical climates work overtime during the summer months. It is vital that homeowners or property managers schedule regular appointments for ac maintenance at least once per year for units under 5 years of age and twice per year for units 5+ years old, with a professional ac service technician. A Proficient Air ac service tech will carefully examine your system to ensure all components are operating properly and troubleshoot any areas of concern that might cause the system to fail. Maintenance appointments are recommended in the spring before the heat of the Summer and/or in the Fall before the cooler temperatures in Winter.

According to the US Department of Energy, “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.”

Expert air conditioner maintenance in the Tampa Bay area includes a close inspection of the air filter; the drain pan; all coils and coil fins on indoor and outdoor components; that are essential for efficient air conditioning functionality.

Check/Change Air Filter

Most people are capable of changing the air filter in their air handler. The problem is many people forget to change the air filter in their air handler, which makes it more difficult for air to pass through to the ductwork to cool your home.

Dust, dirt, pet hair, and pollens are sifted from the air by the filter, so if it is not changed routinely, it will become clogged and prevent proper airflow. Check your system operating manual to find the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing the filter. As a rule, standard air filters should be changed every one to three months. Thicker, higher-quality filters generally last for 4-6 months before they need replacing.

Just remember, changing the air filter in your air handler is just as important as changing the oil and air filters in your car.

Coils and Coil Fins

Without proper maintenance, dust, mold spores, bacteria, fungi, and other micro-organisms collect on the air system evaporator coil, and they thrive in the cool, dark, moist environment of the air handler. When the air gets forced through the ductwork, these troublesome particulates become airborne and circulate throughout your home.

Combine mold and bacteria with outdoor pollens, dust, and other contaminants, and this combination will negatively impact everyone breathing the air, not just those with allergies or respiratory issues.

The condenser coil found outdoors easily becomes dirty from environmental contaminants and should be cleaned routinely to prevent the compressor from failing. Always check around the compressor to make sure it is free of leaves, limbs, grass clippings, yard debris, and excess dirt and sand.

The Department of Energy says, “Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) allow for adequate airflow around the condenser.”

Additionally, the fins on the condenser and evaporator coils should be professionally inspected by a knowledgeable ac service technician, because if fins become bent due to dirt and debris, they can prevent proper airflow through the coils.

Condensate Drain Pans

The evaporator coil helps remove moisture – or humidity – from the air, and the water that is removed drips from the coil into the condensate drain pan. If the pan becomes full of water, or worse, it overflows, which can indicate a clogged drain, which can result in mechanical damage to the air handler.

Highly-skilled air conditioning service technicians examine the drain channels to make sure there are no obstructions and clear the drain pan.

“Clogged drain channels prevent a unit from reducing humidity, and the resulting excess moisture (in the air) may discolor walls or carpet,” the DOEsuggests.

Proficient Air and the DOE recommend an experienced ac service technician in the Tampa Bay area perform the following maintenance services:

  • Check the refrigerant
  • Test for refrigerant leaks
  • Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, without illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
  • Check and seal duct leakages in central air systems
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure heating and cooling systems do not operate simultaneously
  • Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections and apply a non-conductive coating, if necessary
  • Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
  • Check thermostat accuracy

The fact that central air conditioners in Florida generally operate year-round, it is recommended they be serviced or scheduled for maintenance every year, but even better, every 6 months, or twice per year.  To keep your ac system from failing when you need it the most, consider a maintenance plan with regularly scheduled service.

The expert Proficient Air technicians are highly-qualified to exercise best practices in air conditioning maintenance in the Tampa Bay area. Each professional air conditioning service technician and the installer takes every safety precaution when visiting residential properties to safely and accurately assess air conditioning systems and provide the necessary maintenance services.

If you experience problems with your air conditioning system, Proficient Air honors warranty repairs on most equipment, whether installed by us or not. Warranties only cover parts, however, and are subject to a warranty fee. Labor is an additional charge with warranty repairs. If your air conditioner is not under warranty, we happily provide a FREE diagnostic assessment with approval of recommended repairs for new customers.

Proficient Air in Palm Harbor offers a variety of high-quality maintenance contracts, specifically tailored to your needs and budget.  Stay cool by protecting your HVAC investment and your family with consistent home comfort and improved air quality year-round. Schedule your ac preventative maintenance appointment today: 727.386.2732


US Department of Energy