Should I Have My Homes Cooling System Serviced Annually?
In short, the answer is yes. Your homes air conditioning system is a mechanical piece of equipment that has many moving parts to it and must operate in some of natures most drastic conditions. If you live in the Oswego, IL. area, not only must your cooling system operate in temperatures that can exceed 95 degrees, you also allow it to be exposed to the harsh conditions of winter. Let’s discuss the benefits of annual cooling system maintenance.
- Efficiency: Your outdoor condensing unit uses a large fan to pull air across the condenser coil to disperse heat. It is literally drawing vast quantities of air surrounding the unit thru the coil but does not filter the air. This air may contain pollen, cotton wood, bugs, dust and other debris which will collect on the coil. As this debris collects on the coil, it insulates the coil from the air being drawn in and will not relieve the heat from the coil as efficiently. Additionally, as the coil gets completely coated with this debris, the condenser fan must work harder which will not only cost more in energy, it will also reduce the capacity of your unit to the point it may not cool your home.
- Savings: By performing annual maintenance to your homes cooling system, you will not only have it operating at peak efficiency, you may also uncover small issues that will only become large problems as the unit runs throughout the summer. Many of the service calls we perform during the summer months could have been avoided if annual maintenance would have been performed. Low level of refrigerant can be corrected, uncovering of spiders nesting in the contactor can be cleaned or finding wires that may have been chewed by field mice or other rodents can be corrected.
- Convenience: When it comes to having your annual maintenance done on your cooling system, you are the one whom schedules it and most likely, you will schedule it when it is best for you. This means that you will have it done when you are home and before you need to use it. When a unit unexpectedly fails, it fails when you are using it and need it. Not only do you have to suffer thru the heat and humidity until a technician arrives, you will most likely have to rework your schedule so you can be home when he arrives. Many households have two incomes which means that a failed unit will not be discovered until both adults come home from work, That means you must either pay overtime rates to get your cooling system working again or one person will have to stay home the next day to meet the repair tech.
- Safety: The condensing unit is always exposed to the outdoor elements, so it will experience extreme heat as well as extreme cold. Naturally, as parts heat, they expand and as the cool, they contract which will play havoc on your unit. Wire nuts may loosen, screws holding electrical connections may loosen as well as nuts and bolts holding motors or fans in place may loosen. A condenser fan typically operates at 1075 RPM, the damage caused by that fan even being slightly off balance could ruin a motor shaft, but if that blade were to break lose, the damage would be catastrophic.
It is also important to remember that your cooling system depends on your furnace blower and motor to move the air in your home. These two components have been worked hard all winter and a simple inspection may reveal a weak capacitor, need for lubrication or even a filter change. In Oswego, IL., an average summer requires us to run our air conditioning units for 600 hours. Ask yourself when considering if you need this service; when was the last time you took your car on a 600 hour trip without having a qualified mechanic go thru it first?