Heating and cooling your Phoenix, AZ, area home likely accounts for the biggest part of your utility expenses. If you’ve noticed that your electricity bills have been going up, it could be due to your HVAC system. Scheduling HVAC maintenance increases the system’s energy efficiency and effectiveness at maintaining indoor comfort. Consider these eight ways that spring HVAC maintenance performed by our technicians at Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc. will save you money throughout the long Phoenix summer.
1. Identify and Replace Worn Parts
Over time, the different parts and components of your air conditioner may wear out. During a maintenance visit at your Phoenix home, our technicians at Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc. check each part of your cooling system. If any of the parts have excessive wear, we will let you know. We’ll give you the opportunity to have us replace the worn parts. Replacing a worn part before it fails helps you to avoid an emergency repair later in the summer. Doing this also helps you avoid any disruptions to your comfort.
2. Find Minor HVAC Problems
During our inspection of your HVAC system, our technicians check for any faulty or damaged parts. Using a heating or cooling system with damaged parts could result in a complete breakdown or could even necessitate premature replacement of the system. When we find a problem, such as a cracked hose or a damaged fan blade, we let you know. For example, a rusted drain pan could allow water to back up into the air handler, flooding the system and causing it to fail. If you agree, we’ll fix any problems we find during the tune-up or at another time that’s convenient for you. By fixing issues while they’re minor, we save you money on a major repair.
3. Measure and Adjust Airflow
Low airflow through your home’s air ducts could cause problems with your comfort. If there’s not enough cooled and dehumidified air making its way into your living areas, you might crank the thermostat, causing your cooling system to cycle more frequently. Recurrent cycling uses a lot of electricity. The start of each new cooling cycle draws a lot of power, which will run up your electricity bills.
When we perform HVAC maintenance at your Phoenix home this spring, our technicians at Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc. will check the rate of airflow through your air ducts and vents. If the airflow is low, we’ll look for the cause. Common triggers of low airflow include dirty filters, loose ducts, gaps or failed duct seals, closed vents, and air handler problems. An issue with the HVAC system’s fan could also cause low airflow. Our technicians adjust the airflow in order to reduce the frequency of cooling cycles, to maximize your comfort, and to lower your utility bills.
4. Replace Clogged Air Filters
A dirty air filter could reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency by 15%. Over the course of a long, hot summer in the Phoenix area, this could increase your cooling costs by hundreds of dollars. During a tune-up of your cooling system, we check the air filter. If it’s dirty, we can replace it for you.
If you’re interested in removing more particles from your home’s air, we can install a high-efficiency air filter. During the maintenance visit, our technicians at Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc. can also show you how to change your Phoenix home’s air filter. We recommend checking the air filter monthly and replacing it every two to three months. Maintaining a clean air filter lowers your HVAC system’s energy use, improves airflow, and reduces the number of allergens and germs in your home.
5. Clear Condensate Drain Obstructions
If you have a heat pump or air conditioning system, it has a condensate drain. This drain collects the water that condenses from your home’s air during a cooling cycle. The water collects in the drain pan and drains away through the condensate line. After several months of using your cooling system, the condensate drain usually develops a layer of muck.
As the layer of muck gets thicker, the water has a more difficult time draining away. If the muck obstructs the drain, the water will have nowhere else to go. It will back up into your HVAC system, causing major damage. During a tune-up, we clear the muck from the condensate drain. We can also show you how to do this between maintenance visits. Cleaning the condensate drain could prevent an emergency repair to your cooling system.
6. Lubricate Moving Parts
Your cooling system has several moving parts, including the motor and fan. Those parts need to be well-lubricated in order to move smoothly. HVAC systems require special lubricants, and you should not try to do this yourself. The fan is responsible for dissipating heat from the air conditioning system’s coils. If the heat can’t leave the coils, the system won’t be able to effectively cool your home. A loss of lubrication could cause excessive wear and tear on the moving parts. As the friction increases, the motor and fan could overheat. An overheated motor is an expensive repair. We clean and lubricate the moving parts, helping you avoid a major failure of your cooling system.
7. Remove Debris
The outdoor unit of your cooling system is constantly exposed to the elements. A Phoenix haboob could cause a thick layer of dust to accumulate. Nearby trees and flowering shrubs could deposit layers of pollen, sap, or other debris on the outdoor unit’s fins. Birds and other animals could leave their droppings, feathers, or fur on the outdoor unit. All this debris gets in the way of heat dissipation. If the HVAC system can’t release the heat it collects from your home’s air, it will cycle more frequently and cost you more money. It could also overheat, resulting in an emergency repair. We clean the coils and fins, ensuring that the heat from your home can be efficiently released into the outdoor environment.
8. Check Refrigerant Level
Your cooling system uses a chemical refrigerant. This refrigerant absorbs heat and moisture from your home’s air. As it travels through the conduit to the outdoor unit, it releases heat. If there’s a refrigerant leak, the cooling system won’t be able to absorb as much of the heat and humidity. This could cause you to drop the temperature on your thermostat, which in turn will increase your electricity bills. We measure the refrigerant level in order to ensure that it’s within the correct range. If there’s a leak, we’ll find and fix it.
At Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc., we’re proud to offer heating and cooling maintenance for your home in Phoenix, Tempe, and the surrounding areas. Our dedicated team also offers indoor air quality solutions, helping you achieve and maintain a healthier home. Count on us for slab leak repairs, water purification system installations, water heater repairs, and replacement and plumbing services, too. We’re also prepared to provide you with affordable drain repair and drain cleaning and rooter services. To learn more about HVAC maintenance in Phoenix or any of our other services, call us at Plumbing & A/C Medic, Inc. today.