If there’s one thing that no one finds amusing, it’s when their air-conditioning system goes on the blink and it’s hot outside. June is fast approaching, and if you have ignored one of your most important appliances up until now, it’s time you gave it some attention so you’re not left sweating over the summer.
Regulations and models have changed a lot in the past 15 years, and not only are systems being produced that are more efficient, they are also using more eco-friendly gasses. Maintaining fairly new handlers and condensers is important to ensure their longevity, but if you’ve been relying on something that groans like you bought it from the Addams family, this might be the moment to consider replacing it before the decision is made for you.
Gary from Chilled has a lot of experience with phone calls in the middle of the night from desperate clients watching their thermostats climb. He has the following advice as we enter the hottest months of the year:
Getting your air-conditioning system serviced on a regular basis is the best way to avoid surprise issues. If you haven’t had it serviced in a while, call a technician and make an appointment for them to come and assess it. They will change the filters, clean it, check the Freon levels and give it a general once over to make sure everything is running properly. It is usually suggested that you set up a service contract for four times a year, especially if you have pets … or anything else that’s furry in the house.
Older systems are not as efficient and cannot use the ozone-friendly Freon that the newer ones do. Also remember that the older the handler and condenser you have, the harder it will be to source parts for them. Even if you are not prepared to switch out everything now, be financially ready for it in the future. Replacing an air handler and condenser can cost thousands of dollars.
Turning off your air-conditioning completely while you are out in the day may not always bring you the lowest possible electricity bill. Depending on how well your home is insulated and its exposure to the sun, it may actually be cheaper to run the thermostat a few degrees higher than when you are in the house rather than shut it off altogether.
If you hear unfamiliar noises coming from any part of your system, don’t wait to call a technician, and if it stops working, turn it off completely. Letting it run when it isn’t doing its job can actually cause more damage in the long run.