Why is Yearly Air Conditioning Maintenance Vital?
by Cassidy Lane
Three quarters of all homes in America have air conditioners, and indeed, the United States has been the world leader in air conditioning since the early 20th century. One reason is the areas we live in, many of which are warm and humid, especially in the summer. ACs not only help everyone in the home feel comfortable, but also filter away dust, mites and odors, which means they can enhance your family’s health. Moreover, energy-efficient air conditioners can help you make big savings on your energy budget while reducing your carbon footprint. If you have a home air conditioning unit, you may wonder how often you need to have it inspected and maintained. The answer is once a year, even if your unit seems to be working well.
Why Once a Year?
A yearly check-up isn’t arbitrary; it is based on the fact that units can quickly suffer from dust build-up if the machine isn’t regularly, professionally cleaned. Dirt tends to congregate on the filter as well as the condensing coils. If allowed to accumulate, it can cause leaks and/or a reduction in cooling ability, therefore making your unit less efficient. Cooling units have many components that need to be in tip top condition to work well, including drain pans, compressors, capacitators and more.
Maintaining Your Family’s Health is Key
Bacteria can settle in water sources (including air conditioners), which can potentially cause tummy pain, diarrhea, and other conditions. As noted by Dr. Mercola, “To help ensure optimal air and water quality, clean your air conditioner, heat ducts and filters regularly, and provide filtered water for every member of your family to avoid potentially deadly bacteria.” It is important to aim to reduce bacterial infections to a minimum. Antibiotic resistance is rampant across the globe, but the good news is that infections can be prevented through cleaning and maintenance. An air condition that functions well can help you keep humidity levels to below 50%, which is great news considering that mold can be harmful to your respiratory and general health.
A Longer Life for Your Air Conditioner
If the person repairing your unit finds minor damage (e.g. faulty ductwork, dirt blockages, or electrical problems), they can repair these problems and your conditioner can continue to function well for many more years. Damage that is left to become severe will necessitate a new AC. Considering the average central air conditioning unit costs $5000 and upwards, you should definitely try to extend the life of your existing unit. According to This Old House, units can last up to 15 years, but only if they are properly maintained.
Most people maintain their air conditioners to ensure their filters are clean, yet there are so many more reasons why a yearly check-up is indicated. Doing so can extend the life of your unit. It can also ensure you are saving on energy and doing your best to reduce your carbon footprint.