Living in the warmer climates almost requires you to have air conditioning in your home but you need to have it serviced and maintained if you want it to work when you need it. If you have a central air conditioning unit in your home, you will need to have a service company come in to check some things, but you can do some of the tasks yourself if you choose to. Here are a couple tips to keeping the a/c running and the house cool:
The air conditioning unit needs to be serviced at least once a year but if you can do it, twice is better. When you hire a company to come and service the unit they will have some things to do inside and outside the home so make sure you schedule the service at a time that someone can be there at the time they will be arriving. They may not wait around if you are late so plan to be there a few minutes before the technician is due so there will not be a concern of a missed appointment time.
What Will Be Serviced
The technician will want to change the filters on the unit but will also need to check all the electrical components, the compressor, the lines inside the unit, and the mechanical components for proper function. They will most likely check the refrigerant pressure in the system and if it is low, they will start looking for leaks. The system is a closed loop and any drop in pressure indicated that there is a leak unless the system pressure was intentionally dropped. The compressor will not function properly without the proper amount of refrigerant in the loop so it is unlikely that it would be lowered intentionally.
Recharging The System
If the refrigerant in the system is low, the technician can recharge the system, bringing the level of refrigerant up to the proper pressure and fill level so that the unit functions properly again. If they did find a leak when inspecting the unit, they will need to fix it before they can recharge it. The old refrigerant will be pumped out of the system and captured to be disposed of later and the new refrigerant added. You can not just allow the old refrigerant to escape into the air as it is harmful to the ozone and under federal regulations, it must be captured and made inert before it can be released.
Changing The Filters
In most homes, there is a filter inside the home that can be changed by the homeowner. You will need to locate it and then determine the filter sizes which is normally printed on the side. Once you have the old filter out, the new one will simply slide into place. You can change this filter every few months if you like to keep the air in your home free of dust and allergens. Ask your service tech to show you where to find it so you can change it as often as you feel necessary.
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