Looking after your air conditioner with regular maintenance services will help you keep it running efficiently and notice if anything is wrong. Here are some of the common parts a contractor will check when performing maintenance.
Evaporator and Condenser Coils
The indoor and outdoor components of an air conditioner have refrigerant-filled coils that travel between them in a closed circuit. Over time, these coils collect dust and grease, and a maintenance contractor can clean them.
The coils are at the heart of how an air conditioner works. In cooling mode, the indoor evaporator will suck in air from the room and pull it over the cold coils. The traces of warmth in the air will transfer to the coils, and the air will blow back into the room colder than before.
Coils covered in dirt won't absorb as much warmth from the air, and the system will run less efficiently. The air flowing back into the room won't be as cold. To counteract this, you may turn the fan up, which will consume more energy. The solution is to have the coils cleaned.
The same issue happens with the coils in the outdoor condenser unit. Fans blow over the coils to help them release the heat they've absorbed into the garden. But the coils can't release the heat as easily when encased in dirt.
On some air conditioners, you may be able to replace the filter, but on others, it can be easier to have them cleaned or replaced during a routine maintenance visit. The filters capture the dust in the air that's sucked into the unit. This prevents it from settling on the coils.
If dirt clogs the filter, the air can bypass it altogether. Alternatively, you may have reduced airflow. In a split-system unit, the filter sits near the grill. For a ductless air conditioner, it will be inside the return air grill.
Routine air conditioning maintenance can also check other aspects of the system. The contractor can verify that the proper amount of refrigerant is flowing through the coils and search for leaks. They can also oil and check the motors that run the fans in the indoor and outdoor units. Another important thing to inspect is the accuracy of the thermostat.
An air conditioner naturally dehumidifies the air as any moisture and condensation that collects on the indoor coils drips into a tray and flows outside via condensate piping. The contractors can check that these pipes aren't blocked as well.
Contact a professional to learn more about air conditioning maintenance.