As a responsible homeowner, you probably recognize the importance of maintenance to prevent problems. But some types of maintenance, such as AC maintenance, are all too easy to forget to schedule. But if you don't remember to schedule your AC unit's Spring maintenance for the year, performance will suffer and you may find yourself with some very expensive repairs. Here's a breakdown of three of the crucial reasons not to neglect scheduled AC maintenance.
1. Efficiency and cost
When maintenance is neglected, your unit can suffer from reduced efficiency that tends to get worse and worse the longer you leave it between checkups. There are several reasons for this. One is that air doesn't flow as freely through a clogged air filter. Another is that low coolant can go undetected, making it difficult for the machine to cool the air as much as it used to. A third reason is that condenser coils can get dirty, preventing them from performing heat exchanges as effectively as they used to do.
2. Compressor failure
Compressor failure can result from a number of reasons, including the problems listed in the above paragraph. Anything that reduces the efficiency of the unit causes it to have to work overtime, putting more wear and tear on the compressor than it can handle and increasing the probability of an early death for your compressor. In addition, low coolant levels can cause compressor failure through an entirely different route; the low coolant can (counter-intuitively) cause condenser coils to freeze over, which can result in some coolant getting into the compressor and causing it to fail.
3. Motor damage
There are several ways neglect can cause motor damage. One is through lack of sufficient lubricant, which can cause moving parts to seize up or simply wear away at each other until they are so damaged they require replacement. Another way is through misalignment. Moving parts, such as belts, can move slightly off course over time, and if not corrected they can wear away at other parts (or be eaten away by other parts until they break). This can be the cause of some expensive repairs.
As you can see, the maintenance of your AC unit can prevent a myriad of problems and save you a lot of money over time. You may be able to do some of the required maintenance yourself (such as cleaning fan blades and condenser coils, changing filters, and winterizing the unit). But you should always be sure to have a professional HVAC contractor (such as one from Gary Duncan Service Company) come out annually to perform a Spring check-up and make sure the unit is in good working order and prepared to deal with the summer heat.