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The Real Value of Regular AC Maintenance

15 Feb 2022

On the first hot day of the year, the last thing any homeowner wants to hear is, “Honey, I think the air conditioner is broken!” You wouldn’t drive a car for ten years without having the oil changed or putting new tires on it, but many homeowners expect their HVAC systems to perform like new for years without any attention or intervention.

By keeping a regular maintenance schedule for your home’s heating and air conditioning appliances, it is possible to save money on monthly energy bills, improve your overall indoor air quality, and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

And it doesn’t cost a lot of money.

How Will Nick’s Get My AC Ready for the Summer?

Spring is fast approaching, and not long after, we’ll be back in the middle of another brutally hot and humid Houston summer. Every year, we find ourselves with customers like the ones in our first paragraph, the ones that forgot about their AC system as soon as last summer ended. We can’t blame anyone for that; no one wants to spend their time thinking about filters and refrigerant levels. That’s why Nick’s offers professional HVAC maintenance that’s convenient for your schedule.

We can’t dig deep for every aspect of our 32-point comprehensive HVAC maintenance and inspection service in this blog, mainly because most of it doesn’t make for very interesting reading. Nobody wants to read about Schrader cores, locking caps, or braze points, and unless you’re in the HVAC industry, there’s no reason why you should. Instead, here’s a look at a few essential items that we’ll cover when you schedule your annual HVAC maintenance service from Nick’s.

We’ll Change the HVAC System Air Filters.

The most crucial maintenance task any technician or homeowner can perform on their AC system is changing the air filters. Depending on the configuration of your system, you may have one large filter located near the central fan blower, or there could be several smaller filters located in return vents throughout the home. Dirt, dust, mildew, pet dander, hair, skin flakes, cooking smoke all get pulled into and trapped by your HVAC filters, making it more difficult for air to pass through them, causing your AC unit to work harder. Just changing your HVAC system’s air filters can lower your monthly energy bill by 15 – 30%, and new filters reduce the amount of airborne dust in the home.

Your Nick’s Air Conditioning technician will be happy to show you where your HVAC air filters are and show you how to change them in between service calls. Most HVAC system manufacturers recommend changing air filters every six months, but every home is different. Be sure to check your filter(s) once a month and change them when they start to look dirty.

We’ll Check Refrigerant Levels and Look for Leaks.

Liquid refrigerant is the life-blood of your HVAC system, and without the proper amount being distributed at the appropriate pressure, it won’t take long to realize something is wrong. Having too little refrigerant in your system means it’s always mildly humid and uncomfortable, with lukewarm air blowing from the vents. Too much refrigerant causes the motors within the AC unit to overwork to the point they generate their own heat, which causes hot air to blow into the living space. By having your HVAC system maintained regularly, your technician will ensure that your system carries the proper amount of refrigerant.

Unlike changing air filters, checking and adding liquid refrigerant is not a task for the do-it-yourselfer. It requires a tool called a manifold gauge that measures the pressure of refrigerants, can remove excess or contaminated refrigerants from a system, and can be used to add refrigerant.

We’ll Clean the Condenser Coil.

Your HVAC system’s condenser coil has the unenviable task of spending its entire life in your backyard, often in direct sunlight, working hard to keep your home comfortable. The condenser coil’s job is to allow the refrigerant space to circulate and discharge the heat it picked up from inside the house into the atmosphere. Due to its being located outside the home, your AC unit is constantly under assault from the sun and from wind, rain, leaves, dirt, sand, and even bugs.

When enough dirt and debris build up on the fins of the condenser coil, much of the heat that the coil should dissipate into the atmosphere ends up being directed back into the home. Cleaning the condenser coil removes the dirt and built-up grime from the fan and fins, allowing the refrigerant to return to its heat-removing liquid state. This allows your air conditioner to continue cooling your home at peak performance and maximum efficiency.

We’ll Make Sure Your HVAC Ductwork is Sealed.

One of the most often overlooked components of your home’s comfort systems is the ductwork that delivers your treated air. Ductwork comes in two types, formed sheet metal made of galvanized steel or aluminum is generally used for plenums and long runs across an attic. Flexible ductwork (flex-duct) moves air from the plenum and out to the individual vents throughout the home. Flex-duct is exceptionally durable, as it must be to survive multiple summers in Houston attics, and is much easier to install than rigid metal ductwork.

We’ll inspect all exposed ductwork, looking for any tears in the outer plastic sheeting that covers the duct’s wire inner core that may allow untreated attic air to be distributed into the home. Signs of a torn or otherwise damaged flex-duct are:

  • Excessive dust around the house.

  • Low airflow from HVAC vents.

  • Spikes in your energy bills.

One single torn duct in a hot attic can raise your monthly energy bill by 30%, and the extra wear and tear on your AC unit will likely condemn it to a premature death.

What is the Best Time of Year for AC Maintenance?

Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning offers HVAC maintenance services year-round, but the most opportune time is during the “off-seasons” for HVAC systems, during spring and fall. Most folks simply aren’t using their HVAC equipment during the seasons of pleasant weather, making it the perfect time for maintenance work to be done.

If you notice a sudden change in performance or efficiency of your AC system, call Nick’s Air Conditioning to schedule an air conditioning maintenance appointment. We are the premier air conditioning maintenance company in the Houston area. With over 40 years of experience, we have the knowledge and expertise that our loyal customers have come to rely on when they require air conditioning maintenance.

In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance service, enjoy prioritized service and special discounted offers available only to VIP Plan members.

Visit our VIP maintenance plans page for more details. Call Nick’s Today. We’re on the Way!

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