The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute reminds homeowners that this is the ideal opportunity to prepare cooling equipment for the hot summer months to ensure it operates at its highest efficiency.
“Heating and cooling is the single biggest energy consumer in a home, and accounts for about 40% of all the energy used by homeowners,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of AHRI. “That’s why taking steps to ensure the unit is running as efficiently as possible can help offset cooling costs this summer.”
AHRI offers homeowners the following tips to keep their central air conditioning and heat pump units running efficiently:
AHRI also suggests that homeowners hire a professional to service their air conditioner. A well-trained technician will find and fix problems in the system. Look for a technician that is certified by North American Technician Excellence. Be sure to insist that the technician:
- Check for the correct amount of refrigerant and test for refrigerant leaks.
- Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system.
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems.
- Measure air flow through the evaporator coil.
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously.
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a nonconductive coating if necessary.
- Check belts and oil motors for tightness and wear.
Finally, AHRI recommends that homeowners establish a service agreement with a reputable contractor that will take care of regular spring and fall maintenance to ensure maximum efficiency and catch problems early, before they can become bigger and more expensive. A service agreement also ensures that the homeowner has priority during the hottest and coldest months, when problems are most likely to emerge.
“With proper maintenance, central air conditioning and heat pump units should last at least 12 to 15 years,” Yurek said. “Homeowners need to regularly service their heating and cooling equipment to keep them running smoothly.”