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Maintenance Tips to Help Keep Your Air Conditioning System Running Efficiently

Posted on February 16th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

On average in central Texas, an air conditioning system will last from 10 to 12 years. The service life can be shortened or extended, depending on how regularly preventive maintenance is performed. Maintenance will also help the system run more efficiently so that your home or office stays more comfortable and it costs you less money. Regular maintenance ensures your system is more energy-efficient and requires fewer repairs, both of which save you money.

There is some maintenance you can do yourself, while other maintenance requires the service of an HVAC system expert. Professional maintenance should be performed on an HVAC system twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

The following is a list of the tune-up, inspection, and services offered at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing:Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

  • Thermostat calibration & setting – ensures comfort when at home and saves energy when you’re away
  • Check & tighten all electrical connections – system operates more safely and increases life of components
  • Lubricate all moving parts – reduces energy by minimizing friction and overheating
  • Check & inspect condensate drain – plugged drain can affect indoor humidity levels and more seriously cause water damage
  • Check all system controls – ensures the systems starts, operates and shuts off properly
  • Clean condenser coils – dirty coils increase energy costs and reduce the life of equipment
  • Check refrigerant levels & adjust if necessary – too much or too little refrigerant increases energy costs
  • Clean & adjust blower components – airflow problems can reduce efficiency up to 15%
  • (If applicable) Check all gas connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger – Improperly sealed gas connections are a fire hazard. Dirty burners or failed heat exchangers can allow carbon monoxide to escape which can be extremely unsafe or possibly fatal.

 

Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioning Maintenance

Changing air conditioning filters is probably the part of air conditioning maintenance that most people are most familiar with. Still, many fail to keep records or follow up with routine filter changes. Not only is this one of the most important parts of do-it-yourself air conditioning maintenance, it is also one of the simplest.

When dirt builds up on filters, air flow is obstructed, preventing the system from working efficiently. Either cleaning a reusable filter or replacing it with a new one can improve energy efficiency by as much as 15%. To aid in system efficiency and help extend the life of your system, Christianson Leave Air Conditioning Maintenance to the Prosrecommends cleaning or replacing filters once a month.

The air conditioner coils absorb heat, making them an important part of the cooling system. They are also prone to collecting dirt, even when the filter is kept clean. When dirt covers the coils, they are unable to absorb heat efficiently. Indoor units should be examined visually each year, prior to air conditioning season, and cleaned if necessary.

On the outdoor condensing units, the coils are even more vulnerable due to exposure to foliage, dust and grass clippings. It is important to keep grass, weeds, bushes and plant cleared and trimmed away from the condensing unit. It is also a good idea to treat around the unit’s concrete slab with pesticide to prevent ants and spiders.

You may recognize the area on the evaporator and condenser coils known as “coil fins” by sight more than by their name. These flat metal pieces are extremely fragile and easy to bend. Be very careful when mowing or trimming to not damage the coils.  Bent coils reduce air flow dramatically and impact the efficiency and life of your system. If the fins become badly bent or damaged, contact a service provider or a Christianson expert to restore them to good operating condition.

 

Leave It to the Pros

Although some minor maintenance can be performed by the homeowner or business owner, a maintenance plan with Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing includes all the annual and bi-annual maintenance that will keep your HVAC system running more efficiently. These services include two precision system tune-ups annually: one in the spring and one in the fall.

Your air conditioning is a vital component of your comfort and utility bill. Don’t leave its efficiency to chance. Call Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing in Austin at (512) 246-5400 or our San Antonio location at (210) 651-1212 to schedule your maintenance services before hot weather rolls around.


Repair or Replace: Which Choice Is Right for Your Air Conditioning System?

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Air conditioning is not just a matter of comfort; it’s also about energy efficiency and the size of your utility bill. The age and efficiency of your temperature in the workplace also has a direct impact on job performance.

When your air conditioning starts to perform differently or stops working altogether, it needs to be repaired or replaced quickly. The challenge for homeowners and business owners in Texas is in knowing which path to take. You want to get as many years of services out of your air conditioning system as possible, but you also want to enjoy the best possible air quality.

If your system has needed repairs or you fear it’s nearing the end of its useful life, how should you decide whether to repair or replace?  We’ve put together some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when making this decision.

  1. All Repairs are Not Created Equal. Like any mechanical system, as your AC system ages, it will require costlier and more frequent repairs. But the decision to repair or replace can be affected more by the type of repairs.
  2. Equipment Age. Unfortunately, our hot central Texas summers mean AC systems last only 8 to 12 years on average. Your system may suffer a major breakdown earlier or it may run well for much longer.  But it’s clear that the older the system, the more costly the repairs are likely to be and the less efficient it’s likely to run.

Keep in mind that an 8 year old system running efficiently today is still much less efficient than a current model. Just another consideration in the repair or replace decision.

  1. Availability of Parts. As equipment ages it gets more difficult to find replacement parts and the prices usually go up. A common example of this Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioningis the coolant that your unit uses the cool the air in your home.  Freon used to be the industry standard refrigerant until January 2010, when the federal government banned its manufacture.  Since then, new units have used Puron.  Although Freon is no longer manufactured, it is still available.  But its cost rises as supplies dwindle. An older unit that uses Freon is a prime candidate for replacement.
  2. Cost of Repair. Replacement should be considered on an 8-10 year system if the cost of repair is more than $500. For each additional year of age, the maximum repair amount should be $50 less. So, for an 11-year-old AC, the maximum you should pay for a repair is $450. This isn’t an exact formula, but it will give you a guideline to follow.
  3. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooled air as air conditioners made just a few years ago. If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, not only do you have a less efficient unit, but your unit is no longer running at its own peak efficiency. Because today’s higher efficiency units can save homeowners up to 60% on their annual utility bills, they are a popular choice.  The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system, the less it costs to operate and the longer the equipment is likely to last.
  4. Allergies or Asthma. If you or a member of your family has recently been diagnosed with seasonal allergies or asthma, your indoor air quality may suddenly be an important factor in deciding whether to repair or replace.  With today’s modern systems, you may be able to improve your whole house indoor air quality by 99%.  A Christianson trained technician can help you determine if system replacement is right for you.

 

The care you provide your air conditioning system will help to determine how well and for how long it performs. Below are the air conditioning services offered by Christianson & Co:

If you decide to replace your A/C, start with a free no obligation estimate so you can accurately compare your cost. Call us at 512-246-5200 and ask how we can install a new energy-efficient A/C system that will save you even more.



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