We all know that air conditioners usually don’t break down when it’s 75 degrees outside. They are more prone to let us down when the mercury rises during the height of summer. How frustrating is it to come home to an unexpectedly hot house? While amajor system mechanical failure could be the cause, it could also be a relatively easy fix. Regular maintenance, including a refrigerant levels check, may reveal the problem.
A refrigerant leak will result in system inefficiency and failure and also can be harmful to the environment. It’s also costly: studies have shown that air conditioning systems just one-half pound low on refrigerant can lead to as much as a 20% increase in utility bills.
Older systems mostly use R-22 refrigerant, which will be banned by the Environmental Protection Agency after Jan. 1, 2020. Systems that use R-22 may be serviced/charged until the deadline, but it’s probably wise to begin planning for a system replacement. Newer systems that use more environmentally-friendly refrigerants such as R-410A should be considered. Meanwhile, continue to monitor your system for possible leaks. If your A/C is not cooling properly or you suspect it may have a leak, schedule immediate service.
One of the most important things you can do is air filter maintenance and replacement. Not only will it help your air conditioner do its job, it promotes healthy indoor air quality and protects the system’s evaporator. A dirty or damaged evaporator hampers your system’s ability to cool the air and leads to higher utility bills.
As the heat and humidity of summer continues, so does the demand on your system. By performing regular maintenance, keeping your system properly charged and air filter clean more often during the summer months could help prevent costly A/C repairs.