In many of the communities we serve, the average age of homes exceeds ten years. While new construction continues in many areas such as Lantana, Argyle, Flower Mound and Highland Village, several homes in those areas are now at the point where they no longer are under a new home warranty, so maintenance becomes more and more about prevention and efficiency. This is particularly true for your HVAC system. Here are some tips and pointers for caring for your system as that time approaches for your home:
Perform basic maintenance. Periodically check and change your filters and dust your vents and registers. Keep your intakes clear of furniture or other blockages. Clear grass, leaves and debris away from exterior condensers and rinse the condensing unit with water from your garden hose as part of routine preventative maintenance.
Service your system professionally. Commit to having your air conditioning systems professionally serviced prior to the seasons that are most taxing to your A/C and heating equipment – summer and winter. Biannual service, whether as part of our Comfort Club membership or your regular home preventative maintenance plan, helps ensure that the HVAC components that keep your system operating at peak performance are properly tested, cared for and monitored for wear and tear.
Review your electrical consumption from year to year. If you check your gas and electrical bills and find your usage steadily increasing over a period of years, it is a good indicator that your that your A/C system is having to work harder to meet the demand placed on its components. This increase in energy consumption is a sign that the overall A/C system is aging and that standard maintenance may no longer be enough to keep your A/C system performing.
Make timely repairs. Short-cycling, uneven cooling, loud operation, unusual noises, etc., are all indicators that your A/C system is in need of repair. Delaying repair only prolongs the potential for additional damage to the compressor which will only shorten the lifespan of your HVAC system.
Consider replacement. An air conditioning system in regular need of repair or rebalance will eventually become more cost prohibitive than installing a new system. Cost considerations include the rapidly rising costs of R-22* refrigerant used in older units, parts and labor, time, energy consumption, and a sacrifice in comfort and indoor air quality, just to name a few. Air conditioners have a manufacturers estimated lifespan; if your unit has reached that age or is showing signs of failure or inefficiency, it is time to have your A/C system evaluated for recommended repair or component replacement. Current models that make use of improved refrigerants and utilize the latest technology will deliver more efficiency and will be backed by a warranty that better protects your investment.
As always, we hope you will choose Southern Comfort Mechanical as your Lewisville area partner in the care of your HVAC system. We are here to keep your system functional and healthy for the full extent of its lifespan. Please contact us today if you are in need of preventive maintenance, repair or replacement or if you have questions about how to get the most efficiency out of your unit.
*A note on R-22: Many systems manufactured before 2010 still use a coolant known as R-22. The EPA began phasing out this refrigerant at that time and continues to step down the amount available for sale each year. This decrease in supply will mean that the cost of R-22 that is used in these older units continues to steadily rise in price. In the next three years, the supply available will fall to only .5% of what was available in 2010. That scarcity will make the cost of maintaining older units incredibly pricey.