In many homes, the air conditioning system is part of a more extensive system called the HVAC (heating, cooling, and ventilation) system and includes heating and cooling. In other cases, the air conditioning system is separate, but both systems require regular maintenance to ensure they are running correctly and will run correctly through the summer.
In the spring, your cooling system should be inspected by a residential AC tech to ensure that the system is in good working order and ready to use. The tech will look over the system to make sure that everything is in good shape and ready for a start-up of the system.
Sometimes belts, motors, or wiring issues can appear over the winter. Finding them before starting the system is essential because something as simple as a wire that is missing some insulation could cause a short circuit, and the results could be catastrophic.
Once the inspection is complete, the tech will start the system and check to make sure fans and motors are working correctly and that the unit is producing cold air. If the air conditioning system is running but not getting cold, it may need to be recharged, and the residential AC tech will check the refrigerant in the system to determine if that is the case.
Leaking AC Systems
A leaking residential AC unit needs to be fixed right away, so if the tech has to recharge the system, they will also look for the leak and let you know what is causing it. Often, a refrigerant line or fitting is the culprit, and tightening the fitting or replacing the line will solve the problem.
There are several critical air filters in the residential air conditioning system that the tech should replace at the beginning of the cooling season. These air filters keep the air coming into the system clean and filter the air before it passes into the home's air ducts.
The filters are typically disposable, so you do not need to clean them. The filters are pulled out and thrown away after a month or so in the system. The residential AC tech will replace these filters during the service call and then recommend you change them again when they become dirty.
The time between filter changes can differ depending on things like pollen in your area, pets in the home, or how much you run the air conditioning system. The filters are very inexpensive, and most home centers carry them for popular HVAC and air conditioning systems. The tech working on your system can show you how to replace them if you have never done it before.