Central Air Conditioning Maintenance

Why should a homeowner schedule regular maintenance on the air conditioning unit? The number one reason is: to save money!  Having an HVAC contractor service the unit can save thousands of dollars down the road if they discover something minor that could potentially lead to big trouble later on.  And, really, these things never break down at a convenient time, we all know that!

First item to check is the weather.  In order to safely test a central air conditioning unit, the ambient temperature should be 65 degrees or better.  Best to get it done earlier than later.  Once it heats up outside, the HVAC companies will be busy and their schedules will be much tighter. 

How often: Annually

Cost:  The cost varies, but usually runs from $75-$100 (provided no major repairs need to be done)

During the service call, the HVAC technician should perform the following:

1.  Check for proper refrigerant (freon) levels. A low level indicates a leak, to be

      found and repaired before adding more freon.

2.  Check all electrical components and controls.    

3.  Clean evaporator and condenser coils, as needed.

4.  Oil motors as needed.

5.  Calibrate thermostat.

6.  Check Condenser.

7.  Check filters.

  For those DIY'ers......here are some items to keep in mind: 

  • The first thing to do is to check the condensing unit outside to make sure it's not covered up.  Some homeowners intentionally cover the unit even though it is not necessary because it is designed to withstand the natural elements.  Also, leaves from the fall, lawn furniture, toys, newspapers etc, can end up on or around the condensing unit so be sure that it is clear of all debris. 
  • Run the air conditioner before you need it.  If you wait until its hot out, you'll   be stuck in a long line of homeowners waiting for an HVAC technician.  
  • Change the filters regularly.  Dirty filters reduce efficiency, restrict air flow, and can help with mechanical failure. 
  • Be sure the thermostat is set in the cooling mode.  Setting the temperature lower will not activate the air conditioning.
  • Never use water to clean the the air conditioning unit.  A clean unit will operate at top efficiency, but homeowners using a hose and water run the risk of electrical shock and possibly shorting electrical components. 

What’s New with The Thorpes?


Before and After pictures of our newly painted house. Still a few items to touch up, but the vast majority of the job is done! Jace worked so hard on it, adding batten strips and shake siding for interest before we painted. Now he's been busy splitting wood, as we heat our home with a wood stove, and you can always be drying it for the best burn. Brenda's had some fun gatherings, a tea party, and clothing exchange, and bridal shower. We've been enjoying the hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, goldfinches and others at our feeders lately. They are so stunning and just fun to watch!

How about that hail, and then the snow storm we all got? We hope you all fared well and didn't have too many limbs break or other damage around you.