Question: Is HVAC repair expensive?
Answer: It can be.
We love to see our customers, but we absolutely understand that (no matter how fun and charming we are) you may not necessarily want to see us, especially if we come with bad news in the form of air conditioning repair expenses.
How necessary are those big repair bills? HVAC contractors the world over (including your friendly neighborhood Spring Hill AC repair experts) have known for years that homeowners are unfortunately guilty of making costly mistakes that damage their HVAC systems.
However! All is not lost. In an effort to help our customers, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of some of the most common mistakes, and we used that to come up with this list of things you can be doing to keep the air conditioning repair team at bay.
Now, you may be thinking: “Why would you do that? Isn’t that counterproductive to Spring Hill air conditioning repair?”
We don’t think so. First, we’re still going to be a part of your life, as certain regular maintenance tasks can only be performed by professionals. Second – and we really mean this – we want the best for our customers. It doesn’t matter if you need less repairs – even the best tended machines need a little attention, and we’re happy to take care of that for you.
So what can you do?
Here are 7 simple and effective tips you can employ in your home to keep repair costs to a minimum:
1. Keep the exterior unit clean.
Your condenser does a lot of the work. It’s also a little noisy, and works hard to dissipate all the heat it’s extracting from your home. Because of that, it has to live outdoors. While that’s mighty convenient for you, it’s a bit of a hard life for the machine.
How’d you like to live out your days exposed to the sun, wind, and rain?
To make things easier, you should devote a little time now and again to making sure that your condenser is clean. In Spring Hill, AC repair bills often crop up because the heat and humidity already stress your unit to its limits to cool your home. Allowing the efficiency and performance to suffer because you’re not keeping things clean is a surefire way to cost yourself money.
On the bright side, keeping your condenser clean is remarkably easy. Most of the time, just hosing it off will do a pretty decent job. Every now and again, though – perhaps as often as once a month, or more if a visual inspection reveals problems – you’ll want to do a more involved clean. Here’s how:
Another good rule of thumb is to make sure that you don’t have anything within a few feet of the condenser that might obstruct it. That includes grass and other vegetation!
A clean condenser unit will work more efficiently, and your wallet will thank you. Feel free to call our Spring Hill HVAC contractors and technicians if you don’t feel up to a thorough condenser cleaning, and we can make it part of our tune-up service.
2. Keep your indoor vents and registers clean.
By the same logic that dictates a condenser cleaning, you want to keep the interior vents and registers clean. This is of particular importance when we’re talking about intake register, since any nastiness on those will get circulated through your entire system.
Does wiping down your vents seem like a silly task?
It shouldn’t; failing to do drastically diminishes the air quality in your home. It also leads to dirtier air filters and a less efficient system. If you can see visible dust bunnies crowding your vents, you can bet that you’re paying too much when the electric bill rolls in.
Wiping down your vents is as easy as it sounds, though. We suggest a microfiber cloth. To get into those tiny crevices, you can use the same butter knife trick we suggested for the cooling fins. Pop a damp cloth over the end and go crazy.
You can also use a vacuum attachment, especially as a step one. Every now and again if things are particularly grimy, you can remove the vents, soak them for a minute or two in warm soapy water, dry them thoroughly and replace them.
Floor registers can be more problematic, particularly in homes with pets. Keep an eye on those, and the air in your home will be fresher. It also helps keep the AC repair team at a distance, as you’re far less likely to experience undue wear and tear if you keep everything spotless.
3. Pest-proof your system.
Homes are, regrettably, a big target for all manner of pests. Since the world is full of bugs and vermin (but you don’t want them in your stuff), pest control is just part of our lives now.
Your air conditioner system is no different.
Termites can put structural integrity at risk, raccoons and other rodents can try to find their way inside your lovely climate controlled ducts, and ants and wasps can nest or colonize in … well, everything. Add to that the particular challenges the Spring Hill HVAC contractor community deals with thanks to the Sunshine State climate, and you’ve got serious potential for pesky pests.
Outside of damage, pests can be a serious health risk, as well. You could be dealing with:
Still, there are things you can do. Some of them might require a little help from the Spring Hill AC Repair team, but the one-time investment is more than worthwhile.
You may want to consider:
4. Shade your condenser unit.
We’ll keep this one short and simple.
Your condenser is designed to work in the heat, but it’s more efficient when it’s not working in excessive heat.
Well, as every Spring Hill air conditioning repair technician knows, excessive heat is kind of what we do. So that presents a potential problem. Anything that makes your system work hard increases the likelihood of needing repairs. How do you circumvent this little issue?
Simple. Shade the outdoor unit. You can do this with a ready-made shade designed for the purpose, or create a little awning or pergola on your own. Be sure not to obstruct the sides or top in any way, though – that’ll defeat the purpose.
Shade can reduce the ambient temperature around your unit by as much as ten degrees – that will allow your air conditioner to work much more efficiently.
5. Change your air filters.
Sometimes it feels to Spring Hill AC Repair that we’re saying this too often.
But then we realize something: you can never hear good advice too many times.
Your air filters are the most important line of defense your cooling system has against dirt, pollen, mold, and debris. They catch all the nasty stuff and hang onto it, and all you have to do is remember to change them as directed.
It’s not difficult to do – we’d estimate that it would take about ten minutes to change every single air filter in your home’s central air conditioner, in fact. It’s so easy that it’s absolutely mind blowing how often it’s forgotten.
But it is forgotten. It’s the number one reason HVAC contractors are called in for air conditioning repairs. Blocked air filters can cause a whole host of problems, including but definitely not limited to:
That’s not hyperbole, by the way – leave your filters unchanged long enough, and you’ll wish you were calling for AC repair when you have to replace the entire system.
In a nutshell: change your filters, people.
6. Schedule annual or biannual tune-ups with Spring Hill AC Repair.
This tip may sound just slightly self-serving, but feel free to verify what we’re saying by researching it yourself. A tune-up is a time-honored and critical part of any good AC maintenance plan.
To HVAC technicians, in Florida or anywhere else in the world, the idea of going without that regular maintenance seems crazy.
It’s like your car; would you drive 50,000 miles without an oil change? Of course you wouldn’t, no sane person would. First, the car would never last that long, it’d be dead on a highway somewhere long before then.
Second, we all know that every 3,000-5,000 miles, you get the oil changed.
Your air conditioner runs for 9-12 hours a day in the warmer months – and down here, that’s a big chunk of your year. That’s the equivalent of something like 180,000 miles a year on an automobile.
We don’t think a single annual tune-up is asking much.
What does a tune-up entail?
Also? It doesn’t cost much. And that cost is offset still further by how much money it will save you on air conditioning repair services over the life of your system.
We think it might just be the best investment an air conditioner or heat pump owner can make.
7. Program your thermostat.
Most people today own a programmable thermostat. Unfortunately, in our experience, a fair number of you aren’t putting all of the features to use.
Listen, we know that programming things can be a pain, but modern thermostats are capable of so many money-saving things – you’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if you ignored them.
The traditional method of dealing with a thermostat (setting to the temperature you want, when you want it) isn’t ideal. Setting a thermostat to a schedule is better. The best is utilizing modern wi-fi capabilities to make sure you’re never wasting energy.
With the swipe or tap of a touchscreen, or the click of a mouse, you can control your home’s ambient temperature from anywhere.
Other useful tips related to thermostats include:
If you follow all of the tips in this article, you’re going to spend far less on AC repair than you’d ever dreamed. For more on this, or for other questions that Spring Hill AC Repair’s technicians can answer, check out the other articles in our blog section, or give us a call today.
As always, we’re excited to help you stay cool and save money!
Call 352-436-1876 today if you need AC Repair in or around Spring Hill FL or if you simply have questions!