It’s Peak Season for Air Conditioning Systems

Like furnaces that break down on the coldest night of the year, an air conditioner is more than likely to fail on the hottest day of the year. This summer’s heat waves have been punishing for AC units, especially those that are poorly maintained.

Routine Checks
Your air conditioner’s gas pressure needs to be monitored at regular intervals to ensure there are no refrigerant leaks. Evaporator and condenser coils also need to be regularly inspected for cleanliness and good air flow, and the furnace filter and ductwork should be kept reasonably clean. Obviously the best time for all this is early spring, but all too often these things are simply ignored until trouble arises.


Signs of Trouble
If your air conditioner runs for extended periods, running up your electricity bill while failing to adequately cool the house, there are a few possible causes. For instance, the refrigerant pressure might be too low. If the system needs repeated recharging, it indicates a leak that must be corrected.

Alternatively, a lack of good airflow over the evaporator coil can cause it to freeze solid, especially in conditions of higher humidity. When this happens, the system must be shut down overnight to give the evaporator a chance to thaw and dry out. Meanwhile, that air flow problem must be corrected.

The first order of business in that case is a simple DIY: check the filter and install a clean one if needed. Other causes of air obstruction will have to be dealt with by a qualified technician. When your air conditioning makes any sound it’s not supposed to, stop running the unit and have it investigated. Watch out for things like a noisy outdoor unit, or duct noise such as whistling. When the airflow is obstructed, the system will pull air through whatever tiny seams it can, often causing a whistling sound.


An Ounce Of Prevention
Ideally you want to forestall these problems by having your AC system checked at the beginning of each season. This typically only takes an hour’s labour charge, and any additional materials needed are charged on top of the nominal labour charge (such as refrigerant, which is charged by the pound).


New AC Installations
Obviously if you’re thinking of getting an air conditioning system installation for your house, the very best time to plan it is around February or March. Even if it’s too cold to test a new installation at that time, it’s a simple matter for us to return to commission the new unit around April or May. The fact of the matter is that by the time temperatures start to approach 30°C, AC technicians are going to be very busy with maintenance and repair calls, making it very hard to book the time required for an installation. This time is typically about a week, or sometimes shorter if your house is a newer build. So, if you don’t want to suffer through the heat again next summer, start planning now!

If you have your air conditioning system properly maintained, it’s not so likely to fail you when you need it the most. Don’t hesitate to call us, whether for maintenance or repairs.



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George Pinel
George Pinel

These blog posts are brought to you from George Pinel & the Instant Plumbing team.

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