The Frisco, TX, Guide to When to Service Your AC
Your home air conditioning system is a silent necessity during the summer—one of those things you use every day, but never really stop to think about whether it will keep working. Just like electricity and plumbing, we all want our air conditioning units to function reliably, but when they suddenly break down, we realize just how important those systems are to maintain. A little preventative action goes a long way with your AC units, so the Air Masters team is sharing our guide on when to service your AC. Run through these quick, basic steps to check the status of your system, and then give the pros a call if it’s time for some much-needed TLC. Stay cool this summer, Frisco!
All about filters
Changing your air conditioning filter is the simplest, kindest thing you can do for your AC unit and for your family. Filters usually need to be replaced once every month or two, and we especially recommend doing so in the springtime, after your AC has been dormant during the cold winter months and you’re getting ready to start using it regularly again. Different units use different filters sizes and methods of replacement, but they’re all designed to be simple and easy for homeowners to safely do alone.
Here are a few of the most common filter types and the reasons why they’re so popular.
- Fiberglass: These are the basic kinds of flat filters that slide into place. They’re most affordable option, but also one of the least effective at trapping all the dust and allergen particles.
- Pleated: The pleats increase the surface area compared to a regular fiberglass filter, so they work a little bit better and are only marginally more expensive.
- Electrostatic: Like the name, these filters use electrostatic charges to attract and trap particles in the air. They’re very effective at catching dust and allergens.
- HEPA: To earn the name, HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters must remove 99.97% of all airborne particles greater than 0.3 micrometers in size. Quite simply, they’re the best, and we recommend them for families with allergies, breathing problems, or other sensitivities.
If you’re not sure which kind of filter you should use based on your unit or your lifestyle (kids, pets, and other factors can require stronger filters), then contact a professional HVAC technician for a recommendation.
Here’s an extra tip to track your air filter like a pro: When you or your AC service technician installs a new filter, grab a permanent marker or pen and write down the date of installation on the cardboard siding of the filter itself, where it’s easy to read. It won’t hurt the filter at all, and if you ever struggle to remember the last time you changed filters, you’ll have a fast and easy way to open up the unit and check the date.
Do some spring cleaning
Once you’ve checked or replaced the filter, make sure the exposed indoor vents are dust-free and not blocked on the inside, or hidden under or behind furniture. Outside, protect the external unit from pets and wild animals with a small fence, plant barrier, or other obstacle that discourages Fido from relieving himself on the unit. Animal urine, chewing, digging, or other disruption can quickly ruin the AC system at a high cost to replace. You can also keep the external pipe clear of mold and small debris by pouring bleach (diluted in equal parts water) down the external drain.
Run a performance check on your AC
How fast can your AC go from zero to 100—or perhaps more accurately, 100 to 65 degrees? Test its efficiency and power by letting a room heat up for a while, and then turning the AC on full blast. Note how quickly the air coming from the vent becomes cold, how quickly and evenly the room cools down, and whether or not the unit makes any loud or strange noises, as if it’s straining and struggling to operate at max capacity.
If you haven’t used your air conditioning in a while—for example, if temperatures are just starting to go up after a chilly winter—there might be some dust in the system that will blow out for the first few minutes of operating. You’ll probably see or smell it, but if an unusual smell of any kind persists after the first few minutes, there might be a more serious problem somewhere in the wall, in which case you should contact a professional before using your AC any longer.
Leave the servicing to the pros
If you live in Texas like we do, we don’t have to tell you how hot it gets in the summer—or that consistent AC is important well into the spring and fall months, too. A sudden breakdown due to lack of maintenance is at best a temporarily hot and stuffy inconvenience, but if the system completely dies, it could mean a much longer period of misery while a whole new air conditioning unit is ordered, delivered, and installed.
Beat the heat by calling Air Masters in Frisco, TX, when you need professional service to keep you cool all year-round, or ask us more questions about keeping your home AC system in tip-top shape.
Time for an AC service? Call us!