Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips to Beat the Heat of a Rancho Cordova Summer
It’s about to get hot in Rancho Cordova. As I write this, the temperature is a blistering 90 degrees, and temperatures will soon be rising as high as 103. It’s one of those heat spells here in the Sacramento Valley where even the shade is looking for shade. But with a properly-maintained and well-functioning air conditioning system, your home can be a summer oasis.
Why Good Air Conditioners Go Bad
We had some clients in Rancho Cordova who only called us once their AC unit had been down for a month. They felt that they could survive the summer, until the real heat kicked in and they had to face reality—it was time to get a new unit. After installation, we offered them these simple maintenance tips to keep their new system running smoothly and efficiently for years to come.
Tip #1: Know the Life Expectancy of Your Air Conditioner
12 years is a good rule-of-thumb for replacement; however, an old system has trouble handling the strain of the Sacramento Valley summer heat. A standard AC unit in the country is used for three hours a day, cumulatively. When it has to cool down a much hotter house before resting, it can be on for more like 10-15 hours throughout the day—and this puts more strain on the whole system. Excessive use can reduce the lifespan of an air conditioner significantly from the 12-year average down to just 10 or less. Overwork, plus an old system, causes a cascade of problems—and usually results in a break.
Tip #2: Preventative HVAC Maintenance Is a Must
Preventative maintenance for an air conditioner is important in the most moderate climates, but an absolute necessity in places like Rancho Cordova . This maintenance can include:
- Tightening electrical connections
- Inspecting the condenser
- Cleaning the evaporator and condenser
- Lubricating moving parts
- Adjusting blower settings to maximize flow, comfort, and efficiency
- Making sure the thermostat works properly
These are areas that non-professionals generally overlook. Loose electrical connections literally make it harder for power to run through the system, which means it requires more juice to “make the jump”. That’s a waste of electricity and a stress to the system. And, if parts aren’t properly lubricated, it again takes more energy to run (think of pushing a shopping cart with a stuck wheel). All of these, when not properly taken care of, add unnecessary pressure to an already old, stressed system.
Tip #3: Learn the Warning Signs of Air Conditioner Failure
Sometimes, busy households can easily overlook some simple clues about the health of their AC unit, like:
- Puddles of water next to the compressor
- Clunky or unusual noises
- An unusually long start-up time
These warning signs should be your first indication that it’s time to do some maintenance on your HVAC system. They could be symptoms of worn-out parts, or of excessive strain being put on the system as a whole.
Tip # 4: Don’t Overlook the Thermostat
Ever since our clients had moved into their home, they had noticed that sometimes the house got too cool, but they would joke that, compared to outside, it was a nice problem to have. They didn’t consider, however, that this was costing them money. AC units can account for as much as 50% of a home’s energy use—a substantial amount of money during our hot summers.
Luckily, the problem had a simple solution: relocating the thermostat. The thermostat was near a westerly window, making the room it was in a few degrees warmer than the rest of the house. The thermostat thought it was hotter than it actually was, so it just kept on cranking out the cool air. This was not just expensive in the short term: the extra strain helped contribute to the collapse.
Get It Fixed Before the Break
Given the temps around here, not having proper air conditioning can be dangerously harmful. Luckily, we were around to help install a new AC unit for our client just before the next sweltering heat wave hit town. Our trained professionals got the job done quickly and efficiently, and with our expertise in the ins and outs of energy-friendly, statewide rebates, we even saved them some money.
Don’t succumb to the heat wave when your AC unit unexpectedly quits. Connect with us today to make sure that your system is in top condition. We can’t make it cooler outside, but we can make sure your house is a well-running and energy-efficient sanctuary from the sun.