As a Florida resident, you live for that invigorating first step indoors during the summer months. You know that moment I am talking about – you open your front door to a rejuvenating blast of cold air as you abandon the heat for your air-conditioned home. Imagine losing that relief from the heat if your AC breaks down due to lack of maintenance. If you find yourself wondering how often you should get your AC tuned up, continue reading for advice from the pros at Freedom Air and Heat.
A Year in the Life of Your AC Unit
Before we can answer your question, you must understand how the off-season can affect different parts of your AC unit. Here are some issues we commonly find during AC tune-ups:
Unwanted Vegetation and Growth
The humid Florida climate lends itself to a thriving array of plant life. A seed can easily drop into or around your outdoor AC unit causing unwanted growth of plants and vegetation. This growth can quickly suffocate your unit if you try to run your AC before inspecting it.
Lower Refrigerant Levels
Months of sitting dormant can result in unnoticed leaks in your AC system. This is particularly problematic if your refrigerant is leaking, as your system cannot cool without it. A technician will know how to properly check your levels of refrigerant, repair any damage, and top off your supply if levels are too low.
Florida homeowners can have a love-hate relationship with the local nature. On one hand, the wildlife in our own backyard is what gives Florida its unique beauty. On the other hand, we must deal with the reality of keeping unwanted animals, reptiles, and amphibians out of our AC unit! Before turning on your AC, you will need to inspect your outdoor unit for animals that may have crawled in and made a winter home. Even small creatures can easily restrict the airflow across coils.
Pollen Has Covered Your AC Unit
Early spring in Florida brings huge amounts of pollen. If your car becomes covered with pollen after being parked outside for a few hours, imagine the amount that can accrue on your outdoor AC unit. If you do not maintain your air filters during these high pollen count months, your duct work will become clogged and air flow will be restricted.
Damaged Coil Wiring
If you or your landscaping company use a weed-wacker to clear overgrowth around your outdoor unit, you may want to have it inspected for damage. All it would take would be one moment of dividing your attention while using a weed-wacker to damage the control wiring on your unit.
Dirty or Blocked Indoor Coil
Your indoor coil is vital to your AC system; it facilitates better efficiency, airflow, and proper drainage. During the months of disuse in the winter, your indoor coil will accrue a buildup of dirt, dust particles, and other debris. It is important to thoroughly clean your coil each year before turning your AC on. It is safer to allow a certified technician to perform this task.
Dirty or Blocked Outdoor Coil
Like your indoor coil, your outdoor coil is essential to increasing the efficiency and lifespan of your AC equipment. This coil can become blocked and dirty during the long winter months of exposure to the elements.
Dirty Condensate Pump
This is a commonly-overlooked device. Your condensate pump helps direct condensed water that collects on the surface of the coils and fins away from your unit. During those cold-weather months, your condensate pump is used to pump away excess water that flows through your furnace humidifier. If the switch setpoint designed to shut the pump off is junked up with debris, you could face water damage from the pump overflowing during AC use.
Our Answer to Your Question:
With all these maintenance concerns to consider, we recommend scheduling a yearly tune-up for your AC during early spring. You should keep up with changing your air filters every 2-3 months, but an annual spring tune-up visit from a certified HVAC technician is the best way to keep your AC running efficiently.
If you are looking for an HVAC expert you can trust with your AC maintenance, look no further than the knowledgeable team at Freedom Air and Heat. Call us today at (321) 631-6886 or visit us online to schedule your spring AC tune-up with one of our certified technicians!