We tend to not think about our cooling equipment until we kick it on those first few warm spring days. If you’ve been neglecting preventative maintenance and don’t have seasonal tune-ups performed, you’ll be lucky if your system works properly and efficiently as we inch closer towards cooling season! Maybe you brush off the idea of paying for maintenance and tune-ups because your HVAC system works seemingly fine. However, just because your home is cool and comfortable doesn’t mean there isn’t an underlying problem with your equipment, or even simple ways you could increase the energy efficiency of your system, and your entire home for that matter.
After a long winter of sitting idle while your heating system takes charge, air conditioning equipment can experience problems that aren’t easily detected by a homeowner. This is where preventative maintenance combined with seasonal tune-ups play an important role. If nothing else, seasonal service prior to the start of cooling season offers peace of mind that you’ve done your part to prevent costly, emergency repairs in the dead of summer.
What you should know about your cooling equipment
Regardless of what maintenance and tune-ups you have performed, it’s important for homeowners to familiarize themselves with their cooling systems. Understanding what affects lifespan and performance is the first step to being able to identify when things with your air conditioning equipment are starting to go south…
What is the average lifespan for residential cooling equipment?
- Central air conditioning units—15-20 years
- Heat Pumps—10-15 years
- Forced Air Furnace with AC—15-20 years
What affects performance of cooling equipment?
Whether you have an air conditioning unit, heat pump or forced air furnace, once it reaches 10 years, you can expect to see a decrease in efficiency and cooling capacity. Age makes the equipment more susceptible to costly repairs and emergency service. Being aware of age, efficiency and cooling capacity is most important in identifying problems. If there’s any good time to recognize these issues, it’s before cooling season!
Efficient and properly functioning air conditioning systems remove moisture out of your home. As equipment ages, it becomes less efficient at this process which results in indoor humidity exceeding average levels. Your home may feel sticky, muggy and you may even see condensation on ceilings, walls or window sills. Mold, mildew, musty odors and interior damage can be an indication that your unit needs to be replaced.
Does energy consumption and utility cost seem to increase season to season even though your cooling needs remain the same? Older equipment that doesn’t meet current energy efficiency standards won’t perform at optimal efficiency. And, although an increase in bills is normal for hot, humid summers in our service area, those that skyrocket during cooling season when your air conditioning needs haven’t changed is not normal.
On really hot days, it may appear that your air conditioning never stops running, but struggles to meet desired temperatures. If this is the case, your system may be losing its ability to cool your home effectively. Keep in mind that equipment will usually only cool a space to a 20° difference from outdoor temperature. So if it’s 100° outside, your home may not feel much cooler than 80°. Equipment that struggles on a really hot day and an aging unit that never stops running are two different things.
Telltale signs of trouble
Most homeowners are unsure if their system is in trouble or soon due for a replacement. Here are 5 signs your cooling system is reaching its maximum life expectancy…
- Cooling equipment struggles to reach and maintain desired temperatures
- Repair expenses meet or exceed the cost of new equipment
- Inconsistencies in room temperatures
- Little performance and/or efficiency improvements with filter changes
- Equipment is nearing 12-15 years of operation
All things considered, how do you really know if there is a problem? Without routine maintenance and seasonal system tune-ups, you may not know until you’re inconvenienced with an emergency repair.
Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. offers seasonal system tune-ups that cover all the bases to ensure your cooling equipment is ready for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. We are knowledgeable in every facet of HVAC, and we want you to get the most out of service calls. Prior to your appointment, make a list of any questions or concerns to go over with your technician. To schedule a seasonal system tune-up, or to learn more about our residential preventative maintenance packages, contact Carroll Plumbing & Heating Inc. today!