When summer hits in South Carolina, the sweltering heat can take its toll. That’s why it’s so essential for homeowners to have reliable, efficient air conditioning to help them beat the heat. But purchasing a high-quality, energy-efficient unit simply isn’t enough to take on the southern summer months. Charleston residents need to be diligent about maintaining their air conditioners so they can get the most out of their units for years to come. By taking the time to understand your AC maintenance needs, you can achieve long-lasting, energy-efficient, cost-effective comfort in your home.

Why Is Maintenance Important for Your Charleston Air Conditioner?

Air conditioners are not meant to last forever. Like all home appliances, AC units need routine maintenance and cleaning to perform their best and provide you with the strongest return on your investment. When properly maintained, your air conditioner can provide your home with exceptional comfort for as long as 15 years.

Throughout your system’s life span, dust and dirt can accumulate in areas that will hinder its efficiency and overall performance. When maintenance needs are left ignored, your air conditioning unit can lose 5% of its operating efficiency annually because of unwanted residue buildup in your system. This loss in efficiency will have a direct impact on your home’s cooling costs as your unit works harder than necessary to provide your home with ideal comfort.

In addition to keeping monthly cooling costs down, AC maintenance can also help you avoid the cost of expensive repairs or premature replacement services. All too often, a system malfunction could have been managed or avoided altogether by sticking to a routine maintenance plan. By implementing regular maintenance for your system, you can also help improve your indoor air quality. Maintenance requires the removal of dust, dirt, and other debris buildups that can negatively impact your unit’s ability to filter and purify the air that passes through it. Regularly clearing these materials from your air conditioner will help you and your family breathe easier, feel healthier, and stay comfortable through the summer.

What Parts of Your Charleston AC Unit Need Maintenance?

Charleston homeowners don’t always need a professional HVAC contractor to maintain their air conditioners. In fact, there are many parts of your AC unit that can easily be maintained and cleaned on your own. There are two main components that are the easiest for homeowners to access and inspect to ensure their systems are in good working condition and prepared for the season ahead:

  • Air Conditioner Filters: Perhaps the most important aspect of your air conditioner, the air filters should be routinely inspected for cleanliness to keep your system running as efficiently and powerfully as possible. When air filters experience excess buildup, dirt and debris can travel into the evaporator coil and impair its heat-absorption abilities. By replacing your air filter on a monthly basis, you can improve your system’s energy efficiency by up to 15%.
  • Air Conditioner Coils: Your system’s evaporator and condenser coils need maintenance to avoid damage to your air conditioner’s performance. When left to accumulate excess debris, evaporator coils can fail to absorb heat to transfer it into cool air. This problem can easily be avoided with annual cleanings. Additionally, the outdoor condenser coil should be kept as clean as possible to avoid issues in efficiency and performance. Be sure to keep your outdoor units free from falling leaves, lawn care residue, and foliage.
  • Coil Fins: The coil fins in your outside unit should be routinely cleaned as well. This can be done using a brush attachment from a shop vacuum and a gentle stream of water from your garden hose. Because the coil fins can be easily bent, you should take care to straighten them out to improve airflow and efficiency. Use a butter knife or fin-straightening tool to gently straighten the fins without damaging the system’s internal tubing.

While these easy DIY maintenance tips can help manage efficiency and system performance, homeowners should not solely rely on themselves for their air conditioner’s maintenance needs. There are plenty of internal components that require the care of an expert HVAC contractor, including refrigerant charging and mechanical component lubrication. Preferred Home Services provides the highest-quality AC maintenance services available to help keep your system running smoothly all summer long.

When to Contact Preferred Home Services for Your Charleston AC Maintenance Needs

If it’s been more than a year since you last scheduled professional AC maintenance, it’s time to call in your Preferred HVAC expert. Our team also offers a Preferred Partner Plan that includes routine annual maintenance with our high-performance, 21-point tune-up specifically designed to reduce energy costs and system breakdowns. Get the maintenance you need to survive the Charleston summer by contacting Preferred Home Services at (843) 405-3601 to schedule your AC maintenance today!