AC units are not self-sustained, maintenance-free systems that run in a vacuum. In the real world, mother nature and entropy wage a tag-team battle against your heating and cooling units. To keep your system running at its optimal level, you need to perform targeted maintenance to your system. In particular, you should pay particular attention to your HVAC ducts and your condenser coils.
The ambient temperature will cool down your ducts during the winter, then heat up as your furnace rushes hot air through them. During the summer, your AC unit will cool down hot ducts. This constant cycle of heating and cooling will cause your ducts to expand and contract. This constant movement will eventually wear out the seals on your ducts, allowing air to leak out of your duct system. Because of the smaller volume of air then available to heat and cool your home, your HVAC system has to work longer to moderate the temperature in your home. In fact, leaky ducts can decrease your system efficiency by up to 40%. If your ducts are sealed behind the drywall in your home, you will have to hire professional to use scopes to look for and repair leaks in your ducts.
Mother nature will fling all sorts of debris into your ducts. As layer after layer of debris and grime coats your condenser coils, the airflow through the coils gets restricted. Dirty coils can decrease AC efficiency by up to 37%. Unlike sealing holes in leaky ducts, cleaning condenser coils is something that a homeowner should be able to handle on their own. You simply remove the protective grid that protects your coils, suck up loose material with a wet/dry vacuum, then scrub the coils clean with a coil cleaner and a stiff-bristle brush. Regular inspections of your coils will help you to stay on top of coil maintenance so that your AC system can always run at full efficiency.
If you simply trust your HVAC system to work without any interference on your part, you will pay too much to heat and cool your home. If you suspect that you are paying more than you should to heat and cool your home, you should start by having your ducts inspected. You can also clean your coils to give your system a much-needed boost to your AC efficiency. A proactive homeowner will reap utility savings for their efforts to maintain their HVAC system.
For HVAC maintenance, contact a company such as River City Heating & Cooling.