Although it is only early April, we have already had a few 80+ degree days here in the Chicagoland area. During those days, many homeowners found out that the air conditioner wasn’t ready for the difficult task of cooling down the home. For some, all that the unit needed was a simple tune up, but for others, the prognosis wasn’t so good. Poorly maintained air conditioners fail frequently and tend to cost more to operate month after month. The majority of the problems can be traced back to a problem with the air conditioner’s coil.
Air Conditioners Remove Heat from the Air
Contrary to what you may think, air conditioners don’t actually generate cold air for the home. Instead, they remove heat from the air that passes through the system. As air passes over the coils, heat is transferred to the refrigerant in the system and the cooled down air is returned to circulation within the home. So, if the coils aren’t functioning properly, heat will not be removed effectively or efficiently from the air.
Air Conditioner Coil Conundrums
The biggest problems for coils to overcome are dirt buildup and leaks. Both of these problems are potentially caused by a lack of yearly maintenance on the system. When the coils aren’t cleaned, years worth of debris, dust, and dirt become caked onto the coils. They loose their ability to transfer heat to the refrigerant, and as your energy bills go up, your comfort goes down. With time this debris will eventually be the cause of leaks and cracks in the coils that allow the precious refrigerant to escape the system all together. This is a very pricey repair and often requires replacement of the entire system.
Coil Damage Prevention and Repair
Prevent these problems in your air conditioner by having a trusted heating and cooling contractor out to your home every year to clean and maintain your air conditioner. If your coils are already showing signs of damage, a thorough coil cleaning may be needed to get the system back in shape. Either way, you must have the system professionally inspected before the true heat of summer arrives.