Repair or Replace: A/C Maintenance Tips for the Hapless Homeowner

The HVAC system is one of the most important systems in your home. It helps maintain a comfortable, healthy atmosphere in your space. We know that living here in Michigan makes that a full-time job. Summer is especially stressful on our air conditioners. without the right a/c maintenance plan, it’s only a matter of time before you run into issues.

Over time, this system wears down, making repairs all but inevitable. Figuring out whether it’s time to repair or replace your air conditioner unit could either SAVE or COST you thousands of dollars.

With the right a/c maintenance plan, you’ll get the most out of your air conditioner, but it’s essential to know when it’s time to repair and when it’s time to replace your air conditioner.

A/C Maintenance When It’s Time to Repair Your Air Conditioner

Change Your Air Filter

One of the best a/c maintenance tips from the pros here at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning is to remember to replace your air filter every 2-3 months here in Howell, MI.
The first, and most frequent, maintenance task involved with air conditioners is changing the air filter. This simple task helps maintain the air quality in your home by allowing the hvac system to pull dust, dander, and other debris from the air.

Not only does the air filter help maintain air quality, but it also affects the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. If you go too long without changing your air filter, you’re going to run into some problems. This is especially true if you have pets.

    What Happens If I Don’t Change My HVAC Air Filter?

  • Worse allergies and difficulty breathing.
  • Dust, dander, and other contaminants build up in the ducts.
  • The air conditioner has to work harder, decreasing its life expectancy.
  • Lower efficiency leads to higher electrical bills.
  • Extra wear and tear lead to more malfunctions and frequent repairs.

The bottom line is this: changing the air filter is an essential step in every a/c maintenance plan.

So, you might be wondering, “Where is my air conditioner filter, how often does it need to be changed, and how do I change it?”

Well don’t even trip, we’ve got the answers right here.

    Essential Information for Changing Your A/C Air Filter:

  • Change your air filter every 2 – 3 months.
  • The air filter is typically located behind the air return grate, under the HVAC unit, above the HVAC unit, or in a slot on the side of your HVAC unit.
  • Hold the air filter up to the light. If you can’t see the light through it, then it’s time to change your air conditioner filter.

REMEMBER: If you can’t find the air filter or if you’d rather have a professional perform this air conditioner maintenance, then call up your local HVAC experts at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.

Duct Cleaning

Another important step in a/c maintenance that greatly affects your home’s air quality is duct cleaning. Duct cleaning is simply the process of cleaning out the elaborate ductwork throughout your home. This is one of those HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED a/c maintenance tasks that too many homeowners neglect.

All of the air in your home travels through the ducts at some point. If your ducts are full of dust, hair, dander, mold, and other particles, it can affect your overall air quality. Ducts can even be contaminated by pests, like mice and rats.

    Essential Information for Duct Cleaning:

  • Should only be done by a certified HVAC technician, like the ones at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.
  • Helps keep air filters clean and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Duct cleaning only needs to be done once per year.

Tune-Ups

Everyone’s heard of getting their car or motorcycle tuned up, but what about a tune-up for your air conditioner? Air conditioner units are complex and expensive machines under near-constant demand from us. They work hard just about every day. So, what does that mean?

Air conditioners, and your HVAC system at large, could absolutely benefit from a yearly a/c tune up. But, what happens during an a/c tune-up?

An air conditioner tune-up works similar to preventative healthcare. A licensed, professional HVAC technician inspects your entire system, checking for issues and finding any opportunities to boost the overall functionality and efficiency of your air conditioner. The a/c tune-up is a deep-dive into all aspects of your HVAC system.

    A/C Tune-Ups Typically Include:

  • Complete System Inspection
  • Checking and Changing Out Air Filters
  • Inspect and Clean Condenser Coils
  • Verify Refrigerant Levels
  • Recharge Refrigerant
  • Adjust Blowers and Belts
  • Lubricate Moving Parts
  • Check and Adjust Fins
  • Test and Optimize Thermostat

An a/c tune-up is the single best way to get the absolute most out of your air conditioner. This yearly process should be done just before the seasonal transition from summer to fall because this is a stressful time for your air conditioner.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Over 10-15 Years Old

The easiest way to tell if it’s time to replace your air conditioner is if it’s over 10 years old. Once an air conditioner passes the decade mark of its life, it’s time to start shopping around for a new air conditioner.

If the air conditioner hasn’t been properly maintained throughout its life, then by the time it reaches 10+ years old, it will have lost much of its efficiency. At this point, your air conditioner will be costing you way more money than it should.

So next time you have your air conditioner serviced, ask your HVAC technician how old your air conditioner is and whether or not they think it’s time to look for a new unit. Just make sure you find the right air conditioner for your home.

It Uses R22 Refrigerant

One of the best ways to tell if it's time to replace your air conditioner is if it still uses R22 Freon; the pros at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, here in Howell, MI, can help you find out.
One of the biggest and most immediate reasons to replace your air conditioner is if it uses the refrigerant R22, also known as Freon. This hazardous gas started getting phased out at the beginning of 2010 because of its tendency to rip through the ozone layer.

January of 2020 marked the end of all R22 production and sales across the world. So if your air conditioner uses R22 as its refrigerant, then it’s time to replace your unit.

Current air conditioners typically use R410A, or Puron, as the standard refrigerant. This new refrigerant is more efficient to use and it doesn’t harm the ozone. It’s a win-win!

REMEMBER: Unless you are an HVAC professional, don’t mess with your refrigerant. A leak in your house could put you, and everyone inside, in danger. Call the professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning to come out and take a look.

More Frequent Repairs

Alright look, your air conditioner is going to need maintenance and repairs throughout its life. That’s just unavoidable. Remember Murphy’s Law? “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” This definitely applies to air conditioners.

Performing regular maintenance and having to make the occasional repair is just part of being a homeowner. However, there is a limit. If you find yourself needing to make more and more repairs, or if you notice that your air conditioner never gets back to 100% functionality anymore, then it’s not worth keeping.

Upgrading to a new air conditioner lets you escape the endless repairs of an old (and spent) unit. Not only will you save money from avoiding more repairs, but you’ll also save money just by having a more efficient air conditioner.

In the end, it’s absolutely worth it to upgrade your home by installing a new air conditioner.

Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioner With Help From the Pros

Having DIY skills is definitely important as a homeowner, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to call a professional. For repairing, maintaining, and replacing an air conditioner, there’s no better professional HVAC team in Michigan than One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. For all a/c maintenance, repair, or new installations, One Hour has you covered.

For the best air conditioner installation and maintenance services, you can’t go wrong with One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. Give us a call at 800-576-0171 or request your appointment online. For more HVAC tips and tricks, check out our blog. You can also keep up with the latest and greatest deals and news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.