Temperature control is essential to comfort. In most parts of America, a home, school, or business without air conditioning (AC) is unthinkable. From the plains of the midwest where summer temperatures reach 100 degrees to the beaches of Tampa Bay, Florida, where even the winter sun can cause 90 degree days, AC service must be dependable.
Over two-thirds of all homes in the U.S. have air conditioners. Without them residents would be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. Even though so many American homes have AC service, it is not always as efficient as it should be. As a result, many homeowners, taxpayers, and business owners spend far more on cooling services than they need to. Did you know, for example, that switching to high-efficiency air conditioning units and taking other actions to keep your home cool could reduce AC energy use by as much as 20% to 50%?
AC maintenance plans are often the first step toward having a more energy efficient home, school, or office. At the very least, all AC service plans should include a technician visit in the spring before the hot temperatures of summer arrive. In the hottest climates, like the beaches of Tampa and St. Pete, Florida, it might even be necessary to schedule service visits twice a year.
A maintenance visit can check the coolant levels in home AC units, as well as make sure that all filters have been properly cleaned or changed. For instance, just by replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one, home owners can lower their air conditioner’s energy consumption by as much as 5% to 15%.
Without proper inspection and maintenance, a home can have even bigger problems than being energy inefficient. It can also cause costly fire damage if an AC unit malfunctions. Between the years 2006 and 2010, for example, faulty and/or poorly maintained AC and fan equipment accounted for 35% of home structure fires. Broken heating pumps accounted for another 7% of the fires.
As the climate across the country continues to fluctuate as America experiences unusual weather events, places as far north as Anchorage, Alaska, are experiencing record high temperatures in the summer. While homes in these northern regions have never had reason to have AC service in the past, there may come a time when even more homes and public buildings will become dependent on residential and commercial climate control.
Whether you are building a new home or live in an existing house, AC maintenance should be a priority. For both climate control and energy efficiency, the best AC systems are serviced by trained professionals at least once a year.