Tampa AC Maintenance Tips

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Tune-Up Special

Tune-Up Special




Tampa AC Maintenance Tips to Take Before the Summer Heats Up

In Florida, we know that spring temperatures heat into summer very quickly. Typically, homeowners are running their central air - conditioning systems all day, from the end of March thru September. Take the following 10 steps now to improve the chances that your air conditioning system won’t let you down when the temperatures start to heat up.

Step 1 – Change your filter. Get into a routine of changing your filter monthly. A plugged filter is the most common reason for system failures. It can reduce the flow of air, reduce the cooling, increase your electric bill and shorten the life of your system.

Step 2 – Change the batteries in your thermostat. This should be done once p er year. Write it on your calendar for next year as a reminder.

Step 3 – Make sure that the bushes and leaves are cut down at least 12” away from the outside unit (condensor). This unit needs open area around it to breath to provide heating or cooling.

Step 4 – If possible, pour some diluted vinegar in the drain line to keep it running clear. Use 1 quart of water with 2 ounces of vinegar to get rid of slimy algae that tends to clog up the drain and stop the unit from working. If you are not sure where to add this, ask your HVAC technician.

Step 5 - Try your cooling now before you need it. Switch your thermostat to the cooling mode and set the temperature below the room temperature. Within a few minutes you should hear the blower come on and feel coo l air from your vents. If you do not, call an authorized service company. Don’t wait until the sweltering heat of summer to find out your ac doesn’t work.

Step 6 – Select a company that is licensed, bonded and insured. A referral from a friend or a com pany listed in your neighborhood newsletter is always a good choice. If you know the brand of equipment you have, visit that companies website to find a list of their premium dealers. These dealers offer the best warranties and have access to any parts o r technical support necessary. Check with your local Better Business Bureau for the companies rating (A+ is their best score).

Step 7 – Annual maintenance is one of the keys to getting the most reliable and efficient performance out of your ac system. S ee step 6 to select the right company and ask them about their annual maintenance plan. Most companies offer a plan than includes seasonal check ups and discounts for repairs and accessories.

Step 8 – If your unit needs replaced remember the cheapest pr ice during installation may cost you in the long run. Look for equipment that has a good track record with consumers. Check the Internet and consumer product magazines for reliable products before buying. Once you have chosen a brand go to the company’s website for a list of their premium dealers.


5 reasons you should have an annual maintenance agreement for your heat and air conditioning system  

  1. Your air conditioning system runs non stop through the summer and then is turned off for weeks at a time in the winter. This kind of use is hard on any machine. A maintenance check twice per year can head off any serious problems. Experts estimate that air conditioners that receive normal maintenance last up to 30% longer that those that don’t.
  2. A maintenance agreement with one service provider allows them to know your equipment and carry the parts you may need should a breakdown occur.
  3. Maintenance agreements offer discounts on repairs and replacement prices that will more that likely cover the cost of the agreement.
  4. Companies give maintenance program customers priority service and in most cases waive overtime fees. This means that you will not have to wait up to several days or pay extravagant prices should your ac breakdown during peak summer time season.
  5. Maintenance is necessary to keep your air conditioner running at top efficiency. A shortage of just ½ pound of freon can make a world of difference in the comfort of your home and drive your power bill up.

Air Conditioners new and old need maintenance. Most manufacturers require proof of maintenance to keep there warranties valid. Premature replacement is very costly and can be avoided through a good maintenance program. Do yourself and your air conditioner a favor and get in a maintenance program.


Why is the Cost of Freon Going Through the Roof?

The US Environmental Protection Agency has been tasked with pha se out the use of R - 22 refrigerant in the United States. This has led to quotas being placed on refrigerant suppliers allowing less and less of the refrigerant to be imported or produced. The EPA reviewed the effectiveness of their program in August of last year and d ecided that the quotas needed to be tightened to meet their goals. This has led to uncertainty in the industry and a price increase of 250% since the first of the year.

R - 22 refrigerant is a thing of the past. Any system replacements must use R - 410a (th e new environmentally safe refrigerant). Some contractors are installing dry charged condensors which are a way around the EPA’s efforts. These units come without refrigerant and are charged with R - 2 2. This solution only leads to higher costs in the long run.

Homeowners should keep an active maintenance contract with a local contractor. This will ensure that their existing equipment is kept operating efficiently, that they ob tain the preferred pricing for f reon when necessary and that any problems with the equipment are caught early before they become big problems. Air Doctor offers a one year preventative maintenance agreement as well as seasonal tune ups. Call 813-891-9444 for an appointment.

While the EPA expects the pricing of R - 22 to stabilize by the middle of this summer it will never again reach the low prices we have had in the past. At the same time R - 410a refrigerant is dropping in price and becoming more available. Many dealers and power companies are now offeri ng rebates as incentives to h omeowners to upgrade to newer more efficient units that utilize R - 410a refrigerant.


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