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6 AC Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Spring has sprung in Southeast Texas and those wonderful days in which your home requires no heating or cooling are ending. Get ready to shut the windows again because 2023 was the Houston area’s hottest year on record and 2024 could be even warmer. In March, The Farmers’ Almanac issued its summer prediction for us: “Texas will see sizzling temperatures, with a stormier July than August.”

If you’re a new homeowner in Northwest Houston – even if you’re a seasoned homeowner – here are AC maintenance tips homeowners should know:

1. Schedule Professional AC Maintenance

Yes, our first DIY tip is don’t forget to get regular checkups. Just as there are a bunch of things you can do for your teeth, You shouldn’t overlook regular professional checkups. Your local HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) company should visit your home twice every year; fall and spring. As part of the spring AC maintenance, your cooling system professional will:

  • Check:
    • Blower components
    • Ducts
    • Fuel line connections/gas pressure
    • General system condition
    • Refrigerant/charge
    • Reversing valve
    • System controls
    • Thermostat calibration/settings
    • Voltage
  • Clean evaporator/condenser coils
  • Inspect:
    • Condensate drain/clean
    • Indoor coil
    • Outdoor coil
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Tighten electrical connections
  • …and more

2. Clean & Replace Your Filters

Indoor airborne contaminants are present in the cleanest homes. If you have 4-legged family members or smokers, you should change your air filters twice as often as not. And if you have loved ones with ongoing health issues or allergies, clean AC air filters can help them breathe easier. When your air filters are clean, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard; this will extend the lifespan of this expensive investment.

If you’re unsure how to replace your air filters, ask your Comfort Air technician to show you. Discuss what type of air filters you need and MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings. A MERV rating between 7-13 will be recommended.

3. Change the Batteries in Your Thermostat

Some thermostats are hardwired into your home’s electrical system and others are battery powered. This is another homeowner task you’ll need to do about once a year. If you’re unsure about it or need advice, ask your AC professional.

4. Inspect the Carbon Monoxide Detector

Every natural-gas heating or cooking system requires a nearby carbon monoxide detector. This alarm can be a lifesaver if you have an unknown ventilation or exhaust problem. Check the carbon monoxide detector batteries every month.

5. Monitor Home Energy Bills

Glance at each month’s heating, cooling, and water bills. If you notice an increase in electricity for no reason, it could signal an air conditioning problem. Schedule an AC service call. We’ll check for clogged filters, duct leaks, low refrigerant, and other cooling system issues that could impact energy consumption.

6. Regulate House Temperature

A smart thermostat not only saves energy, but also substantially increases family comfort and adds value to your property. A programmable thermostat can reduce AC usage when no one is home and ensure your home is cool and comfortable when you return.

The upfront investment seems a lot, but you can qualify for a federal tax credit, plus several power companies in our area offer energy rebates or discounts. Before you buy, try the Nest online calculator to determine what your annual money savings could be.

When To Consider AC Replacement

If your AC system is more than 12 years old and you’ve had several repairs, it’s time to consider replacing the unit. Carefully weigh the repair vs. replacement benefits, but your goal is to make your decision before the system crashes on the hottest day in August.

A new, energy-efficient HVAC unit is expensive. Some heating and cooling companies say they “offer financing.” What they really offer is a financing company with which they may have a financial partnership. We have plenty of trustworthy financing companies here in Tomball and Magnolia, and we’re happy to work with you to find budget-friendly solutions.

When the time is right, you’ll love the safety and comfort of a new, energy-efficient cooling system for your home.

Country Air of Tomball, TX is the best in the business. Find out for yourself: Call 281-356-8564 or contact Country Air.

FAQs

Two of the frequently asked questions we receive about AC maintenance in Northwest Harris County are:

Most heating and cooling companies charge between $100-$550, with the average cost of service at $200. Our AC maintenance starts at $89. If there are additional costs, we’ll discuss them with you, upfront. No surprises.

These popular cooling systems need annual maintenance. Just as your central AC has 2 units – one inside and one outside – ductless mini splits have two sectors plus electrical components, refrigerant lines, and movable parts that need lubrication.

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