Staying Aware Of Your AC

Your home's air conditioning has a lot more moving parts than are outwardly visible. Even those parts that you can see without climbing into your attic aren't necessarily things that you look at or think about on a regular basis. Knowing what to inspect, what signs to watch for, and how to gauge the general state of your AC will help you determine when to call for an air conditioning services visit, without wasting the contractor's time or your money.

Easy Inspections

For most homeowners, there are several components of  your HVAC system as a whole and AC specifically that are easily accessed. Checking these should be something you can do on a weekly basis without going out of your way, such as while mowing the lawn or vacuuming your home. Be aware of these parts and their condition, and learn to recognize what should be there so that you can tell if something is out of place.

In your yard you'll find your heat exchange, or compressor, which is what makes the cool air in your home possible. Check hoses and pipes for leaks or corrosion, and check the internal fan for signs of damage or obstruction. Inside your home, check intake and output vents for blockages, debris or other signs of wear that might indicate a problem inside the duct work.

Hidden Problems

Due to the nature of most HVAC systems, many of the most critical components are hidden in your attic, basement or some other out-of-the-way area. While you can attempt to make your way into these spaces, it may not be realistic in some situations. If you can safely access your furnace or see your ductwork, it's worth taking a moment to look for signs of wear.

Watch out for an over abundance of dust around the intake vent, as this can limit the amount of air that your fan feeds to each room. Make sure the joint connecting the output to the duct lines is snug and secure. If you're able to see your air ducts, make certain that any insulation is in good condition and that connections between sections are firm and tightly sealed with more than just duct tape.

Any signs of wear or damage should be cause for concern and reason enough to set up a professional inspection. Some of these issues may be minor enough to only take a few minutes to fix, but it's better to know that a professional has fixed it than to hazard a guess and attempt a fix on your own. When in doubt, bring in people who know more than you to fix a problem, so that it stays fixed.