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AC Maintenance in New Richmond, WI

The best thing you can do for your air conditioner is to keep a regular maintenance schedule. At Hurlburt Heating AC and Plumbing, we want to help keep your AC running better for longer. Whether you have a new air conditioner or you are trying to keep your old one up and running, we are here to help you come up with a plan. 

How often is AC maintenance needed for homes in New Richmond?

We recommend having an annual tuneup by a professional HVAC technician in the spring of each year. Since our air conditioners sit dormant all winter, it’s a good idea to check things out before the summer weather hits. 

If you have an AC leak, you might not notice it until your air conditioner starts to lose performance. Depending on the severity of the leak, it could cause damage to the air conditioner’s compressor. And if that happens…you could be looking at a whole-system replacement. If we take a look at it in the spring, we can take care of the problem before it has a chance to cause damage to your unit.

Another big issue we see in the spring is from rodents. Unfortunately, air conditioners often look like warm, dry homes for mice and other critters during the winter months. You don’t want to find this out on the first hot weekend of the year.

Our goal at Hurlburt is to catch small problems before they have the chance to become big ones. While we are in the business of AC repairs and installations, we don’t want to sell you a new AC system if you don’t need it.  

Should you cover your AC in the winter?

We actually recommend you do not cover your air conditioner in the winter. A covered AC can be even more inviting for cold critters to climb inside and build their nests. And plastic AC covers can even cause damage to the aluminum coils underneath. Plastic retains moisture and it can actually cause the coils to deteriorate, shortening the lifespan of your AC condenser.

If you have a problem with ice or snow falling off the roof onto your air conditioner, you can place a flat piece of plywood across the top to prevent damage from any impact. But make sure you remove it before you turn the unit on in the spring!

What does Hurlburt’s AC tuneup entail?

When we come out for an AC tuneup, we first inspect the system and check for any potential problems. We might recommend clearing tall plants and bushes away from the condenser so they don’t restrict airflow to the outdoor coils. We are also looking for signs of oil (coolant leaks) and listening to the fan motor and the compressor.

We do a full cleaning of the unit, removing any debris in the drain line, fittings and cleaning out the outdoor coil. After the coil is cleaned, we can check the AC charge.

Checking these pressures tells us if your system has enough coolant and if the compressor is operating properly. This part is the heart of the air conditioner. It pumps coolant throughout the system and condenses it so the unit can utilize the refrigeration cycle to cool your home. 

If we find a leak, we can address it right away before it has a chance to cause damage to the compressor. 

What kind of AC maintenance should you do yourself?

The single best thing you can do for both your furnace and your air conditioner is to change the filter regularly. For central HVAC systems in most New Richmond homes, the filter is located on the side of the furnace where the ductwork connects to it. 

For manufactured and mobile homes, the furnace filter will be on the backside of the furnace door. These units are downflows. Their ductwork is located below the home, so the filter is located here to prevent the furnace from pulling in dirt, dust and dander from the home. 

Both of these types of 1’’ filters should be checked and changed once per month. It might surprise you to know that you should be using the cheap furnace filters! We recommend a filter with a MERV 7 or 8 rating. Anything higher than that and it could cause problems with air restriction. The job of your furnace filter is only to prevent dirt from entering the furnace and damaging the motor and indoor AC coil. Its job is not indoor air purification. You’ll need an entirely different system for that.

If you have a mini split, you can find the reusable filters located on top of the coil behind the access panel. All you need to do with these filters is simply rinse them clean in the sink and replace them. You should clean these filters every six weeks on average.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about filter recommendations. No question is too big or too small.

Aside from keeping a clean filter, the only other thing you need to do yourself is to clean the outdoor AC condenser. Of course, we can come out and do this for you but you can save a bit of money by doing it yourself. 

AC condensers can get clogged up with airborne dust, dirt and dander. They can also get filled up with grass clippings and cottonwood seeds. We have a pretty big issue with cottonwood seed in some areas of New Richmond. If you live somewhere with nearby cottonwood, you might have to clean your AC a few times a year until the seeds are done blowing.

You should be able to look through the protective cage and see if there is dirt on the coils. If there is, you can clean it out easily enough.

All you need to clean your AC condenser is a garden hose and a spray nozzle. Don’t use too much water pressure that you risk damage to the aluminum fins, but you will need enough pressure to rinse out the debris. Simply spray the debris down until the coils are clean and that’s it! 

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