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Tech Expert Q&A with Brian Friedman of Arco Comfort Air – Part 2

Q: How frequently do I need my refrigerant changed out?

A: Well, here is one of the more common misconceptions that we run into out in the field. The refrigerating agent inside your air conditioner runs through a closed system. There are no openings through which the refrigerant can be truly “changed out.”

That being said, the condition of your A/C refrigerant can have an impact on the unit’s cooling capacity. The only real advice I could offer here is to suggest that as the system ages to be rigorous in your maintenance plan. Make sure your service professional keeps an eye on the refrigerant’s condition each time your system gets a checkup.

Lastly, you’ll want to ensure that when it does require attention, the refrigerant in properly charged according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Q: How frequently should I have a service professional check up on my A/C?

A: All equipment manufacturers recommend a routine system checkup every 12 months. A lot of customers would be frustrated to learn that the majority of repairs we end up needing to do could have been avoided by this yearly service visit. This is why I am a huge proponent of our Service Partner Plan. Signing up for it will save you time, money and frustration in the long run. Don’t ignore a small issue until it becomes a huge problem!

And don’t forget the importance of keeping the inside of your air conditioner clean. Dirt is one of the biggest culprits behind A/C breakdowns and malfunctions. Our A/C specialists will scrub your system innards clean as they make any necessary repairs and replacements. The cleaner it stays, the more ‘mpg’ you’ll get out of it.

Q: What is a split system and what are some of its benefits?

A: A split system describes an indoor/outdoor type of A/C set-up. Outdoors, you have the actual air conditioning unit and indoors you have the evaporator coil and air handler components. Now, there are 2 different types of split system air conditioners. First, you’ve got the conventional ducted type. This type can piggyback on your existing ductwork. If you don’t have a duct system in your home, preparing your home for one of these systems can require a bit of work. The other is the ductless variety, which have the benefit of being highly versatile from a design standpoint. They require none of the time and labor intensive work necessary to install a network of ducts in your home. This makes them ideal candidates for cooling small, insular areas like home additions, sun rooms, garages, home theaters or man caves.

Q: How often do I need to change my A/C filter?

A: The answer is going to depend on the type of filter you’ve been using. If it’s a standard, economy priced filter, you’re going to want to check it every 30 days and change it at least every other month. Neglecting your dirty filter can really mess up your system’s functionality and even cause serious damage to it down the line. A few times a month we respond to service calls stemming from a dead compressor caused by low air flow and an excess of dirt and grime. Both of these issues can be avoided by paying better attention to the condition of your air conditioner’s filter.

Q: What causes this condensate water leakage coming from my A/C?

A: Most people think of their air conditioner as strictly a cooling device, when it truth one of its main functions is humidity removal. As the system cools air before delivering it into your home, it also wrings any latent humidity, making sure the cold air you experience in your home is of the dehumidified, dry variety. That’s the home comfort sweet spot. If the dehumidifying components of your system are malfunctioning or covered in dirt, the produced air could feel dense and moist–an entirely unpleasant feeling. If a service check up doesn’t turn up a problem with one of the individual dehumidifying components, it could be that your condensate is plugged with dirt, grime, pollen or pet hair. Again, this stuff can be avoided by sticking to an ongoing professional maintenance plan and by keep fresh filters in place.