According to insurance claims data, air conditioner breakdowns occur most often in the summer months and cost an average of $5,600 per claim*.
To avoid making this summer the season that your air conditioner fails, consider these simple tips:
Keep your outdoor unit clean and clear of vegetation
Outdoor units can become blocked with debris and vegetation. Not only do blocked coils and vents increase the risk of equipment damage, they can significantly reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Clean the outside of the condenser unit at least twice during the cooling season, remove all leaves, seedlings and weeds with a light brush or shop vac, and cut back all plants at least three feet in all directions from the exterior of the condenser unit.
Replace the filter
An indoor filter should be replaced every two months during the cooling season. A dusty air filter, which causes the house temperature to rise well above the thermostat setting and the unit to run longer to produce the same cooling effect, is the most common and easily fixed problem. It is a good idea to keep a stock of replacement filters.
Does it pass the five-minute test?
If cooled air does not come within five minutes of a unit being turned on, the air conditioner may have lost its refrigerant charge, or the compressor, condenser or air circulation fan may have failed. Seek a diagnosis from a qualified professional. In most cases, fan failure is the issue.
Consider a professional tune up every two years
Regular service by a qualified professional will cut down on costs and help you avoid mid-summer breakdowns.
We always recommend that you disconnect power before any maintenance activity is performed.
*Source: The Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada
© The Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only. All recommendations are general guidelines and are not intended to be exhaustive or complete, nor are they designed to replace information or instructions from the manufacturer of your equipment. Contact your equipment service representative or manufacturer with specific questions. Under no circumstances shall BI&I or any party involved in creating or delivering this article be liable for any loss or damage that results from the use of the information or images contained in or linked to in this article.