Will your air conditioner break down this summer?

With the hottest days of summer just ahead on the calendar, the last thing you want to experience is a broken-down air conditioning system.

Humid Ontario weather is stressful on the body and can be particularly hard on elderly people, says Frank Cullen, owner of Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning in Oshawa.

Homeowners find it easier to cope without heat in winter than going without air conditioning in humid weather, he adds.

“The biggest aggravation to people is having no hot water or no air conditioning,” he says. “In cold weather you can dress in layers, but in hot, humid weather, it’s hard to get away from it.”

To keep your air conditioning system in top shape, annual inspections and cleaning are recommended. Over time, the unit’s coils get dirty and won’t cool properly without a cleaning.

Covering the air conditioning unit in winter helps keep debris and moisture out. To prepare the unit for another season of keeping your home cool, wash down the fins with a garden hose, or have your service technician clean them professionally.

A service technician will check for any electrical problems, and will make sure the refrigerant inside the coils isn’t running low. Poor airflow or frozen coils and lines can also lead to problems the technician will check for.

“Once your unit has been cleaned and serviced, the best thing you can do is keep your furnace filters changed regularly,” says Cullen. “And, keep the unit clear of any grass or shrubs.”

Keeping a clean filter in the furnace will increase the air conditioning’s efficiency by five to 15 per cent, he says.

New technology means air conditioners will last up to 20 years with annual maintenance. If it’s time to upgrade your older system before it breaks down, expect to save money on your electricity bill in the long run, says Cullen. The newer units are 50 per cent less costly to run, he says.

Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning can help determine the right size air conditioning unit for your home. Size depends on several factors, including the square footage of the home, windows and sun exposure. A general rule of thumb is one ton of cooling for every 1,000 square feet in your house.

Free estimates for a new air conditioner are available from Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning, which can do most installation jobs in a half-day to a day. With four crews of professionally trained and insured installers, the company gives customers a 10-year warranty on the product and five to 10 years on labour.

Cullen Heating and Air Conditioning has been serving Durham Region homeowners since 1985, with a full range of residential products and services.

Online appointment scheduling is now available, or call 905-725-9731.

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