Seven Great reasons to do maintenance
1. A study conducted at the Louisiana State University Cooperative Extension Service asked the question: How much can a homeowner save with preventive maintenance?
CONCLUSION: A homeowner would save $6.83 per month if the unit was in good condition and up to $77.04 per month if the unit was in poor condition. The average monthly savings was $30.12.
2. A second LSU study was conducted to determine how efficient the average air conditioning system was in small businesses.
CONCLUSION: 75% of ALL air conditioners in small businesses are in need of a tune-up in order to achieve maximum efficiency. The study showed that once common problems such as dirty coils, dirty blower wheels, low airflow, and improper refrigerant charge were corrected, running times of air conditioners were reduced by an average of 2.7 hours per day.
3. Air Conditioning Training and Consulting and Murphy Engineering tested 200 air conditioning systems over an 18 month period. There average size was 1.5 tons to 7.5 tons. The average age was 7 to 25 years old.
CONCLUSION: 75% had dirty condensing coils, 70% had improper freon charge, 55% had dirty evaporator coils, 45% had dirty blower wheels, 35% had duct leaks, and 10% had the wrong fan motor or blade installed. Savings of up to $100 per ton per year was possible on equipment where regular maintenance was performed..
4. North Carolina Alternative Energy Corporation conducted a study on residential air conditioning systems to determine what problems existed.
CONCLUSION: Of the units tested, 90% had significant problems, 40% failed to meet minimum airflow criterion and 50% had an improper refrigerant charge. 100% had problems that affected the homeowner’s costs and/or comfort. Problems can unknowingly built into a system and exist from day one.
5. Texas A & M University and Texas Power and Light conducted independent tests on the relationship between SEER ratings and the refrigerant charge.
CONCLUSION: A 10% overcharge or undercharge will decrease the efficiency by 20%. A 23% undercharge will decrease the efficiency of the air conditioner by 52%!
6. Honeywell conducted tests using typical dust stop filters to determine how dust affects efficiency.
CONCLUSION: Up to 90% of airborne particles get past a typical filter. Up to one half of these particles are captured by the indoor evaporator coil and blower wheel. Without regular coil cleaning, the operating costs increases 9.8% on a 5 year old system, 22.4% on a 10 year old system, 35.5% on a 15 year old system, and 49.2% on a 20 year old system! A dirty blower wheel can double running times and operating costs without any decrease in comfort.
7. A study was conducted by Lakeland Electric and Water Utility and Florida Solar Energy Center to determine how duct leaks affect an air conditioning system.
CONCLUSION: Of the 91 homes tested, 75% had more than a 5% duct leakage and 49% had more than a 10% duct leakage. A 10% leakage was found to increase cooling costs by up to 23% and heating costs by 37%. In addition to sucking heat and humidity, a leaking duct system also brings in pesticides, radon, soil vapors, and other unwanted substances. In one home, a duct leak was causing the air conditioning system to run constantly. The electric bills were consistently high each month. However, because it was comfortable, the homeowner had no idea anything was wrong!