When people look back to the summer of 2020 in Ontario, the most obvious thing they’ll remember is the roller coaster of restrictive measures enacted from week to week to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, if you were one of those people isolated in a downtown apartment unit with little air circulation and no air conditioning, it’s the sweltering July heat you may remember most.
Last year Ontario experienced a long consecutive streak of hot July days where temperatures climbed above 30°C. And while there are a variety of opinions on what the summer of 2021 may bring to the province this year, the fact is that air conditioning is becoming an essential service for people who struggle with heat and humidity. It’s one reason why most HVAC experts suggest that residential and commercial property owners get their air conditioning serviced prior to the summer rush.
“Summer is coming, so it’s best to be prepared,” said Tracy Burgess, Service Manager at Carleton Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning. “We recommend that you schedule your annual summer maintenance and inspection of your air conditioning unit now before you find yourself with an emergency need.”
Burgess says preventative maintenance of their air conditioning unit is rarely on the list of priorities for homeowners. However, she says there are three very important reasons to schedule a maintenance call prior to turning on your air conditioner for the first time this spring.
“Number one, you need to ensure it’s clean,” said Burgess. “A dirty unit is going to be less efficient and therefore work harder, which naturally makes it use more energy to operate and its life expectancy shorter. If a piece of equipment is working twice as hard as it’s designed to then it’s not going to last as long.”
The second reason for a pre-planned maintenance is to ensure that refrigerant levels in your air conditioner are checked along with a check of the electrical components to ensure everything is in-tact, connections are tight, and they are drawing the correct amperage. Burgess says these things are indications that something is going wrong with the unit and the technician can likely address the problem at the time of the cleaning inspection:
“It’s always better to do that in the spring instead of seeing your air conditioner failing when it’s 30 degrees outside and 45 percent relative humidity,” she said.
Finally, and perhaps most important of all, is the fact that having your air conditioning serviced may be a condition of your warranty. Manufacturers warranties vary from five to ten years; however, part of that requirement is a stipulation that the unit must be professionally maintained on an annual basis.
“You will need to be able to prove that,” said Burgess. “If you have a 10 year warranty and the unit fails after seven years and you reach out to the manufacturer, they may ask for proof of service. If you can’t prove it then you’re likely not going to get the new equipment or parts you’re looking for. It’s just like the warranty on your car. If you have a 100,000 kilometre drivetrain warranty and your engine blows at 95,000 kilometres. They can say ‘I’m sorry you’ve never changed the oil or had service performed,’ so you’re probably not going to get that new engine.”
The bottom line is that anyone who switches on the air conditioning the day they turn off the furnace should heed the advice of air conditioning experts like Burgess.
For more information, or to book your service call, visit Carleton Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning at 150 Industrial Ave, Carleton Place, or online at www.carletonrefrigeration.com. Call them at 613-257-8282 or 1-866-557-8282.