Q: Should I get my home air conditioner serviced before turning it on after the winter?
I come from the UK and so never had an air conditioning unit in my home before.
We moved here last summer, and we've used our air conditioner pretty constantly, first cold, then for heat in the winter. As the weather's warming up we'll soon be switching it back to cold, and I wonder is it safe to do that without cleaning it or checking the inside? I don't know anything about air conditioners and I have heard scary stories about legionnaires disease but I don't know if that's really something I need to worry about. Does anyone have any advice for me?
First and easiest thing to do is to clean the filters as this is where bacteria can collect.
Make sure the insulation over the pipes are not broken (cracks, or breaks in the insulation).
As for legionnaires nothing to worry about more focused on Air Handling Units and chillers.
My background (trade) is HVAC but gave it up a long time ago but if you need more help pm me.
Actually the process is a very simple one. If you have a split system, the one inside the apartment is called the evaporator, and the one outside will be the condensing unit.
Inside the apartment you (or whomever you hire to do it) Must take cover off, and remove dust and grime collected on evaporator coils, This is done by spraying an acidic liquid and rinsing it off with water. Maybe a brush to clean tough spots. Then check refrigerant tubes so insulation is not cracked or broken off. Then outside apartment must repeat the process, but this time also clean or replace air filters. Insure all electrical connections to compressor are tight and clean, and I would also check the line pressures to be the correct ones. If refrigerant is needed, that means you may have a small leak, look for it and insure that when they add refrigerant, they also add compressor oil.
That should be good for another year of supposed troublefree service, and a more efficient unit.