Maintaining Your HVAC System in South Florida: What You Need to Know

Maintaining your HVAC system in South Florida is essential for energy efficiency, comfort, overall occupant health, and the overall operation of the unit. Regular maintenance and preventive maintenance can help prevent problems before they occur and can extend the life of the air conditioning system. Scheduling a professional maintenance review at least once a year with an HVAC contractor is also recommended to ensure that the system works efficiently and effectively. This will also help identify any issues early on, so they can be addressed before they turn into major repairs.

What does preventive maintenance of your air conditioning system entail? Check refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks, clean and straighten condenser coils to ensure adequate air flow, check for gas connections for leaks, tighten all electrical connections, lubricate all moving parts. If the bleach solution drains easily, skip the next step. If not, move on to Cleaning the Evaporator Drain. Replace the evaporator coil cover and, if necessary, use aluminum adhesive tape to re-seal it. Warm, humid air from inside your home passes through the evaporator coil inside.

The cold coil absorbs heat from the air and cools it before the air is recirculated to your home. Moisture from the air condenses on the cold surface of the evaporator coil in the form of liquid water, which drips onto a tray below. From the tray, water flows into a drain pipe that normally goes to the basement, floor drain, sink, or outside. Over time, algae and mold can build up and potentially clog the drain, so if the drain doesn't flow or flows very slowly, it will need to be unplugged. A clogged drain can cause damage when the floor is flooded or, if the system is equipped with a drain float, cause the system to stop cooling to prevent flooding.

First, look for the drain line where it exits the evaporator coil cabinet. The drain is usually a 1-inch PVC pipe (white, gray, or black). Follow it to the end where it drains. Often, the pipe drains to the outside, near the condensing unit, but it can also flow into a utility sink or basement drain or, in the case of attic units, into an outside wall. Hold a rag around the space between the vacuum hose and the drain.

The filter in your air conditioning system should be changed at least twice a year, once just before the heating season begins and once before the cooling season begins. If you live in a particularly dusty area, you may want to change it more often. Always replace the filter with a new filter that has the same air flow. Moody warns to be careful with “air purifying” or HEPA filters, as they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system.

This can cause the inner coil to freeze due to reduced airflow. While these steps will help keep your air conditioning system in good condition, keep in mind that there are items of maintenance that only a trained HVAC technician will be able to perform. For example, a slow refrigerant leak in your air conditioning system can cause a costly compressor failure, but a homeowner doesn't have the tools or skills needed to check refrigerant levels. In addition, clean ducts and adequate air flow are essential for a well-functioning system, but homeowners lack the equipment needed for the job. The final result? While an expert owner can perform some air conditioner maintenance tasks, it is necessary to have the system checked regularly by an expert technician. Dr.

Kirby suggests a service in the spring before the cooling season and again in fall before heating season begins. Properly selecting an HVAC contractor who has experience working in South Florida climate and having a good maintenance contract with them will also help ensure that your HVAC system is well maintained and capable of meeting unique demands of South Florida climate. Upgrading or replacing an HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) system in South Florida can be major investment but it can also bring significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency and comfort. The purpose of this article about South Florida is to educate and inform readers about unique challenges faced by HVAC systems in this region and provide them with knowledge and resources they need to properly maintain and repair their HVAC systems so that they continue to operate efficiently and effectively.

Kristen Macbeth
Kristen Macbeth

Lifelong internet fanatic. Alcohol trailblazer. Incurable web evangelist. Proud food nerd. Proud coffee specialist.