Maintenance

  • The Heating and Cooling Tune Up: Before, During and After HVAC Equipment Service

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    Congratulations!  By regularly scheduling heating and cooling maintenance with a licensed professional dealer, you may be extending the life of your system!  Now that HVAC equipment maintenance has been scheduled, it’s time to prepare for the technicians visit.

    Before the HVAC Technician Visit


    Do you know what HVAC equipment will be serviced? If possible, you should identify the manufacturer and model number of your equipment so it is immediately available to the technician upon their arrival at your home. You may be able to locate this from your initial bill of sale. If this information is not available from your paperwork, you should not attempt to open any equipment in order to access this information.

    During the HVAC Service Call


    Your HVAC technician may perform a complete system check. They may inspect all parts of a system, clean it as necessary, and perform the routine maintenance specific to your system. Depending on the equipment being evaluated, a routine HVAC maintenance service call may include the following:  

    • Inspecting main HVAC components
    • Checking for adequate air flow
    • Inspection of refrigerant lines
    • Clearing drain lines and pans
    • Inspecting exterior fan
    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspecting system controls
    • Inspecting and lubricating moving parts
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Replacing air filters
    • Checking electrical connections

    Proper airflow is an important aspect of indoor comfort. If you believe you have an airflow issue, talk to your technician about checking ductwork. If the technician discovers that your ductwork is leaking, they may recommend duct sealing. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a typical U.S. home loses 20%-30% of duct system air due to leaks, holes, and poor connections.1  According to the DOE, sealing HVAC air ducts can drastically reduce duct leakage and improve both indoor air quality and overall system efficiency.

    HVAC Equipment Routine Maintenance

    Routinely servicing your indoor heating or cooling equipment by a licensed professional HVAC technician is as important as taking your car to a mechanic for its required oil changes and maintenance. If an extended service contract or agreement is not already in place, technicians may often offer to set up a maintenance agreement wherein the customer agrees to pay a set fee for standardized scheduled system maintenance. Routine maintenance may extend the life of your HVAC equipment and possibly prevent minor issues from turning into expensive major problems over time.

    Find an Amana brand dealer

    By Jen (Anesi) Roby, former Legislative Editor at ACHR NEWS magazine and current Chief Editor for Plumbing & Mechanical. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) NEWS is the HVACR contractor’s weekly newsmagazine and is the industry’s most trusted and utilized direct communications link to the HVACR buyer.

    1 Duct Sealing. (2017). Retrieved from Energy Star: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts

    Amana® is a registered trademark of Maytag Corporation or its related companies and is used under license.  All rights reserved.

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  • Why Do-it-Yourself HVAC is a Bad Idea!

    DIY_HVAC_is _Bad_Idea

    Completing a Do-it-Yourself (DIY) project may give you a sense of accomplishment but not all projects should be DIY!  You may be able to paint a room, create home decor, or even change the oil in your car. However, only licensed professional HVAC dealers should install or repair your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system!

     

    The “How to…” Video

     

    YouTube’s videos can be a great source of entertainment or information. However, “How to…” videos may lead homeowners to believe they can undertake jobs that should be left to experts. This is especially true when working with heating and cooling equipment. Only a licensed professional HVAC dealer should install, repair or perform maintenance on your HVAC system.

    Creating the comfortable indoor temperature you set on your thermostat or control system is a delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and engineered mechanics. As a result, a professionally trained expert is crucial for a quality heating or cooling system installation or repair.

     

    Required Qualifications and Skills

     

    Residential HVAC systems are complex systems with many components. Dealers often have years of training before they become experts in residential indoor comfort systems. In some locations, HVAC contractors must register for a professional HVAC license and/or pass tests for applicable certifications.

    As new products and technologies are introduced into the heating and cooling industry, licensed professional HVAC technicians often receive specialized training. When a homeowner wants to incorporate the latest equipment, parts or technology into their home’s current HVAC configurations, modifications may be required. This requires expertise! Additionally, most HVAC manufacturers offer HVAC dealers ongoing training opportunities to keep up with the latest innovations.

     

    Just Say “NO” to DIY HVAC

     

    The unlicensed heating and cooling DIY’er does not have the industry-specific knowledge, resources, or skills that are available to HVAC professionals!

    Installation or repair without licensed or professional HVAC technician may lead to damaged equipment, compromised system efficiency, and voided warranties.  The following are a few reasons why NOT to take on DIY HVAC: 

    Experience and professional requirements: It is essential that your local HVAC dealer be experienced, qualified, and backs their work. Although residential HVAC licensing requirements vary by state, licensing can provide proof of professional training.  Be sure you are working with a licensed professional who is willing to provide a limited warranty for their work and products installed. Doing the job correctly the first time may help eliminate the need for repeat visits, as well as ensure your system is running at peak performance. However, a license may not reflect actual installation expertise.

    Refrigerant: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require that technicians who maintain, service, repair, or dispose of equipment that could release ozone-depleting refrigerants into the atmosphere be certified in proper refrigerant handling techniques. Individuals cannot buy refrigerants without the appropriate EPA 608 Certification. Unless you have this certification, do not attempt to handle air condition coolants.

    Ventilation Requirements: National, regional and local HVAC codes and manufacturers installation guidelines may have specific ventilation requirements for HVAC equipment. Your local licensed or professional HVAC contractor should have sufficient knowledge in HVAC safety code in your particular area.

    Electricity: There can be shocking consequences when homeowners start working with their home’s electrical components. According to 2016 National Fire Protection Agency statistics1, an estimated 48,000 home structure fires caused by electrical problems were reported to U.S. fire departments. Handling the wiring and electrical needs of HVAC equipment requires a trained electrician or skilled technician.  

    Gases: Natural gas is the most common type of home heating fuel. It provides nearly 57% of American homes with heat.2 However, it is critical that a license or professional HVAC technician properly install or repair gas heating systems per manufacturer specifications.

     

    It’s All About the Details

     

    Proper HVAC operation is a delicate balancing act. Licensed professional HVAC dealers should be trained in necessary and precise calculations such as volumes, loads, weight, flow rate, and more. If one or more variables are out of sync, the entire system’s operation and your indoor comfort may suffer.  An experienced HVAC technician has the necessary tools required to calculate the right sized unit for your home, and ensure each calculation and measurement pertains to your specific HVAC needs.

    HVAC systems are significant investments in your home. While DIY may seem like a good idea for your wallet, the long-term consequences may end up costing you for many years to come. Do-it-Yourself HVAC is a bad idea!


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    1 News Releases, NFPA emphasizes importance of electrical fire safety during National Electrical Safety Month. (2016, May 3). Retrieved from National Fire Protection Association: http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/news-and-media/press-room/news-releases/2016/nfpa-emphasizes-importance-of-electrical-fire-safety-during-national-electrical-safety-month
    2 Energy saver 101: Home Heating. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.Gov: https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-heating

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  • Cost Saving Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

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    Taking care of your air conditioner before cooling season and between scheduled professional maintenance may sustain cooling performance, save money on energy costs, and provide the best returns on your investment. But the real savings comes from properly maintaining your system to minimize unexpected service calls and extend the life of your air conditioner! 

    Your air conditioner is an investment in home comfort. It provides a cool, comfortable environment for you and your family. Protecting that investment is essential and requires simple, periodic care! Luckily, there are a few basic, air conditioner maintenance tasks that you can tackle on your own between professional maintenance visits. 

    Below are some routine maintenance tips that you can do to help get the best performance possible from your air conditioner.1

     

    AC Maintenance for Homeowners

     

    You should always consult with your professional licensed HVAC contractor to determine the suggested AC maintenance tasks for your home's system. 

    Replace the Air Filter: A dirty filter blocks airflow. It can reduce a system's efficiency and performance significantly. Your HVAC air filters should be replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendation, but the schedule may also depend on where you live and how often your air conditioner operates. Your HVAC contractor can provide the proper filter replacement schedule for your AC equipment.

    According to Energy.gov, changing out a clogged filter with a clean one can help lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by up to 15%.1 If the air condition portion of your energy bill equals $100, you may save an average of up to $15 per month just by replacing the dirty filters!  

    Inspect the Outside AC Equipment: Air circulation is essential for the outdoor condenser coil to run efficiently. Be sure to cut back foliage and remove any debris, fallen leaves, or grass trimmings that have collected around your outdoor unit. A reduction in airflow may make your air condition system work harder, reduce its performance, and can cost you money.

    Examine Fins: The fins on your evaporator or condenser coils should be straight. Bent fins can reduce or block airflow, restricting the efficient operation of your cooling system. Bent fins can also lead to premature coil failure.2 If you see that unit’s fins are bent, contact your local HVAC professional contractor or technician.

    Check Condensate Drains: A condensate drain line may be located near the outside unit. The drain is typically a small PVC pipe; however, some drain lines may be copper. If you see a consistent drip from your condensate drain on a hot day, it is most likely working properly. When condensate drains are clogged, the unit may not be able to properly reduce indoor humidity which can affect your indoor comfort and equipment performance. 

    Thermostat Batteries: Your thermostat or HVAC control system may be powered by batteries. You should replace the batteries as dictated by the “low battery” signal or when you routinely change out your fire/CO2 detector batteries. At a minimum, your thermostat or control system batteries should be replaced annually.2

     

    Professional AC Maintenance

     

    You have a big part to play in the maintenance of your air conditioner, however your equipment should always be professionally serviced prior to the cooling season. Professional or licensed HVAC dealers perform a more detailed check-up and are better equipped to identify airflow problems, system leaks, coil issues or potential failure concerns.

    While each HVAC dealer has their own annual air conditioning maintenance process, professional services may likely include the following actions:

    • Check for adequate air flow
    • Look over condenser and evaporator coils
    • Check refrigerant lines and inspect for leaks
    • Clear drain lines and pans
    • Check electrical connections
    • Check operation of blower components
    • Lubricate motors, bearings and other moving parts
    • Inspect Exterior Fan

    Your simple efforts, combined with professional HVAC maintenance, may help keep your air conditioning system operating at peak performance levels and help reduce energy costs.
     

    Amana brand Air Conditioners

    By Jen (Anesi) Roby, the former Legislative Editor at ACHR NEWS magazine and current Chief Editor for Plumbing & Mechanical. The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (ACHR) NEWS is the HVACR contractor’s weekly news magazine and is the industry’s most trusted and utilized direct communications link to the HVACR buyer.www.achrnews.com

    1 Air Conditioning. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-conditioning
    2 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner

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  • Three Good Reasons to Replace a Gas Furnace

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    Typically, homeowners don’t get excited about having to replace their gas furnace. However, the idea of freezing in your home isn’t too exciting either. Despite efforts to prolong its life, there may come a time when it is better to replace your furnace rather than repair it. The replace decision often comes down to your current furnace’s age, condition, and/or performance.1

    Continuous Repairs


    An aging furnace may start to show its age even with proper maintenance and the dedicated efforts of a highly skilled HVAC contractor. Calling your professional licensed HVAC contractor again and again for repair after repair is not convenient and may get expensive for a homeowner. 

    As discussed in "Should I Repair or Replace my Gas Furnace?" you should determine your repair spending cut off point. If your repair estimate is close to your predetermined budget threshold, it may be best to start researching a new gas furnace before you experience a breakdown.

    How expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth repairing it? A good reference point could be when the cost to repair a gas furnace is roughly 50% of the cost of a new gas furnace. However, it’s best to discuss repair vs. replacement options with your HVAC technician to get a clearer assessment of the price tag of repairs and the predicted longevity of your existing gas furnace. 

    Heating and Comfort


    Your gas furnace system may have a complicated arrangement.  However, if one or more parts involved in delivering heat is damaged or not working as intended, your heating system has the potential to become a hazard to your indoor comfort — probably one of your highest priorities for your home and family.2

    Preventive maintenance and professional inspections are important aspects of the operation of your gas furnace and continued indoor comfort. While evaluating your gas furnace, an HVAC dealer may uncover small cracks, leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires or corroded electrical contacts that can lead to furnace failure.

    According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, older furnaces that do not comply with current standard codes may pose a higher risk due to their earlier technology. "Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected, but older furnaces may not have these devices."3

    Energy Efficiency


    For most homeowners, heating your home costs you money. Energy.gov estimates that heating and cooling may account for up to half of a typical home’s total energy use. As a result, a homeowner should make every effort to increase the energy efficiency of their HVAC equipment.

    To determine your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes in your area, Energystar provides a simple online assessment tool. The assessment reveals that a score below a five means that your home’s energy use “is above average and you're probably paying more than you need to on energy bills.”4 

    While there are a variety of reasons and potential fixes that can increase your energy efficiency, a licensed professional HVAC contractor may reveal that the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of your gas furnace may be the primary cause of these excessive costs. If this is the case in your home, a new, energy-efficient system may be able to help lower your energy bills.

    For example, an older gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 70% would mean that only
    70% of its fuel is used to heat your home. The remaining 30% may escape through the chimney or exhaust. That means that up to 30% of the energy used to run your furnace may be wasted. A high-efficiency model can offer higher AFUE ratings, potentially providing significant energy efficiency and savings on utilities.

    While every homeowner’s HVAC situation and budget is unique, SmarterHouse.org, a project of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment.


    Amana brand Gas Furnaces

    1 Buying Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec. 05, 2016, from Smarter House: http://smarterhouse.org/heating-systems/buying-tips
    2 Gas Furnace Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved from AHRI: http://www.ahrinet.org/Homeowners/Improve-Safety/Gas-Furnace-Safety.aspx
    3 Repair or Replace. (n.d.). Retrieved from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm
    4 When is it Time to Replace? (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy Star: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers

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  • Reasons to Upgrade and Replace your Air Conditioner

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    Despite your best efforts, there may come a time when your local, independent, HVAC dealer suggests that you replace your air conditioner. However, many homeowners often question when a replacement should supersede a repair. Age, condition, and performance expectations are often three good factors to consider when deciding if you should replace your current AC unit.1

    The Cost of Repairs


    Air conditioning repairs may be inconvenient, but continuous or frequently unplanned repairs can be expensive! Even with the help of a highly skilled HVAC contractor, an air conditioner may start to show its age.  To keep costs under control, you may want to establish a repair cost cutoff point - meaning that you will replace your air conditioner if repairs cost more than your set amount.  If repairs are getting close to your cutoff point, you may want to start researching new energy-efficient air conditioners.

    How costly does an air conditioner repair need to be before it’s not worth repairing it? A good reference point could be when the cost to repair your current air conditioner is roughly 50% of the cost of a new air conditioner.  You may find that a new air conditioner could be less costly than the total spent on a series of repairs. Yet, you should always discuss repair vs. replacement options with your HVAC technician to get a better idea of necessary repairs and the predicted lifespan of your current AC unit.

    Energy Efficiency


    Although your indoor comfort may be important, no one likes to spend his or her hard-earned money on high energy bills. According to EnergyStar, your heating and cooling system may be responsible for up to half of your energy bill.2  There could be many reasons for your high energy bills, but your air conditioning unit SEER rating, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, may a contributing factor. 

    The higher the SEER rating, the less energy the unit is designed to use. Your professional or licensed technician should be able to tell you the SEER rating of your current air conditioner, and how your energy bills may benefit from a higher SEER unit. SmarterHouse.org states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment. If your air conditioner is over 10 years old, you may save up to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.3 

    Energystar.gov’s online assessment tool can be used to compare your home's annual energy use to similar homes in your area. The site suggests that if your home scores below a five, “you're probably paying more than you need to on energy bills.”4

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sets regional minimum energy efficiency standards for air conditioners. Currently, the minimum SEER rating for central air conditioners is 14 in the South and Southwest regions of the U.S. and 13 in the North.  

    The Right Size for Cool Comfort


    Bigger isn’t always better — especially when talking about your air conditioner.  An air conditioner shouldn’t be too big or too small; it has to be just the right size to cool your home efficiently.

    When sized and installed properly, an air conditioning unit typically reaches maximum energy efficiency within a few minutes after starting up.  But if cycle times are shortened, and the unit continuously turns on and off, it may not hit peak efficiency.  Oversized air conditioner units may create bursts of cold air, tricking thermostats or control systems into shutting off the system before the entire house is cool. This may end up causing excess wear and tear on the unit, affect your indoor comfort level, and influence your overall energy costs.

    Your home’s layout, ventilation system, and building materials play a major role in determining the proper size needed to cool your home. An air condition unit is measured in tonnage, but it’s not based on the actual weight of the equipment. A ton measures your air conditioner’s ability to cool.

    One ton = the ability to cool 12,000 BTUs (British Thermal Unit) in one hour


    There are many elements that go into sizing an air conditioner for a particular house. The accurate AC tonnage for your home may be different from your neighbor’s home with the same square footage. When determining air conditioner sizing, your licensed professional HVAC dealer will evaluate the home’s details and utilize specialized calculations. “A right-sized air conditioner is an important part of an energy-efficient home and will result in improved comfort, durability, and lower utility bills.”5

    If your current aging air conditioner is the wrong size, the SEER rating is low, and it requires multiple or high-dollar repairs, you may want to consider replacing your system! To find out if your current central cooling system should be replaced, contact a local, independent HVAC dealer. 

    Amana brand Air Conditioners

    1, 3 Buying Tips. 2015. <http://smarterhouse.org/cooling-systems/buying-tips>.
    2 Air Conditioning. n.d. <http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/air-conditioning>.
    4 When is it Time to Replace? n.d. <https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers>.
    5 EnergyStar. "RIGHT-SIZED AIR CONDITIONERS ." n.d. EnergyStar.gov. <https://www.energystar.gov/ia/home_improvement/home_sealing/RightSized_AirCondFS_2005.pdf>
    .

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  • Seasonal Heating and Cooling System Maintenance: A Homeowner's HVAC Guide

    preseason HVAC maintenance

     

    No matter what the weather, you want to be sure that your HVAC system will be ready for that switch from ‘heat to cool’ or ‘cool to heat’. No one likes the uncomfortable consequences of an HVAC situation on coldest or hottest weekend of the year! Seasonal HVAC maintenance may often ward off many of the unexpected problems that can pop up with these indoor comfort systems.

    1. Why Pre-Season Maintenance is Important?

    HVAC systems operate to meet your desired indoor temperature setting.  Yet, the process of creating and maintaining the temperature on your thermostat or control system is a delicate balancing act between equipment, air flow, and mechanics. Proper HVAC maintenance can help maintain this balance despite the system’s consistent starting and stopping, and on-demand operation. 

    Seasonal preventive maintenance on your heating and cooling system may guard against many unexpected failures and could maximize the life cycle of your heating or cooling unit.1 Preseason inspections may uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and/or corroded electrical contacts on your air conditioner or heat pump that can lead to bigger equipment failures if left untreated.

    Proper maintenance may also keep your system running at peak performance levels.  “Effective maintenance can reduce HVAC energy costs by 5 to 40 percent depending on the system or equipment involved.”2

    2. When do I Schedule Seasonal Maintenance?

     

    Homeowners should consider scheduling seasonal HVAC maintenance prior to peak heating and cooling seasons. Depending on your location, this may mean in the early spring for cooling maintenance and early autumn for heating. Heating and cooling technicians are often in high demand when the heat of summer or cold, bone-chilling weather takes hold. 

    Many HVAC dealers offer preseason specials on maintenance or inspection packages during their typical slow times of the year. These deals may save you money on the initial visit and additional required maintenance work.

    3. What does HVAC Seasonal Maintenance Include?

     

    There is no industry standard for what is included in an HVAC preseason “tune-up,” so specific work may vary greatly from contractor to contractor and location to location. Preseason specials may not include all of the suggested maintenance recommend by your system’s manufacturer(s). As a result, it’s important to understand what maintenance your system will be receiving, and the total cost for the job.

    Depending on the agreement, your HVAC technician may perform a complete system check that includes inspection and necessary cleaning of HVAC equipment, parts and components. Be sure you understand what you are getting in your season maintenance package!

    Air conditioning system maintenance may include, but is not limited to:

    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspecting system controls
    • Cleaning and inspecting coils
    • Lubricating moving parts
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Cleaning or replacing filters
    • Cleaning and checking blowers and fans
    • Checking refrigerant and pressures
    • Verifying operating temperatures

     

    Gas furnace system maintenance may include, but is not limited to:

    • Tightening electrical connections
    • Inspect piping for leaks or cracks
    • Cleaning and checking blowers and fans
    • Inspect and clean gas burners
    • Examine ignition switch
    • Inspect heat exchanger
    • Inspect and clean flue
    • Replacing parts that are showing wear and tear
    • Inspecting system controls

     

    4. Do My Ducts Need Inspected?

     

    Ducts are an important part of your entire HVAC system and shouldn’t be ignored. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that a typical U.S. home loses 20%-30% of duct system air due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.3 This misdirected airflow can sacrifice your indoor comfort and may increase your energy usage. Although it may not be included with a seasonal maintenance package, your licensed professional technician can inspect your ductwork.

    Filtration technology has made significant advances in residential air filters over the past decade, but dust may still find its way into your home's ducts. If you are concerned about indoor air quality issues, the culprit could be dirty ductwork. After a ductwork inspection, your technician may recommend duct cleaning, sealing or specialized indoor air quality accessories.

    1 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. n.d. <http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner>.
    2 Studies Show: HVAC System Maintenance Saves Energy. September 2011. http://www.buildingefficiencyinitiative.org/articles/studies-show-hvac-system-maintenance-saves-energy. February 2017.
    3 Duct Sealing - ENERGY STAR. n.d. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts. February 2017.


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  • Air Conditioning Repair: The Service Call

    Air Conditioner Repair Call

    You depend on your air conditioner to provide, cool conditioned air to your indoor spaces.  While these systems are often reliable and dependable, issues can creep up that sacrifice your indoor comfort. If your home starts to become hot and humid, it’s time to make that dreaded urgent service call to your local license professional HVAC dealer.

    Before the HVAC Technician Arrives

     

    Before making the urgent service call, you should do some simple detective work on the symptoms of your air conditioning system.  It’s often helpful if the technician understands your concerns before they arrive at your home. 

    The three most common calls related to air conditioners are:1

    • AC unit turns on but isn’t cooling properly
    • AC unit isn’t turning on
    • Air flow velocity is reduced

    If possible, you should locate and write down the manufacturer name and model number of the equipment from your initial bill of sale so it is immediately available to the technician upon their arrival at your home. If this information is not available from your paperwork, a homeowner should not attempt to open any equipment in order to access this information. If your air conditioning system is covered by a limited warranty, be certain to tell your HVAC technician.

    Minimize Air Conditioning Problems

     

    Maintaining a comfortable and consistent temperature in your home is a delicate balancing act between the air conditioning equipment, air flow, and mechanics. If one or more components are not functioning as designed, the entire system may be affected. As a result, your indoor comfort may be compromised! 

    In order to understand the air conditioning language used by your technician, it may be helpful to learn How an Air Conditioner Works, and a few key parts of your cooling system.

    The Department of Energy (DOE)2 highlights a few of the most common air conditioning problems that your HVAC technician may discover. If cool air isn’t blowing or you air conditioner won’t turn on, your air conditioner technician may inspect one of more of the following:

    Refrigerant: Low or leaking refrigerant will reduce the cooling capacity or your air conditioner. If there is an issue with the refrigerant, your technician may attempt to identify and repair the leak and recharge the system. NOTE: An air conditioner is not designed to consume refrigerant.

    Thermostat or Control System: Dead batteries in a thermostat or control system may prevent your unit from turning on. If the unit turns on but isn’t cooling properly, your technician may perform a test to ensure it is set properly and that it is reading the correct temperatures.

    Electric and Electronic Controls: If the unit is not operating, the compressor, fan controls or capacitor could be worn out or electric connections may have been affected by the system’s consistent starting and stopping, and on-demand operation.

    Condensate Drainage: If the unit isn’t cooling properly, the technician may check condensate drains to be sure they are not clogged.

    Air Filters: Clogged air filters can restrict airflow and decrease your air conditioner’s ability to remove humidity from the indoor air effectively. 

    Ductwork: Leaking, constricted or clogged ductwork can interfere or even cut off conditioned air from getting to your indoor living spaces.

    Your licensed professional HVAC technician may suggest replacing your air conditioner rather than repairing it if they discover a costly repair issue on an aging unit. While there are a lot of variables in determining whether an air conditioner should be repaired or replaced, your contractor can provide the best guidance because they understand the details associated with your particular system.

    Follow Up

     

    Routine maintenance can be a big part of maximizing the longevity and efficiency of your air conditioner. It is as important as taking your car to a mechanic for oil changes! If an extended service agreement is not already in place, technicians may often offer to set up a maintenance plan wherein the customer agrees to pay a set fee for standardized scheduled system maintenance. Routine maintenance may extend the life of your HVAC equipment and possibly prevent minor issues from turning into expensive major problems over time.3

    1, 2 Energy Saver 101: Home Cooling. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov:https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-cooling
    3 Maintaining your Air Conditioner. (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy.gov: http://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner

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