Friday, 27 December 2013

Residential HVAC Tune-up

As we have been discussing, periodic tune-ups for your residential units is a must. However, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind that are essential when you actually are tuning up your air conditioner.   

These tips will help a great deal in your regular tune-up activities.

  1. Finding leaks can be a tedious exercise while you are in the process of tuning up your air conditioner. However, it is very essential. If you find a leak in the coils, it is best you replace the system.
  2. Take a look at the condenser coil. You may need to clean it. However, it is advisable that you hose off the condenser coil once every month.
  3. Hose off the coil with a biodegradable cleaner. This way, you preserve the environment and do not harm your plants or pets.
  4. Inspection of the evaporator coil to check if it is properly plugged is important. The evaporator coil needs to be cleaned when the air filter of your air conditioner has not been changed for a long time.
  5. The next important thing is the inspection of the blower wheel. If you want to know how dirty your evaporator coils are, you need to look at the blower wheel. If you find a lot of dirt accumulated, there can be a hindrance in the evaporator coil.
  6. Oil motor is the next check. It is important that the oil ports face upward. This ensures that there is no oil draining out.
  7. Clean the evaporator condensate line every time you inspect the system.
  8. Check the operation of the condensate pump. You can empty a cap full of white vinegar in the pump once a month. This helps to keep the pipe line and the float clean.
  9. Next comes the inspection of the amp draw of the air conditioning unit. If you notice that the compressor is working at a higher- than-normal amp draw, it means that there is some weakness in the compressor. This could be due to restricted airflow across the compressor to the condenser coil.
  10. If the compressor is operating at a higher amp draw than normal, it could indicate there’s a weakness in the compressor, or you could have a restriction of airflow across the compressor through the condenser coil.
  11. Also check the amp draw of the condenser fan motor. Make sure that the condenser fan motor and the blower motor are all within range.
  12. Checking the voltage drop across the contactors is important. You need to make sure that no contactors are burnt or pitted. If the voltage drop in more than 10%, it is recommended that you replace the system.
  13. Though there are not too many belt-driven blowers seen in the last two decades, it is required that the belt n the blowers are checked for any cracks or glazed surfaces.
  14. The next stop will be the condensing unit. If it is a little off the level, it is okay. But the inclination should not be too much as the oil within may spill off.
  15. Check the thermostat. It should be secured to the wall. In the case of mercury thermostats, the level and calibration should be proper. A digital thermostat is always advised.
  16. The heat exchanger may have some carbon monoxide leaks, especially during the cooling season tune-ups.
These were some tips on what a periodic air conditioner tune-up should consist of. It is advisable that you hire the services of an experienced technician or a contractor to carry out these tune-ups.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Air Conditioner Tune-Up

Have you ever wondered whether a tune-up for your air conditioner is really required?

Have you laughed quietly when the HVAC contractor advised you on a regular tune up?

Have doubts about how a tune-up can save energy cost have cropped in your mind?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then this article is for you.

You regularly service your car or truck, change the oil filter, air filter, and any other part that is likely to cause a breakdown, so that you get maximum life and mileage out of your vehicle. In the same way, your heating and cooling units need to be regularly checked and tuned.

Before we actually go into why a tune up is required and what to endure during the tune-up sessions, lets take a look at the benefits of periodic tune-ups.

  • Savings as you reduce energy costs
  • Longer life of the equipment
  • Improved performance and efficiency
  • Reduced risk of break downs
  • Protection and safety
  • Comfort and well being

If you think that all this is important to you, read on!

The government site for HVAC,, says that an annual tune-up of your heating and cooling unit improves the efficiency of the system, increases comfort levels prevents future problems and unexpected costs. 

There are HVAC contractors and technicians who will come over periodically to check your air conditioning units. This is especially so when the season starts. With winter around the corner, it is required that you keep your heating systems in good condition so that you are free of any likely breakdowns and your comfort levels are maintained through out the season.

Here are some essentials of a HVAC tune-up for a residential unit.

1. Check operating pressures.

There may be leaks in your system that you may not know of. You can find this out if the operating pressure of your system does not fall into the proper range for superheating or subcooling. This could also be due to restriction in the airflow, compressor valve problems or mechanical failure in the compressor.

If you find discrepancies in the pressures, you need to first check is the air filter to check if it is dirty. Check the suction pressure. If it is low, it means that the air flow is good and the filter is not dirty. If not, then you will need to clean the filter.

2. Check air filter

This is one of the first things that most technicians will do. This check will rule out if there are any frozen coils that are hindering the working of the air conditioner or dirt that may have accumulated and causes problem in the running of the system. 

It would be beneficial to change the filters periodically, whether they give a problem or not. This is not an expensive exercise and helps in keeping major problems at bay.

3. Check for leaks.

When the refrigerant pressure is not satisfactory, there is a need to check for leaks. Finding the leak is where technician expertise is required. You need to look for brazed and mechanical connections first and then you look at the coils. You may not know where the leak is and even if you find one you may not know the best solution to fix the leak.

The best way to fix a leak after you find it is by repairing it or replacing the system. However, if the cost is high and you do not wish to spend much at the moment, you can use a leak sealant as an alternative. If there is a leak in the coil, it best to replace the system.

There is more to the essentials of a tune-up for HVAC. We will bring all the tips. Read on!