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.

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