Why Your Residential Air Conditioner Needs an Inspection
How long has it been since your residential air conditioning system got a good once-over from someone who knew what he was doing? If more than a year has passed since a qualified HVAC technician performed an inspection, you could be setting yourself up for some unexpected hot-weather misery.
Like pesky friends who have a way of showing up uninvited, air conditioner troubles will rarely announce their imminent arrival. The unit that worked perfectly last fall may just be waiting until the weather turns hot to let its problems be known. That’s why a yearly residential air conditioning inspection makes sense even when you have no reason to suspect that your unit could require some assistance.
The best time to do this is in the spring. That will ensure that when summer weather rolls around, your ac unit is ready to jump into action with no need to undergo air conditioning repair.
Residential Air Conditioning: What Can Go Wrong
As your system works to keep you comfortable, its most critical areas can accumulate large quantities of environmental dirt and debris. The buildup on air filters and condensing coils alone can cause your unit to lose 5 percent of its efficiency every year and thwart its ability to cool your home as well as it should. External condenser units in particular tend to attract cobwebs and leaves. They can also suffer greatly if overgrown bushes block their ability to move the air.
Problems with Your Unit’s Condensate Drain Line
As their name implies, your air conditioning unit’s condensate drain lines exist for the purpose of drawing away collected condensed water. When neglect allows mold and algae to grow in this area, the resulting blockage can force that water back into the drain pan, causing an overflow condition. The same thing can happen in units that have fallen out of level. Besides the possibility of damaging your floors and walls, the excess moisture could also present a safety hazard to your home’s residents.
Problems with Your Unit’s Air Filter
Your air conditioner’s air filter prevents dust, pollen and other particulate matter from circulating about and degrading the quality of your indoor air space. Because this sort of blockage impedes your unit’s ability to keep the air moving, it can place a strain on your motor, increase your energy costs and cause health problems for residents suffering from any sort of respiratory ailment. If you keep pets or live in an especially dusty environment, this situation will arise all the more rapidly.
Problems can crop up in other areas as well. The most common of these include:
- The air distribution registers. When cooled air returns to your home, it needs a way to get back in. Unnoticed blockage in the form of rugs, curtains or furniture can literally stand in its way.
- Poorly sealed ducts. Leaky conduits resulting from carelessness or improper installation will always wreak havoc with the airflow.
- Incorrect refrigerant charge. An amount of coolant that fails to agree with the manufacturer’s specifications will prevent your unit from operating as it should. While low levels are the natural result of an undetected leak, an unprofessional inspector may also cause damage by adding refrigerant to a unit that does not require it.
- Worn-out fan or compressor controls. An oversized unit that cycles too frequently will wear out these components. However, terminal and wire corrosion can also carry the blame, and these are two areas often in need of inspection by a qualified technician.
- Problems with the thermostat sensor. This common source of trouble with room air conditioners can cause them to ceaselessly turn their compressors on and off.
These are the complications most often faced by a residential air conditioner. There are also others.
If you’re unsure about the benefits of hiring a skilled technician to inspect your unit, consider this: Your HVAC system represents one of your home’s most expensive appliances, and its cooling component can easily account for at least one-fourth of your energy bill. That’s why it pays to keep your system working at its peak. A springtime air conditioning inspection from Windy City Air will help save your unit from a summertime need for residential air conditioning repair.
At Windy City Air, it is our pleasure to offer quality Las Vegas AC repair and maintenance. When our skilled technicians handle a repair, they use a checklist that ensures all AC related problems are covered. During our inspection, we will explain the results of our findings and offer suggestions for your AC unit. But what exactly do we look for when inspecting an air conditioner?
- Ask if there are any special concerns about your cooling system
- Remove the electrical disconnect cover & tighten the connections
- Visually inspect the condenser for any type of damage
- Visually inspect the copper tubing for leakage or damage
- Check duct work for loose or leaking connections
- Chemically clean the condenser coil & rinse if water is available
- Check the circuit board & wiring for scorching or discoloration
- Tighten all electrical connections
- Check for proper voltage to the condenser
- Check the thermostat for proper mounting, location and setting
- Check, clean and replace filters if part of the contract
- If motor is belt driven, replace if part of the contract
- Check the discharge pressure of the system freon levels
- Check the suction pressure of the system freon levels
- Check the condenser fan blade for balance & clean
- Check the amp draw of the condenser fan motor
- Check the amp draw of the compressor
- Check the amp draw of the blower motor
- Check the temperature drop across the evaporator. ΔT is 17 – 21 deg.F
- Check the temperature difference between rooms max. ΔT is 5 deg.F
- Check super heat & sub-cooling
At Windy City Air, we get the job done right the first time. We truly care about our customers and make sure that all our bases are covered before leaving your home. Call us today at (702) 932-7284 for more information or to set up an inspection.