As a true Phoenician, the last thing you want or need is to have a problem during a birthday party or holiday because your air conditioning decided to break down. At AccuTemp Refrigeration we offer regular residential maintenance agreements for your Air Conditioning system to prevent just such a disaster. Our professionally trained technicians will test your equipment to ensure that it is operating accurately and reliably.
At AccuTemp Refrigeration we are interested in making sure you get the most out of your existing equipment. The following list of tips in response to common situations that we come across with residential customers. If you follow these basic tips and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance your equipment will last much longer.
- Replace your filter on a regular basis. In the summer replace it at least once a month. It will keep your electric bills lower and also keep your unit running better. Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause damage to the compressor. Dirty filters will also cause the unit to ice up.
- Try not to short cycle your unit. If you know it has been running and cycles off, wait 5 minutes before turning it back on. Short cycling of your unit may cause damage to the compressor. They are not designed to start up as soon as they turn off. This will overheat the compressor and kick it off on the internal overload. It may take over an hour to cool down and start again. Short cycling also causes the start windings in the compressor to burn out.
- Have your unit serviced by a licensed company twice a year. The motors will be oiled and controls checked. The refrigerate level will be checked, copper lines will be inspected to make sure they are not rubbing causing leaks. In the heat mode, different controls are used that are not used in the cool mode. That is why it is good to have the unit serviced twice a year. Check your manufacturer’s warranty, most have a statement saying that if you don’t have maintenance done it could void the warranty. AccuTemp Refrigeration offers an excellent maintenance plan.
- Have your gas furnace checked for carbon monoxide levels. Better to be safe, an old heat exchanger may be cracked allowing carbon monoxide gases into the home. A clean and blue-burning pilot is a must.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau and/or Arizona Registrar of Contractors for the track record of whoever you have to do any service work, not just for Air Conditioning and Heating, but any household service.
Why Does Your Air Conditioning System Need Routine Maintenance?
Your air conditioner is one of the most expensive systems in your home in the Valley. It contributes to the air quality that you and your family breathe, and it keeps you comfortable in the hot months of the year. If someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma, or another respiratory condition, the air conditioning system makes a big difference in air quality. Certainly, a system that provides these essential functions is worth a regular checkup. Here are a few of the benefits of routine air conditioner maintenance.
- When a qualified professional evaluates your system, the technician can identify and correct minor problems before becoming major issues. Small issues can eventually lead to catastrophic breakdowns if left unchecked. Routine maintenance heads them off, saving you thousands of dollars and a great deal of inconvenience.
- As the mercury climbs and your system begins to work harder each year, problems that may have been dormant all winter become evident. Getting an air conditioner tune-up helps you avoid a breakdown just when you need the system the most. No one wants to be stuck in the house waiting on an air conditioner repairman on the hottest day of the year.
- Regular oil changes keep your car running well, and regular visits to your doctor keep your body healthy. Similarly, routine maintenance on your air conditioner can extend the equipment’s useful life by months or years. New units cost thousands of dollars, so you want to get as many years out of it as possible when you have to buy a new one.
- Routine maintenance keeps your HVAC system running at peak efficiency, saving you money on your utilities. Your heating and cooling system components lose effectiveness over time, but regular checkups help return them to their highest operating capacity.
- Many manufacturers require routine maintenance to avoid losing your warranty protection. However, note that these requirements usually specify professional service as opposed to do-it-yourself work.
How Often Does Your Air Conditioner Need Maintenance?
Most professionals recommend an air conditioner tune-up at least twice per year in the Scottsdale area. This schedule allows for a checkup before the unit begins heating your home and before it begins cooling it. Ideally, plan the technician’s visit for off-peak times of the year, avoiding the beginning of the warmest and coldest months in Arizona.
Can I Do My Own Maintenance?
While there are a few minor tasks that homeowners can do themselves, air conditioning tune-ups are better left to the professionals. You can damage your unit, void your warranty, and worst of all, you can be hurt or killed by the high voltage running through your unit and the chemicals involved. Here are a few things you can do:
- Replacing filters is something that homeowners can and should do at least once per month, especially in the year’s hot months. Units are constructed to allow homeowners to do this safely and quickly themselves. However, professional AC tuneups should always include this as well.
- While not necessarily a maintenance task, homeowners can reduce the wear and tear on the unit by avoiding short cycling. If the unit is running and then turns off, wait five minutes before turning it back on to avoid damage to the compressor.
Remember, if you have any doubts about safely doing these things, consult a Phoenix-area professional. It’s not worth the expense and injuries that can result from doing it wrong.
What Should an Air Conditioning System Checkup Include?
A professional checkup on your air conditioner should include the following steps to identify problems and make corrections. If any of these steps identify repairs that need to be made, the technician should share with you the options for making those corrections and the cost of each one.
- Filter check and replacement, if necessary: Dirty filters keep air from flowing through the filters freely, and if they aren’t replaced regularly, they can lead to compressor damage and icing of the unit. Dirty filters can also cause low suction pressure in your AC system and a high-temperature rise in heating mode.
- Motor lubricant and controls checked: The level of refrigerant in your air conditioners should be assessed and more added if needed. The technician should also look at the copper lines to make sure there are no leaks.
- Carbon monoxide evaluation: The technician should always check for toxic gas levels in your home and check for a clean-burning pilot light. If the heat exchanger in your system is cracked, it can leak.
- Cleaning and examining evaporator coils: Dirt on evaporator coils interfere with filtration and allow dust to build up inside the home, aggravating allergies and breathing difficulties. Dirty evaporator coils reduce airflow and keep heat from transferring to the refrigerant, eventually leading to compressor failure.
- Checking wiring connections: When connections are loose, you may see heating loss under peak load.
Where Can I Get Help With an Air Conditioner Tune-Up?
AccuTemp Refrigeration offers a world-class maintenance plan for our customers in Maricopa County. We’ll conduct an initial evaluation and then give you options for making any needed repairs. Then we’ll set up a schedule for twice-yearly checkups to keep everything on track. Contact us today to learn more about residential air conditioner tune-ups.
Here are a few of the problems that can occur when your A/C inside the unit and outside unit are not properly maintained:
Air Handler Inside Unit Check
Dirty air filters are a frequent cause of low suction pressure in air conditioning systems and high-temperature rise in heating systems. Dirt will also collect on evaporator coils. Improper filtration of the home can cause excessive dust in the house and compound allergy problems.
A dirty evaporator coil restricts airflow and prevents proper transfer of heat to the refrigerant and can cause compressor failure. Compressors are not designed to pump liquid refrigerants and this can cause the compressor to fail.
Algae can cause blockage in the drain line, resulting in an overflow of up to 15 gallons per day. Extensive ceiling and floor damage may occur.
Symptoms are similar to a dirty evaporator coil. You may experience a sudden loss of heating under peak load conditions or excessive heat due to low airflow which can damage heating coils.
This can damage the high limit safety switch, heat exchanger, or heating elements and shorten the life of the furnace.
When a maximum temperature rise is reached with a minimum amount of air flowing it can possibly cause damage to the heater. When a minimum temperature rise is reached with a maximum of air flowing it can lead to cold drafts.
These are caused by loose connections and overheating. This can lead to a sudden loss of heating under peak load conditions.
Such an issue can cause sudden loss of heating under peak load conditions, damage heating units, or shut down entire systems.
A damaged thermostat leads to uncomfortable temperature swings in living areas and can damage compressors.
This can make for uncomfortable temperature swings and damage the thermostat. It greatly affects the heating efficiency of the furnace.
This is the result of poor design, installation, or damaged ducts, which increase utility costs, cause rooms or areas of the home to feel uncomfortable, and shorten the life span of all HVAC equipment.
Outside Condensing Unit Checks
The lack of cooling air doesn’t remove heat from refrigerant properly. Since refrigerant also cools the compressor, it can cause the compressor to overheat and fail.
Often the system capacity is reduced, and oil return problems are frequently experienced with undersized lines. This can shorten the life of the compressor and increase cooling/heating bills.
Indicates compressor overworked and bearings seizing up. It can also damage the capacitor or overcharged unit.
Issues are caused by overworking the compressor. Weak or faulty capacitors will reduce starting ability and cause compressors not to run smoothly, which will cause compressors to overheat and fail. A higher than normal amperage usually indicates a weak capacitor.
Weak or faulty capacitors will reduce starting torque for compressors. The compressor will overheat and fail. Be sure to check the potential relay before the unit is placed back in service or the new capacitor may be damaged.
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