AC Maintenance Spring Checklist
Have you had your Spring Air Condition Check-up performed?
Like many mechanical systems in our homes, air conditioners get used when we need them. We go to the thermostat and set our desired temperature and walk away, not thinking much more about it. We completely ignore the AC unit … until there’s a problem.
That’s when we call a HVAC service professional with our AC Maintenance and Repairs. Then pray that the bill won’t be too high. With air conditioners, neglecting routine maintenance leads to decreased efficiency (higher utility costs) and often premature failure of expensive parts.
To prevent this, the rule of thumb is to have your central A/C system inspected once a year by a qualified HVAC technician. The checklist below itemizes what a routine air conditioner maintenance call should include. Besides the annual service, it’s important to check on two things every month during the cooling season.
Should You Repair or Replace Your HVAC System?
Annual Air Conditioner Maintenance Checklist:
Clean the outdoor AC condenser coils and indoor evaporator units.
The coil is made up of the refrigerant lines and surrounding radiator-like fins that line the cabinet of your outdoor A/C unit. The evaporator is the interior counterpart and has its own coil. Dirt on the coils reduce efficiency. Which stresses the system’s mechanical parts, that lead to failure during the hottest times of the season when the unit is running the most.
Check the air conditioning refrigerant level.
An incorrect amount of refrigerant makes a compressor work harder, reducing the efficiency and longevity of the system. There are several types of refrigerant, so this is left to professionals.
Check outdoor fan motor and blades and indoor blower assembly.
The fan on the outdoor unit pulls air in through the coil fins. The indoor blower is the fan unit (motor, fan wheel and housing) on your furnace. Older blowers may include a drive belt that should be inspected and adjusted or replaced as needed. Leaves, branches and twigs can clog or slow the fan down and should be checked in the spring, before you fire up your air conditioning unit for the season. A mouse nest, a twig from a fallen branch could burn out the A/C fan motor in a short time, costing you more than a routine air conditioning maintenance service.
Inspect the air conditioning drain pans and condensate drains.
Drains must be clear and clean to ensure it does not trap excess moisture in the units or inside the house. That drip you see or hear from your AC unit runs through a pipe and trap. Since the water is a slow drip with not much pressure, slim can build up, causing blockages. Cleaning the condensation lines is an important step in routine seasonal air conditioning maintenance.
Check AC compressor and refrigerant tubing.
If the refrigerant tubing is blocked or leaking, they won’t deliver enough coolant to the compressor, which will cause the compressor to work harder, which will eventually cause the compressor to fail. Your HVAC contractor has the right chart to flow for your specific AC unit. He will hook up gauges to make sure your unit is filled properly and with no leaks.
Without the proper refrigerant, your unit will be like driving your car with a flat. Costing you more money and wearing down your HVAC equipment faster.
Lubricate moving parts.
Some A/C units have parts like fan motors, compressors and pulleys that need added lubrication periodically. Newer models typically have sealed parts that don’t need to be lubed. If you are unsure or your unit makes a squealing sound, you should have it check for a faulty part. Most times it may need to be lubricated.
Inspect all HVAC electrical controls, wiring and connections.
They should check all electrical components and hookups for soundness, wear and damage. Outside units sometimes have mice chew on wiring. Inspecting the wiring is part of routine HVAC maintenance. On the inside, if your unit has not been running properly, the wiring could get hot. This can damage the insulation on the wiring and cause shorts. Your AC repair technician will inspect and replace any bad wiring. Keeping you safe from electrical fires, shorts and your unit running smoothly.
Inspect and clean or replace HVAC air filters.
A clogged filter restricts air flow to the system so that the motor runs, producing no results. Clean or change the filter as needed. Then continue inspecting the filter every month. Using a clean filter can reduce your air conditioning costs. A clogged filter is like putting your hand over your mouth and nose and trying to breathe. Your air conditioning unit need to breathe a certain amount of air to keep it running smooth.
Do you know AirServ installs UV filter lights in your HVAC system that reduce or eliminate pollen, allergens, dander and other bad indoor air quality bacteria?
Run a general AC system test.
Your technician should turn on the A/C system to check operating functions such as the starting cycle and shut-off control, check for unusual noises or odors, and measure indoor/outdoor temperatures and system pressures as needed. When AirServ leaves your home, you can rest assure your unit is running a peak performance. Keeping you comfortable, saving you money and making your unit run as best as it can.
Check HVAC ductwork for leaks and other problems.
All that wonderful cool air runs through ductwork. You need duct inspection to find air leakage. Duct leakage is one of the main causes of inefficiency in forced-air A/C and heating systems. It’s a good idea to have your ductwork assessed and sealed and/or insulated in problem areas.
Older ductwork held together with only screws tend to leak more at the joints. At AirServ, we inspect, seal and tape any air leak in your duct work. This send more of that cool air into your living spaces and not into a basement, crawlspace or attic where most of your ductwork is located.
Monthly HVAC Maintenance During the Cooling Season.
Things that you can do to help keep your A/C unit in good shape:
1) Check the furnace filter each month and replace it as soon as necessary.
2) Inspect the outdoor condenser unit and remove all leaves, grass clippings and other debris from the sides and top of the cabinet. Cut back shrubs and other vegetation as needed to maintain a minimum of 2 feet of clearance on all sides of the unit. This ensures adequate airflow to the coils.
Scheduling Local HVAC Service Tips.
The best time to call an HVAC service technician for an annual air conditioner maintenance checkup is in early spring, or at least well before the cooling season really kicks in. If you wait until summer, the pros are booked with emergency repairs and installation jobs. They will get to you, but you may have to wait longer. So, plan your air condition maintenance before you have to call for an emergency repair.
With the recent Covid 19 events, AirServ has special policies and procedures to ensure you have a safe service with us. You can read our HVAC Covid 19 policies here.