Here at Rex’s Plumbing and Heating we get a lot of questions about what it takes to get the system ready for summer. The A/C system is a fairly simple system and A/C repairs can be costly if proper maintenance of the A/C system is not maintained There is an outside part which is called the condenser and an inside part called the evaporator coil. Both parts are essential to the A/C System working effectively. There are two main components to keep in mind when servicing the A/C System.
- Refrigerant Levels
When inspecting the outside Condenser it is best to inspect the outside appearance. The fan sucks air in from the side and blows it up. This will cause dirt and debris to be sucked into the coil that will cause the unit to become less efficient over time. This dirt and debris can also damage the fins on the coil and may need to be straightened out. Once the damage has been assessed it is time to start cleaning out the system. First always make sure that the breaker or disconnect are turned off before you do any work and if you have questions it’s always best to consult a professional first. Second, start by removing the shrouding that protects the inside of the unit. You do not need to fully disassemble the shroud but enough to make it easier to clean. If at all possible avoid using water to clean the condenser unless you make sure to fully dry the unit after washing. We prefer to use a coil cleaner that you can pick up at any local hardware store and then wipe the residue from the surfaces. Most of these cleaners are foaming and will help push dirt and debris out of the cracks that you cannot get into. After cleaning the unit it’s time to make sure the unit turns on. Restore power to the unit and go to the thermostat and adjust it to a cool setting. Return to the unit and make sure the fan has turned on. If everything is functioning properly return to the inside of your home to make sure that cool air is coming from your vents.
Checking Refrigerant Levels
This is best left to a professional but in case you have a set of gauges laying around you are going to want to make sure that the pressures are in acceptable ranges for your system. You should see a big difference between the hot and cold side. First off we recommend that the outside temperature is above 70 degrees. 65 degrees is the coldest temperature that we can test the system. The reason for this is that when the temperature is too cold it will cause the pressure reading in the system to fall outside of acceptable tolerances. Because of this we cannot get an accurate reading and will need to return at a later date after it has warmed up so that we can be certain that the system is running efficiently. If the pressure on both the hot side and cold side are very low that is a sign of a leak in the system that will need to be found and repaired if possible. Even if the leak is small it is illegal to replenish the system of refrigerant without first repairing the system.
If the A/C system is not running properly you will notice an increase in your energy bill and your house will not be able to reach your desired temperature. If you ever have any questions about your HVAC system please feel free to give our office a call. We would be happy to discuss options to help find the right fit for you and your home.