The best way to prevent high cost air conditioning repairs and make sure your electric bill is not higher than what it should be is by performing routine maintenance, usually twice a year. Spring is the best time to have your system checked because it’s already warm outside, providing the perfect testing environment, and at the same time it’s right before the heat of the summer, when your system most benefit from maintenance.
Here are some tips to help you do your own checking and maintenance:
Replace you thermostat’s batteries if you have a battery operated one.
Replace your filter (or wash it) regularly to provide adequate airflow to your system so it operates efficiently (uses less electricity and provide better cooling).
Make sure you have a clean-out and p-trap on your drain line then add half a cup of bleach to your clean-out to keep your drain pipe clean. You can use a wet-vac on the drain outlet outside your house to suck water, dirt and anything that may be clogging your line.
Make sure you have a safety float switch to prevent flood in case your drain gets clogged. Float switches are connected to the air handler or installed on the emergency pan (when air handler is installed horizontally). Make sure it’s tested next time you have a professional maintenance done on your system.
- Visually inspect your evaporator coil (Only if there is no need to remove equipment cover or open ductwork to do it). Remove dust and pet’s hair from surface with a soft brush. Call a professional if you don’t have easy access to coil or if you believe it is dirty beyond the surface
- Verify if your UV light is working. Remember you cannot look directly at the light. Check for the model of UV device you have because most manufacturers recommend you replace your bulb every other year on average to maintain efficiency.
- Keep the surroundings of your condenser unit clean and free of obstruction.
- The TD (temperature difference) from your return to your supply should be at least 15ºF. You can put a thermometer at your return (by the filter) and leave it there for a couple minutes then put it next to your supply (on the ceiling) and check the difference. Return temperature less supply temperature should be 15 or more. If less than 15 your system is probably not running at peak performance.
1. Outside and indoor temperature can make a big difference on this test. Try to do it on a 80ºF to 85ºF day and room temperature around 75º.
2. Also make sure the system runs for at least 15 minutes before you take the measurements.
3. This is a simple test for the homeowner. It does not substitute a professional assessment of your system and it’s intended to indicate possible problems. A TD below 15ºF USUALLY indicates a problem or just simple inefficiency. It is recommended you call a professional in case you find a TD below 15ºF.
A professional maintenance check should include at least all of the above, listening to customer’s feedback about history and operation of equipment, safety checks, code compliance and pressure readings to detect refrigerant levels, compressor operation and many other aspects of refrigeration cycle. You can print our Maintenance Log Sheet to use it as a reminder/log.
Oftentimes, we find issues that would otherwise not be noticed and make your system unsafe or inefficient. If you have any question about AC maintenance, or would like a professional inspection just give Premium Services a call at (727) 954-6470.
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