Many homeowners wonder why they can’t just complete an entire tune-up themselves. The fact is a thorough tune-up requires skills, tools and knowledge that only experienced HVAC technicians can deliver.
Here’s what to expect when you call in the pros to perform annual HVAC system maintenance:
Check the thermostat: The tech makes sure the thermostat is calibrated correctly to ensure comfort in every season. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat installed, the technician may recommend one and install it for you on the spot.
Tighten electrical connections: Loose connections are dangerous and can cause improper operation that shortens the equipment’s lifespan. The technician also measures voltage and current on equipment motors.
Lubricate all moving parts: Lack of lubrication causes high amounts of friction in the system. This can cause it to overheat and break down. Adding lubrication helps parts move smoothly against one another, decreasing electricity use and lowering your energy bills.
Inspect the condensate drain: Cooling equipment and condensing furnaces produce condensate when they operate. Under normal conditions, the condensate collects in a pan and drains away to the outside. However, over time sludge or algae can form in the drain pipe and create a blockage. During times of high usage, the drain pan may overflow and cause water damage to the equipment or your home. A technician checks the condensate drain to make sure it’s draining properly and cleans it out if necessary.
Check system controls: The start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence should occur in a particular fashion. The technician checks the controls to make sure everything is operating safely and properly.
Clean and adjust the blower: Issues with the blower can decrease equipment efficiency by up to 15 percent. Making adjustments ensures proper airflow and ample home comfort.
Clean the condenser coils (cooling specific): Soiled coils slowly decrease efficiency and make the equipment run longer. Cleaning the coils annually is an important part of maintaining theA/C’s capacity, ensuring lower energy bills and prolonging equipment life.
Check refrigerant charge (cooling specific): If the air conditioner was charged too high at installation, you could be paying much more than necessary to cool your home. An undercharged system also can develop if the system has a leak. A technician checks for these circumstances, repairs any leaks that are present, and recharges the system if necessary.
Check fuel line connections (heating specific): Poor gas connections are a fire hazard. They can also cause health problems if fumes are able to escape into your home. Tightening the connections ensures safe operation.
Inspect the gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger (heating specific): Incorrect pressure, a dirty burner or a cracked heat exchanger can result in improper burner operation. These circumstances also can cause unsafe and inefficient operation. Adjusting the pressure and cleaning the burner are two viable options to improve operation and lower your heating bills, but if the heat exchanger is cracked, it’s likely you’ll need to purchase a new furnace.
An important part of preventative maintenance is hiring a contractor with the right skills and experience for the job. Cool Tech Heating & Air Conditioning has over 25 years of experience serving the Charlotte, NC area with superior HVAC services ranging from installation to maintenance to emergency repair.