Summer is Coming – Air Conditioning Maintenance
The Florida summer is just around the corner, and with it comes heat and humidity.
You have been asked in the past about taking out a service agreement on your air conditioning system, but you’ve always declined. “I’ll think about it,” you say, but it never seems all that important until the next time you have to call out your AC repair company.
Now is the time to think about it before the hot weather comes.
If you live in New Port Richey, Tampa, Orlando, or any of the surrounding cities, you know what to expect once March is over. The Upper 80s and 90s until the end of October. 70-80% humidity from May through October, and you can bet your life if your air conditioning is going to break down, it’ll happen at the weekend when it’s 90 degrees outside and your home is getting warmer by the minute. Don’t you wish you had an air conditioning maintenance agreement, and you can get the system fixed the same day? Calling a company who tells you, “We can fit you in next Tuesday” isn’t going to cut it.
So, you ask yourself, what benefits would I get from having of having a service agreement?
Here are just a few:
- A cooler, more comfortable indoor space
- Lower utility bills
- A much longer lifespan for your system
- Fewer repairs
- No overtime charges on nights and weekends
- Discount on all air conditioning repair work
- Quieter cooling
- Better for the environment
At R.J. Kielty Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling we are conscious of the need to prevent costly repairs, which is why a service agreement with us is value for money.
Your air conditioning system runs practically all the time during the summer months, and you don’t have any problems, do you? Probably not, until you do.
Let’s look at a few of the things that can go wrong without regular maintenance.
- Dirty air filters
- Leaking coolant
- Condenser coil problems.
- Blown capacitors
- Compressor malfunctions
- Thermostat troubles
- Blower motor not working
- Ducts leaking air
- Drain line blocked
- Faulty limit switch
The value of having maintenance done on your system.
Dirty Air Filters
Your air conditioning system is designed with return registers, which will have air filters installed or the air handlers may have a “whole house” filter. Either way, the filters are there for a reason. To help prevent dirt, dust, microorganisms, and other unwanted fine particles from being recycled and blown back into the home. Air filters are one of the most common items forgotten by homeowners, but leaving them to get dirty or clogged is a big mistake. They will reduce the airflow, making the system work harder than it should, which can lead to component failures and shorten the air conditioner’s lifespan.
If you don’t maintain your system regularly, then chances are at some point in time, it will leak refrigerant. This is not caused by bad manufacturing defects or incorrect installation. It’s because, during the Florida summer, the system is running almost continuously to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Without regular checkups, you run the risk of having temperature fluctuations in the home, or worse, a total breakdown.
Condenser coil problems
If you’re like most homeowners, keeping the condenser in good working order is probably the last thing on your mind. The condenser unit is the whole exterior part of the system, and the condenser coil’s function is to collect the warm air from inside the home and release it to the outside air.
Because of the location, the biggest problem with the condenser coil is dirt, and it doesn’t take a lot of dirt to produce problems. It only takes a fraction of an inch, 0.04”, of dirt to build-up on the coils and you’ve got a problem in the making.
Capacitors are small, important parts of the system, few homeowners know about. They are needed to run the motor that powers the fans and the compressor, and without them, the system will not work. The capacitor is like your car’s starter. It starts everything in motion and without air conditioning maintenance, you could be without cool air.
The whole air conditioning system depends on a working compressor. The main function of the compressor is to drive the refrigerant through the condenser coils to dissipate the heat. If the compressor breaks down, the refrigerant stops circulating, and you don’t have any cool air. Your compressor should be regularly checked because if not, you’re tempting fate. It will fail eventually, and the cost of a compressor-related air conditioning repair can be costly.
With our annual or bi-annual inspections, we can prevent any failures before they happen.
You can have trouble with your thermostat if not inspected on a regular basis. Problems like being unresponsive to your input, not changing the temperature after you adjust it up or down, or it displays the wrong temperature. All common problems are easily remedied by our technicians during your maintenance visit.
Blower motor not working
The blower is the one component of your system that keeps the air circulating throughout the house. If the motor dies, your airflow dies, and cool air is no longer anywhere to be found in your home. The main cause of a blower failure is dirt accumulating on the motor because of poor maintenance. Not having your system checked at least once a year is asking for trouble, and trouble usually hits when it’s least expected, or when you need the air conditioner the most.
Ducts leaking air
The ductwork of your AC system is what distributes the cold air from the air handler to the rooms in your home. It has been estimated that over 25% of the total circulated air is lost due to leaking ductwork. That’s over 25% of the money you are spending on cooling or heating your home lost in the attic, walls, or floor. Gone. Spent. Wasted.
Our service technicians will conduct an inspection of the ductwork to see if there are any leaks and recommend any necessary repairs.
Drain line blocked
When you have your thermostat set to cool, and the system is running, a certain amount of water is collected when the evaporator in the AC unit converts the refrigerant from liquid to gas. Attached to the air handler is a drain line, which is designed to remove this water to the outside. To prevent any overflow from the drain line, there is an AC float switch connected to it, and if the line gets blocked or clogged, then the switch is triggered shutting off the system. Checking the drain line and float switch is part of our normal AC maintenance visits.
Faulty limit switch
An AC limit switch controls a link between the thermostat and the air handler blower. When the thermostat reaches the chosen temperature, a limit switch is triggered. This stops the system from producing any further cool air. Another limit switch is triggered at the same time, turning off the air handler unit itself, so that uncooled air doesn’t keep blowing through the vents.
If there is a fault in a limit switch, the result will be for the AC to cycle too fast, turning the system off quicker than it should, or not switching off at all.
This is another item checked by us on a routine maintenance check-up.
These are just a few of the problems that you could experience if you don’t look after your air conditioning system.
At R.J. Kielty Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling we have been in business since 1973 serving the New Port Richey, Tampa, and Orlando areas. We pride ourselves on our customer service and can service your repair, maintenance, and installation needs, 24/7, 365 days a year.
We offer a “no-hassle” guarantee and 100% satisfaction with every job.
We know you have many choices when it comes to your HVAC service, but to give you some idea of what we offer, here is a list of items in our 25-point HVAC Check-up.
We check and/or inspect the following:
- HP Reversing Valve
- Back-up heat strips
- Blower amps
- Fan amps
- Compressor amps
- Freon charge
- Disconnect and panel doors
- Drain pan & condensate lines
- Clean the condensate line and add a preventative solution
- Evaporator coil
- Clean outside condenser coil
- Condenser coil
- Air filters
- Tighten any loose electrical connections
- Lubricate applicable moving parts
- Test limit switch
- Inspect wiring and connections
- Thermostat and batteries
- Cycle unit from the thermostat
- Check ductwork for leaks
- Inspect any gas joints & pressures (If applicable)
- Blower wheel
- Verify equipment specifications
- Clean and apply protectant to exterior equipment
- Remove any debris from inside equipment
Without proper maintenance on your AC system, it’s not a matter of IF, it’s WHEN will something fail, and it could prove costly.
So, don’t sweat it. Call us today at (800) 330-5486 and let us keep you cool.