At legacy air we are striving to be the best HVAC company. This means making sure we are known primarily for our customer Service. This is why we have developed this page and several others like it, where we are counting on the concept that if we help you better understand the things you can do yourself, you aer more likely to come back to us for help with the things that might be a little tougher to handle.
Here are some steps you can do to make sure your HVAC systems are running at peak performance capabilities right before the summer season….
1. Most important is to always change your air filters. A dirty air filter can sabotage both the efficiency and longevity of your heating and cooling systems so change them often. This will also help to prevent a more expensive A-line/Indoor Coil cleaning.
2. Spraying down your outdoor/condenser coil. This is a pretty easy task, really. You will want to remove the fan from the top of the unit. First things first, though, switch the service disconnect to the off position or pull the fuse if so equipped. This will prevent the fan from accidentally coming on during the cleaning should the thermostat call for it. There is usually three to four screws holding the fan down. Remove these screws and pull the fan up and lay it upside down on top of the cabinet of your outdoor coil. The wires connecting the outdoor fan motor are usually long enough that you should have no problem positioning the fan out of your way. Take your garden hose and spray the coils off from THE INSIDE OUT. There is also a coil cleaner you can purchase at your local HVAC supply house if you have a dog like mine who uses your coil as his “post”. Once the coils are thoroughly sprayed down you can replace the fan and screws and turn your disconnect back to the on position.
3. Hold that thought. Check the electrical components of your outdoor coil. Go back to the disconnect and put it back to the off position or remove the fuses. You still need to check the electrical connections at your outside unit. Once you are sure the disconnect is off, pull the electrical panel covering your outdoor coils electrical components. Once it is removed you can check for loose wire connections that could cause arcing, grounding, or shorting. Check your contactor for pitting at the points (a pitted or corroded contactor can cause the contactor to chatter or stick). If you have an electrical multi-meter you can check your amp draw on the compressor and the condenser fan motor. Make sure you are getting the proper voltage to your system, both on the high side and low side circuits. If your multi-meter has a MFD setting on it you can check the capacitor(s) to make sure they are within +/- 5% of there ratings. If they are not or they are close to being not within this range than replace them. A failing capacitor can take the motor it is designed to help, out with it when it goes.
4. Check the refrigerant circuit for proper operation. This can get complicated and the method for checking it depends on a variety of things including the type of your metering device, ambient temperature both inside and out, saturation temps and all manner of things. A decent indicator of if your refrigerant circuit is running well is to check your temperature split between your supply air and your return air. Put your wife’s turkey baster thermometer thingy (not sure of the technical name she would call it) in the supply air outlet furthest from your supply plenum. The temperature should be roughly 17-23 degrees different than the reading on your thermostat for indoor air temp.
5. Check the duct connections in your attic for loose or broken connections. A loose connection can cause havoc on your house’s air balance not to mention the loss of efficiency of your system overall. These are usually easily fixed with duct tape or duct sealer available at your local hardware store.
Good Luck and God Bless
We hope this helps and as always if you have any problems give us a call at (702) 453-4229