System Maintenance

Air Conditioning and Heating System Maintenance

System-Maintenance-1When Should You Do It?If your air conditioning system both heats and cools your home, you should have maintenance performed in the spring and fall. If you have a cooling-only or heating-only system, maintenance should be performed at least once a year prior to the heating or cooling season. For a list of what you should expect during a preventive maintenance service check-up, check out our suggested pre-season preventive maintenance list below.

An Inside Look At System MaintenanceExpect us to do a complete system operation check in both cooling and heating modes. If you have a heat pump, we should check the defrost operation, as well. All other major components and safety devices should be checked. The air conditioner’s coils, both indoors and out, should be cleaned, as well as the indoor blower housing and blower wheel. Most modern residential air conditioning and heating fan motors have permanently-lubricated bearings so no additional lubrication is needed.

All of our residential air conditioning systems produced after 1990 have a direct drive blower, which means there are no fan belts to inspect. However, if you have an older system with a fan belt, be sure to have the fan belts checked and replaced if needed. Your duct system should also be checked. Inefficient operation can be caused by return air leaks located in non-air conditioned spaces like attics or crawl areas. Hot or cold air is drawn in through the leak, which is then heated or cooled by your system. This decreases your system’s ability to heat or cool your home and increases your energy bill, as well.

Pre-Season Preventive Maintenance Check ListWe recommend all maintenance and service work be performed by a professional air conditioning and heating dealer that holds the appropriate credentials to install and service air conditioning and heating equipment. Let your friends and relatives help you paint or cut grass if they feel the need to help around your home.

Outdoor Unit/Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Preventive Maintenance Checklist

  • Inspect unit and pad for proper level and adjust if necessary
  • Clean dirt, leaves and debris from inside cabinet
  • Inspect base pan for restricted drain openings – remove obstructions as necessary
  • Inspect coil and cabinet – clean as needed
  • Inspect fan motor and fan blades for wear and damage – on older models lubricate as needed
  • Inspect control box, associated controls/accessories, wiring and connections. Controls may include contractors, relays, circuit boards, capacitors, sump heat and other accessories. All control box and electrical parts should be checked for wear or damage.
  • Inspect compressor and associated tubing for damage

Indoor Unit/Furnace or Air Handle

  • Inspect and clean blower assembly (includes blower housing, blower wheel and motor)
  • On older models lubricate motor and inspect and replace fan belt if needed
  • Check combustion blower housing for lint and debris and clean as necessary
  • Inspect evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain lines. Clean as needed
  • Inspect for gas leaks in gas furnaces
  • Inspect burner assembly – clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect ignition system and safety controls – clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect heat exchanger or heating elements
  • Inspect flue system – Check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. Replace if necessary.
  • Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections
  • Clean or replace air filters
  • Inspect conditioned air flow system (ductwork) – check for leaks

While System is Operating

  • Monitor system starting characteristics and capabilities
  • Listen for abnormal noise
  • Search for source of unusual odors
  • Monitor air conditioning and heat pump systems for correct refrigerant charge
  • Measure outdoor dry bulb temperature
  • Measure indoor dry and wet bulb temperature
  • Measure high and low side system pressures
  • Monitor gas furnace for correct line and manifold gas pressure – make adjustments as needed
  • Measure temperature rise and adjust airflow as needed
  • Check vent system for proper operation
  • Monitor system for correct line and load volts/amps
  • Monitor system operation per manufacturer’s specifications
  • Provide system operation report and recommend repairs or replacement as necessary