Springtime is here!
And that means our technicians are starting to get busy doing routine maintenance to prepare furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps for their transition to summertime operation. Sometimes home owners look over their shoulders and think, “Hey, that’s simple. I’ll save money by doing it myself next time.” Many tasks become second nature when you perform them day after day like our technicians do but it’s easy to overlook things when you tackle a project once a year.
For example, let’s just take one of multiple tasks involved in our annual clean and check procedures for our AC maintenance. It’s important to clean the outdoor condensing unit that’s been exposed to the elements all winter long. Dirt, leaves and other debris usually accumulate around the condensing coils and this can severely hamper performance. This isn’t rocket science, but unless you have the proper tools you may end up doing more harm than good.
First, the grille cover needs to be removed with a screw driver. Once the grilled cover is removed, the dirt and debris needs to be cleaned from the condensing coils. When cleaning the coil fins, you have to be careful not to bend them. The coil fins are delicate and cleaning them requires a soft brush, spray gun and shop vacuum.
If we find bent coils, they should be straightened out with a special tool called a fin comb. These come in varieties that include single, multiple or interchangeable heads having different fin comb sizes and counts. Straightening the bent fins requires matching the teeth count of the comb to the fins per inch of the coil. Then we carefully draw the comb across the bent coil fins.
We also lubricate the fan bearings and motor. This requires removing the protective side grille and the top panel that protects the fan and motor of the condensing unit, without disturbing any wiring connections. Then we locate the fan motor oil ports above the fan and place a few drops of lightweight household oil into each port.
Finally, after putting everything back together we use a mechanic’s level to make sure the condenser is level for proper operation. If it’s seriously out-of-level, you may need to replace the concrete slab block the unit sets upon. An experienced pro makes all of these steps seem routine and simple but when you don’t do them day after day, it’s easy to omit steps. Give us a call instead and we’ll take out the guess work for you.Benefits of Having Solar Water Heaters Installed » « Certifications A Heating & Air Technician Should Have