If you have an older air conditioner, you may need AC repair this summer–especially if your system hasn’t been maintained with professional annual tune-ups. Before calling for HVAC service, try these troubleshooting tips for some of the most common solutions to air conditioning problems.
Problem: AC won’t turn on.
- Make sure the thermostat is set to the cooling mode.
- Turn down your thermostat by 5 degrees and wait a few minutes to see if it kicks on.
- Make sure the circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.
- Check the condensate tray for proper drainage. If it’s clogged, your air conditioner may automatically turn off.
- Make sure the air handler compartment is tightly closed.
Problem: Poor air supply from the registers.
- Replace your air filter if it’s dirty. A full air filter will reduce the airflow to and from your system, and is one of the most common causes for the need for AC repair
- Check your ductwork and seal loose joints and cracks, a common culprit for air leaks.
- Remove furniture and window treatments from in front of your supply and return registers to ensure proper air flow to your system.
Problem: Frequent cycling on and off.
- Make sure your thermostat isn’t obstructed.
- Spray down the outdoor condensing unit with a hose to wash away dirt and grass clippings from the metal fins. Don’t allow plants to grow close to your unit.
- Replace your air filter if it’s dirty.
Problem: AC runs but won’t cool.
- Make sure your thermostat is set to cooling and the fan is set to auto.
- Turn down the thermostat by five degrees and wait a few minutes.
- Hose down the outdoor unit to remove debris from the fins.
Prevention is the key to ensuring you won’t need AC repair this summer. Start with a professional tune-up. A qualified HVAC technician will tighten belts and connections, check the system’s airflow, refrigerant and controls, in addition to other essential tasks.
Over the course of the cooling season, keep your air conditioner in top working order and avoid costly AC repair by performing these tasks:
- Change your air filter when it’s dirty. Most air filters need replacing every one to three months. A dirty filter greatly reduces your system’s efficiency and can cause expensive damage due to poor airflow.
- Keep obstructions away from your return and supply ducts.
- Vacuum the area around your indoor unit monthly to remove dust, which can build up inside the system.
- Hose down your outdoor condensing unit every month to ensure optimum airflow.
If you have any more questions regarding air conditioning repair or service, please contact us today!
Whether you’re in the restaurant business or own a retail store, your commercial HVAC equipment is essential to the comfort of your customers and employees. Commercial HVAC repair can be expensive, compromising your bottom line, and that’s why preventive maintenance on all of your HVAC equipment is essential to keeping your business running smoothly and within budget.
Tips to help prevent the need for commercial HVAC repair.
- Have all of your HVAC equipment maintained annually by a qualified HVAC professional. Preventive maintenance on your air conditioner and furnace, as well as ice machines, refrigerators and freezers, will keep your equipment in tiptop shape, extend the life of each system and keep your operating costs lower by improving your equipment’s efficiency. When you buy a new unit, opt for a maintenance contract, which will save you money and keep your equipment in good shape.
- When you purchase a new piece of equipment, read the manual. Doing so will help you understand how the equipment works and the maintenance tasks that should be performed by you on a regular basis. Knowing a little about the equipment in your business will help you communicate effectively with HVAC professionals in the event commercial HVAC repair is necessary.
- When maintenance and repair is needed, choose a NATE-certified HVAC technician to do the job. NATE, or North American Technician Excellence, is a nonprofit certification organization that is supported by the entire HVAC industry. Technicians who are NATE-certified have passed rigorous tests to ensure a high level of skill and expertise. The callback rate for NATE-certified technicians is much lower than the callback rate for non-NATE certified professionals.
- When you find an HVAC technician who does a good job for you, build a friendly relationship with him and consider him part of your business. This will make it easier to call for service, and will ensure that your technician becomes familiar with your equipment and your needs. A good relationship with your HVAC professional will make it easier for you to keep your equipment in good working condition.
Keeping your commercial HVAC repair bill to a minimum, as well as saving money on utility bills, is a matter of that ounce of prevention that comes from maintaining your HVAC equipment. If your commercial equipment hasn’t been tuned up for awhile, it’s time to make that call and reap the benefits.
The HVAC equipment in your business is essential to the comfort of you, your employees and your customers. Commercial HVAC service can be expensive, but with proper maintenance of your equipment, you can put that extra money into your business. Preventive maintenance begins with a yearly tune-up of your air conditioner, furnace and other equipment, including refrigerators, freezers and ice makers for those in the restaurant business. An annual tune-up will ensure your equipment remains clean, efficient and safe to operate year-round, and will keep your utility bills in check by optimizing the performance of your various HVAC systems.
A qualified HVAC technician will perform commercial HVAC service on your equipment, including:
- Cleaning motors and fans.
- Checking belts for wear.
- Tightening electrical and gas connections.
- Adjusting refrigerant levels.
- Cleaning and adjusting thermostats.
- Checking compressor contacts.
- Testing system controls to ensure the equipment cycles properly.
- Checking air filters and replacing them if they’re dirty
- Checking the safety features of your equipment to ensure the safety of your employees and customers.
What To Do Between Commercial HVAC Service Visits
There are several things you can do to ensure your equipment operates efficiently between commercial HVAC service and maintenance calls:
- Keep your equipment clean.
- Maintain the area around your equipment to keep it free of dust, which can build up inside the equipment and make it work less efficiently, as well as cause expensive damage.
- Check your HVAC filters every two months and replace them when they’re dirty.
- Make sure your equipment is accessible in case commercial HVAC service is needed. Keep obstructions away from your system.
- Keep the supply and return vents in your business free of obstructions, which can hamper the flow of air to the furnace and air conditioner, making them work harder to keep your business comfortable and possibly resulting in expensive repair bills.
When choosing an HVAC company to perform maintenance on your equipment, ask around for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask the HVAC company for references. Make sure your technician is NATE-certified. NATE, or North American Technician Excellence, is a nonprofit certification organization that is recognized by the entire HVAC industry. To become NATE-certified, technicians must pass comprehensive, rigorous tests to ensure a high level of expertise and skill in HVAC service and repair. NATE-certified technicians perform maintenance and repair to very high standards, ensuring the work is done properly the first time and in a timely manner.
Many people have central air conditioning, but few know how their system works. Understanding how your air conditioner works can help you troubleshoot problems with your unit, as well as communicate effectively with HVAC professionals in case air conditioning repair is needed.
Your air conditioner has four main parts: the compressor, the condenser, the expansion valve and the evaporator coil.
- The compressor is found on the outside unit of the air conditioner and pumps refrigerant through the system in a continuous loop. Refrigerant, a chemical that converts continuously from a liquid state to a gas state and back again, enters the compressor as a low pressure, warm gas. The compressor squeezes the liquid until it turns into a high pressure, hot gas.
- The condenser is also found in the outside unit. When the hot gas leaves the compressor, it enters the condenser, where it’s blown by the condenser fan over the finned coils. The refrigerant cools and changes from a hot gas to a hot liquid.
- The hot liquid moves through a tiny hole at high pressure. It emerges on the other side as a low pressure, cold mist.
- The cold mist moves into the evaporator coil located in the indoor unit just above the furnace plenum. Warm air from your home moves across the evaporator coil to be cooled, and is then sent back into your home. The evaporator coil begins to heat up from the warm air, and the refrigerant is converted back into a warm vapor and moves back into the compressor, where the whole cycle repeats itself.
- Your air conditioner use the same blower, fan and ducts as your furnace. The blower sends the cool air in the plenum throughout your home through the duct system.
Because the evaporator and condenser are sealed, air conditioning repair should be done by a qualified HVAC professional. Common problems that may require professional air conditioning repair include:
- A condenser that doesn’t turn on.
- Uneven cooling due to the distribution system being out of balance.
- The system doesn’t cool your home due to a faulty compressor or low refrigerant levels.
Before you call for air conditioning repair, check your fuses, clean the air filter and remove any debris from the outdoor unit. These common problem spots often solve the issue before service is needed.