Is your AC system ready for summer?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2016 in Preventative Maintenance | 0 comments

Is your AC System ready for summer?

If you have a heat pump or AC System in the Charlottesville, Staunton, or Harrisonburg area’s there are some things you need to know about your system. First and foremost it is vital that you change your air filters on a quarterly basis. Reduce the time to 60 days or as often as 30 days if you have multiple pets. Especially if your pets shed a lot, pet hair will block the air supply of your AC unit. If you can imagine breathing through a straw, that is what dirty filters do to your system. Dirty air filters can also cause the unit to freeze up in the summertime leaving you with no AC and potential water damage.

Air restriction can cause short and long term issues with your AC system. The biggest and most expensive problem caused by not changing your air filter and keeping the system clean is premature compressor failure. With airflow restriction the amperage is raised on the compressor causing the interal temperature to rise. This is terrible for the motor windings of the compressor! Electrical parts do not like excessive heat, the extra heat will cause the compressor to fail prematurely. The only fix for a compressor that has bad motor windings is to replace it. Most HVAC service providers discourage replacing a compressor in an R-22 system.  The service providers that will replace your compressor will charge anywhere from $2000 to $3000. That is if a compressor is still available for your unit.

If you have an R-22 system parts and refrigerant are becoming scarce. Due to EPA regulations R-22 is being phased out, beginning in 2020 production of R-22 will cease. The cost is going up on the refrigerant and the parts due to low production.

How do you know if you have a R-22 system? All of the system information will be on a plate located on the exterior of your unit. The plate also has your model and serial number. If you need service on your unit you have your system information readily available.

In addition to changing your air filter, as needed, it is also vital that you have a full system check once a year. Typically this is done in the spring before the start of the hotter months. This will include cleaning the coils (inside and out), cleaning the condensate drain pan and drain line. They will also check amperage draws on the start up of the fans and compressor. The freon charge does need to be checked as well to insure proper operation. Typically that is done on a service call or every other year. A low refrigerant charge will cause no a “no cool” condition in the summer. If the charge level is low the inside coils will freeze. This can cause water damage depending on the location of your air handler inside your home.

Small things such as changing your air filter and servicing your heat pump or AC unit regularly can prevent costly breakdowns. If you are experiencing difficulties with your AC unit or would like to have a full system check we are a phone call away, (540)874- CVRS (2877).