Pre-Summer HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

HVAC Preventative Maintenance

Spring HVAC Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Times change very rapidly. Daily experiences and routines have changed dramatically over the last 50 to 100 years as most Texans move out of a rural, agrarian annual schedule to an urban schedule. The planting/harvesting schedule has changed to a heating/cooling schedule as we spend more time indoors.

This should remind us that there are two ideal times to have an HVAC system cleaned and inspected—the beginning of the cooling season and the beginning of the heating season. At the beginning of the season, air conditioner or furnace demands are relatively light, making room in the schedule for technicians.

When the temperature turns hot, it puts stress on both residential and commercial air conditioner systems. Repair calls increase when the temperature is extreme, so get your air conditioner serviced early in the season.

HVAC Preventative Maintenance: Filter Focus

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times. But it bears repeating since homeowners do not prepare or schedule air filter changes regularly. The air filter needs to be changed at least every three months, so use the change of seasons (which happens every three months) as a prompt to change air filters.

Expect the technician to change the air filter during a pre-cooling season visit, but homeowners must replace the filters throughout the year.

HVAC Preventative Maintenance: Condenser Care

The outdoor condenser unit is one of two extremely important components for air conditioner function. The heat from inside is released to the outdoor air through the condenser coil, a network of thin tubing and metal fins, designed to dissipate heat.

The openings between the tubes and fins will collect dirt, dust, and lawn debris—clippings and leaves. Should a dirty coil fail to release the heat, it will lead to an overheated compressor and catastrophic failure of the system.

Gently cleaning away the accumulated dust will increase the efficiency of heat transfer and improve the air conditioner’s function.

HVAC Preventative Maintenance: Evaporator Care

The second major component of the air conditioner’s function is the evaporator coil. It is found inside a chamber within the central HVAC cabinet. It absorbs the heat and transports it to the condenser. This coil must also be cleaned for the very same reason—the efficient transfer of heat.

This coil remains cool during cooling cycles. This allows moisture from humid air to condense and drip onto a drain pan underneath. This pan will be cleaned, and an additive released into the drain line to prevent algae growth. Should this drain line clog, the water will overflow the pan and leak onto the surrounding floor. This is an avoidable mess.

HVAC Preventative Maintenance: Refrigerant Testing

The key chemical that makes air conditioning possible is refrigerant gas; a variety of formulas are used, depending on the age of the system. The gas is kept in a closed system of tubes, being squeezed and released repeatedly during each cooling cycle. Since it is under pressure, the slightest flaw will allow the gas to leak into the atmosphere.

The air conditioner will not function without the gas, so a technician will test the pressure and add refrigerant to bring it to the proper pressure. (If gas is missing, there is a leak. Finding a leak should accompany the addition of refrigerant.)

HVAC Preventative Maintenance: Electronic Testing

A series of sensors, switches, and controllers make the whole air conditioner system work, and it works hard. If your air conditioner cycles an average of four times per hour, it will cycle on and off more than 20,000 times during the cooling season.

That is a lot of wear and tear! Finding a flaw early can avoid a service call later, so electrical connections and controls will be thoroughly tested to avoid an unnecessary service call during a heat wave.

Need help with HVAC Preventative Maintenance? We Can Help!

Let Doctor Cool help with your HVAC Preventative Maintenance questions. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool.

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