Call O'Donnell Plumbing, Heating & Air for air conditioning repair and replacements, ventilation problems, and heat pump repair and seasonal safety inspections. We are your complete Home Air Comfort Specialists.
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Many of the problems that occur with central air conditioning systems are due to dirt, dust and debris. When you call in an HVAC technician to perform basic maintenance on your system, the tech will pay attention to certain parts of your system that get dirty over time.
- Air Filter Replacement
Forced-air heating and cooling systems rely on air filters to remove dust, pollen and other particulates from the air so that they don’t form dirt deposits on the evaporator coil or get circulated throughout the house. Each air handler unit in your forced-air system will have its own air filter. Some HVAC system air filters are reusable, while others must be replaced when they get dirty. Your HVAC contractor can tell you which type of filter you have, confirm that the correct size is being used, and show you how to replace or clean the filter.
- Coil Cleaning
A central air conditioning system has an evaporator coil located inside each air handler, and a condenser coil located outdoors. Each coil contains a long, serpentine run of copper tubing, covered by aluminum fins that promote good heat exchange. Dirt that collects on coils and fins can reduce your system’s cooling capacity by 30%, forcing your AC system to work longer and harder. Because AC coils are tricky to clean (and prone to damage), it’s best to have this part of your system professionally cleaned.
- Condensate Drain Cleaning
In addition to cooling your interior air, your AC system also removes excess humidity from the air. Water condenses out of the air and needs to drain outside or to an interior drain. Part of regular AC system service should include cleaning the condensate drain and making sure there are no clogs or obstructions that might cause backups.
Ignoring any problems with your system, and not performing necessary air conditioning maintenance, can cost you more money in the long run, shorten the lifespan of your cooling system, and can mean having to replace your system sooner.
- Dirty coils.
A central AC system or mini-split air conditioner will have two coils: an evaporator coil in the air handler and a condensing coil in the system’s outdoor module. Over time, these coils accumulated a buildup of dirt and debris that can diminish system efficiency by as much as 30%. Professional coil cleaning will solve this problem.
- Burned-out compressor motor.
This motor is located in the outdoor module for your AC system. Call O'Donnell Plumbing, Heating & Air if the motor starts to sound loud or different when it’s operating. Motor life can be shortened when other parts of the system aren’t properly maintained.
- Blocked condensate drain.
Your AC system doesn’t just cool the air; it also removes humidity. When airborne moisture condenses in the air handler, the resulting water (condensate) should drain outside or to an interior drain line. If the condensate drain becomes blocked, this could result in water damage. In other cases, condensate drain blockage triggers an overflow switch that automatically shuts off the system. Cleaning & clearing the condensate drain should be a part of your system’s regular service.
- Leaking refrigerant.
The refrigerant in an air conditioner is supposed to circulate in a sealed system that doesn’t leak or consume the material. If your AC system is low on refrigerant, it’s always better to find and fix the leak than to keep adding refrigerant.
- Blower problems.
Located in the air handler, the blower simultaneously pushes conditioned air through supply ducts to your living space and pulls an equal volume of indoor air back (through return ducts) to be reconditioned. Common problems in this area include an unbalanced fan, a bad blower motor, or a faulty drive belt.
It’s important NOT to take a "one-size-fits-all" approach when installing an AC system. To get the best efficiency, comfort and overall value, we will take the time to specify a "right-sized" air conditioning system and choose AC components that match your home’s requirements.
- Existing forced-air heating system.
If your home already has a ductwork system that delivers warm air throughout the house during winter months, the same ductwork can distribute cooled air from a new central AC system.
- Existing forced-air heating & cooling.
In this case, you already have central AC, but your old system needs to be replaced. If you plan to stay in your house, this is a smart upgrade because new ENERGY STAR® equipment can be more than twice as efficient as older equipment.
- No forced-air system.
Since it’s difficult & expensive to install new ductwork in an existing house, you might consider having mini-split, “ductless” air conditioning installed. Each room will get a compact, wall-mounted air handler with its own wireless controller, making it easy to control temperatures in each room. Avoid the portable, window-mounted AC option if possible. It cuts off your view and your option for natural ventilation during milder weather. It’s also the noisiest option.