Preventative Maintenance on Air Conditioning Equipment

Is doing preventative maintenance on air conditioning equipment essential? Yes, extremely.

Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance, while the equipment’s energy use will steadily increases.

Nu-Calgon coil cleanerThe most important maintenance that needs to be done to ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to keep the indoor and outdoor coils clean. An easy way to keep the indoor coil clean is to routinely replace the air filters. Dirty filters or dirty indoor coils restrict airflow and reduce a system's efficiency significantly. The dirtier the air filter, the more likely it is for air to bypass the filter and carry dirt directly to the evaporator coil, which will impair the coil's heat transfer capacity.

What type of coil cleaner do you need? You need to know what the coils are made of. Some of the coils are aluminum, some are copper. You should check the manufacturer’s literature for cleaning info. This Nu-Calgon information sheet can help you decide what coil cleaner is best for the job.

Keeping the condenser coil clean is just as important as the indoor coil. The condenser coils are not designed to have an air filter and it’s a bad idea to fabricate a filter for it. If the condenser coil gets dirty, it loses it’s capability to transfer heat just like the indoor coil. Also, a dirty outdoor coil can cause nuisance faults on High Efficiency units with sensor and inverters.

Recently we received a call on a variable speed unit saying the outdoor fan was having a current fault. The cause of the fault was a dirty condenser coil. It was plugged and not letting enough air flow go across the heat sink of the inverter, which resulted in it not working right.

The electronics in the equipment will need your attention. Make sure the electrical compartments are clear of debris and dust and that no critters have decided to take up residence in this area. Be sure to visually inspect all terminals, contact points, wiring, and fuses. Be sure to test capacitors for microfarads, motor windings for resistance, and supply voltages to loads. Taking these readings can help prevent electrical failures with the equipment and costly repairs for the end users. Some of our newer systems use sensors or thermistors to communicate with logic boards in the equipment. With these sensors/thermistors you need to make sure the surfaces that they are mounted to are clean. Also check the other end where they connect. They need to be plugged all the way on to the board. While doing this, it’s also a good idea to check any boards for dirt and corrosion.

Help improve comfort and efficiency of an air conditioner by doing maintenance. The more efficient the unit, the better maintenance program it needs. Follow these directions and you and your customers will be ready for the summer! Contact the team at B-Y with any questions.

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