–Spring has arrived and even though there are still more cool days than warm, the summer heat is not far behind. Now is the time to make sure the home and office air conditioning (AC) is in top shape says Arne Johansen, co-owner of Air Rite, the Atascadero air conditioning repair company.
Any number of things can cause an AC system to leak or stop working altogether and it’s better to find out now before AC problems make a triple-digit hot day even more uncomfortable. Before making the appointment for an inspection, here are a couple of things a homeowner or maintenance crew can check.
- Turn on the AC to see if it is blowing cold air into every room and cycles according to thermostat settings.
- Check the batteries on battery-powered thermostats
- Make sure all of the vents are open so that the air can circulate through all of the rooms.
- Check the HVAC unit for any signs of leaks or water that may have collected around it from rain.
- Check and change any filter if needed.
- Check ducts for dirt by removing the vent cover and wiping the side of the duct with a clean cloth. Also look for spider webs and evidence of rodents, such as droppings. If possible check the actual ductwork for leaks or cracks.
- Make notes of anything that seems to be a problem, such as cold air not reaching everywhere it should, the AC is not cycling properly, or rodent droppings.
This is information the technician will find useful. For example, if cool air is not reaching all of the rooms and the vents are all open, it is indicating a leak in the AC unit or perhaps a blockage somewhere in the duct system. Air Rite technicians always arrive prepared for every possibility, but the more information available in advance of the appointment can help save time and money.
Things that could cause AC to not work properly include:
- A dirty filter
- Low refrigerant
- Thermostat problems
- Leaky or dirty ductwork
Filters eventually become clogged with dirt, dust, pollen, and mold spores. A clogged filter forces the system to work harder; wasting energy and can shorten the life of a heating and AC system. Manufacturers recommend frequently checking the filter and replacing it if it is dirty, or at least every few months.
The refrigerant absorbs heat from the outside air in the winter to provide warmth and gives off heat in summer to keep rooms cool. If there is a leak, the technician will repair it and recharge the refrigerant.
Where the thermostat is located can cause it to measure the temperature inaccurately, or components could be dirty from built-up dust. Or, there could be a wiring problem. A thermostat that is not operating correctly is not going to cycle the air properly, leaving rooms too cold or too warm.
Leaky or Dirty Ductwork
Leaks, blockages, cracks, and dust and dirt build up lower a system’s efficiency. Insects and rodents can also invade ductwork. Ducts should be professionally inspected and repaired if any of these signs are evident. To help prevent problems, ducts should be professionally inspected every three to five years.
The importance of timely maintenance and repair
The team from Air Rite is always available for AC inspections, maintenance, and repairs. The company’s service pledge is to perform quality work at an honest and fair price, and this includes helping home and business owners with cost-saving recommendations. Air Rite has been serving and supporting satisfied customers on the Central Coast community since 1983. A family-owned business, the company owners, Rick and Arne Johansen, also support a number of community organizations and youth activities.