11 Point Inspection

July 29, 2022

Just like your automobile, your A/C needs regular maintenance to keep it in good working order. Whether we are called to your home for a one-time maintenance visit or one of our ongoing simplified service plan (SSP) visits, we stand by our commitment to going above and beyond with our 11-point A/C inspection.

Our standard 11-point A/C inspection includes:

1. Inspection of Refrigerant lines and insulation

Refrigerant lines are responsible for carrying the refrigerant in your A/C unit between the condensing unit and the evaporator coil. Inspection is key as these lines often get damaged from getting stepped on, hit by weed-whackers, impact from items falling on them (ie- tree branches), hit by lawn mowers, etc. The lines’ insulation is imperative to the efficiency of the lines, especially during extreme weather, and can break down overtime from UV damage.

2. Inspection of outdoor coil for dirt

The outdoor unit draws air through for proper heat dissipation. If too much dust and dirt build up on the coil, it negatively effects the performance of the AC unit by not effectively removing heat from your home. As part of a SSP maintenance plan, we provide chemical wash of this coil to prevent the condenser from overheating during our spring/summer visit.

3. Inspection of the air filter(s)

Although this is the easiest task for a homeowner to manage for the unit to continue running properly, filters get neglected often. Inspecting the air filter to ensure it has been changed recently—and, equally importantly, is the correct filter type for the unit-- is key for the unit to effectively control air quality in your home.

4. Inspection of the Overflow Safety Switch(es), if present

Safety overflow switches, which prevent water damage from occurring, should be present on all A/C equipment. We test these switches during inspection to make sure they shut the equipment down as intended. Remember these components are usually sitting in hot attics and should not be overlooked.

5. Check refrigerant levels

The only way to verify if your AC is working is by using metering devices which check the levels of refrigerant can also be incorrect and cause problems. The only way to verify if these are working is to take pressure and temperature readings at the equipment to determine if there is a leak or other issue that needs to be resolved.

6. Check temperature differential at supply and return plenums (commonly referred to as Delta T)

Delta T tells us how a system is performing. It is a measurement used to help estimate the efficiency of an air conditioning system and is measured while checking the refrigerant charge. A/C manufacturers expect there to be a 15–25-degree temperature difference from what is going into the equipment vs what is coming out.

7. Check Capacitors

In simplest terms, a capacitor is a high voltage battery. And, while tt is the number one cause of break downs in your HVAC equipment, it is also (good news!) the cheapest part to replace. If a technician says a capacitor should be replaced, we always recommend doing so as it is a much more cost-effective way to keep your overall A/C unit running smoothly-- a $150 capacitor keeps $800 motors and $2,000 compressors running smoothly.

8. Check the electrical connections

The connections that hold the electrical wires in place get loose over time from the vibration of the equipment, temperature change expansion and contraction from hot to cold, and/or part failure. Tightening a loose connection can prevent major low or high voltage electrical arcing problems—an easy inspection fix during a service call that can prevent a huge safety hazard. Fun fact: Did you know that electrical arcing can run up to 35,000 degrees? That is about 3X hotter than the surface of the sun, and certainly not something we recommend so close to your home!

9. Check thermostat calibration

You trust the number shown on your thermostat right? But, is it correct? We find thermostats can be over or under by as much as 4 degrees! No wonder why you (or your significant other) felt hot! We will check the calibration and adjust if possible during a service call so you can be confident in the room temperature next time you want to argue over who gets more (or less) covers at bedtime.

10. Look for any bug/rodent/pest issues pertaining to HVAC penetrations

Unfortunately, this one can be more common than expected. Refrigerant lines, electrical lines, drain lines: all of these penetrate through the exterior wall of your home and can be intruded and, thus, impacted by pests. And, while state law says these enclosures must be pest/rodent proof, it happens. We like animals but not bugs, mice and snakes...stay outside intruders!

11. Inspect ductwork and connections for air leaks

Ducts should be airtight, sealed with either tape, mastic sealant or both. If not sealed airtight, you are either leaking conditioned air to the outside or pulling outdoor air into your home—neither of which are good for your energy bill or your air quality. The longer you put off sealing and cleaning your air ducts, the worse your air quality and energy efficiency will become.

Now that you understand the importance of each step in our inspection process, schedule one today to get started or sign up for our Simplified Service Plan (SSP), the best way to ensure your air conditioning unit stays running strong, and it keeps smaller issues from turning into larger ones.

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