With the warmest summer months rapidly approaching, people everywhere are realizing the need to tune-up their HVAC systems. Without making sure your air conditioning system is well-maintained and ready to go, you may quickly find yourself facing an unbearable level of heat.
Just as you should go to the doctor every year or so for a regular checkup, your air conditioning unit requires periodic care as well. Many major HVAC issues could have been avoided if the building owner would have taken some preventative care. In order to avoid unexpected costs suddenly emerging, scheduling an appointment with a Denver HVAC company at the beginning of the summer may be in your best interest.
Most standard HVAC check-ups cost around $100 or less. If you are willing to bundle your heating and air conditioning check-up into a single package, you may be able to save even more.
Naturally, there are many things that can potentially go wrong with your air conditioning system over time. The best heating and air conditioning companies will offer a thorough inspection with multiple different points of emphasis. In this article, we will discuss the most important things for an HVAC inspector to service. By making sure the company you are using covers all of the necessary bases, you will be able to find a reliable partner that can help keep things cool.
External Air Conditioning Unit
The majority of new homes and buildings will feature at least a portion of their air conditioning system outdoors. Because this portion of your system is exposed to considerably more elements—rain, snow, heat, wildlife, pollen, etc.—than the indoor components, there are quite a few things that can potentially go wrong. Many HVAC check-ups will begin with a simple inspection of the external air conditioning unit. During this inspection, your HVAC expert will check to make sure all components are operating as desired and that the unit itself is free from outside interference. You may also want to consider paying for a full-unit cleaning.
The condenser is one of the most important components of your air conditioning unit. Essentially, the condenser is the part of your system that cools down the refrigerant vapor until it reaches a liquid state (in other words, condenses). This is necessary in order to begin the process of actually cooling the air. The condenser has multiple different parts including a motor, several tubes and fans, a coil, and several others. If your condenser is currently having issues, it is likely that one of these parts will need replacement.
In order for the air to be effectively “conditioned”, you will need to have a mechanism for absorbing heat. After all, coolness is nothing more than the absence of heat (or particle motion). Evaporator coils are typically made of highly conductive metals such as copper or steel. Without the evaporator, it becomes impossible to accurately control how hot or cold the exiting air (eventually) is. This is one of the most important pieces of your air conditioning unit.
In most homes, the compressor is a component of the air conditioner that can be found outdoors. Just as the condenser was necessary for turning gases into liquids, the compressor is responsible for turning liquids into gases. While this process may initially sound repetitive, it is actually very necessary—without converting gas into liquid and back into gas, the temperature of the air cannot possibly be controlled. The most common causes of compressor issues include grime, dust, and other externalities.
Thermal Expansion Valve
The thermal expansion valve is ultimately the part of the air conditioning process that makes it all possible. This valve helps control the exact amount of refrigerant that is released into the evaporator. The level of refrigerant, as you might expect, has a direct impact on the temperature of whatever air is ultimately produced. Because the thermal expansion valve is controlled by the meter found directly on your unit, these valves are often referred to as “metering devices.” Unlike the compressor, most thermal expansion valve issues are internal and mechanical—this is why hiring a certified HVAC expert is so important.
Mini splits make it possible for homeowners to control the temperature in each of their individual rooms (rather than controlling them all from one centralized location). These are especially desirable in homes with multiple floors, where one floor may have a significantly different natural temperature from another. Mini splits are also useful for apartments where all air conditioning needs to be done locally. Like most AC systems, mini splits have both indoor and outdoor components that need to be cared for.
One of the most common reasons people have difficulty turning on their air conditioning unit in the summer is that their thermostat—not the unit itself—is no longer working. Fortunately, thermostat issues are typically rather easy to fix. During the inspection, your HVAC expert will check to see if your thermostat can turn your unit on and off. They will also check to make sure that the thermostat is actually capable of controlling the temperature.
Leak & Liquids Inspection
As you can probably tell, there are quite a few gases and liquids involved throughout every HVAC process. Naturally, making sure that all of your liquids (refrigerants and otherwise) are within an acceptable range will be very important. During the inspection, make sure your expert gets a reading on all liquid levels. They should also be actively checking for the presence of any potential liquid or gas leaks (this will be even more important in the wintertime). Removing leaks is one of the best ways for you to not only save money, but also reduce your carbon footprint.
The Importance of Preemptive Servicing
One of the last things your HVAC expert will remind you of before they leave is just how important preemptively servicing your systems can be. Replacing a central air conditioning system, costs—on average—around $4,613 in the United States. Instead of taking on this giant cost all at once, you’d be much better off spending $100 per year, making sure that your HVAC system is actively cared for. Additionally, preemptive service will help remove the hassle of having your AC unit break down in the middle of summer.
When you take a look at it more closely, the air conditioning unit really is an incredible invention. Each of its components play a very important role and cooperatively work together to create a comfortable living environment. By getting someone to check on each of these components each year, your system can continue working for many more summers to come.