Now that the Fall season has officially started, it’s time to start thinking about air conditioning maintenance again. Like Spring, the Fall visit is a major service. And it’s a critical one, ensuring proper, and safe, operations come Winter. Though our main office here in Glendale experiences rather temperate winters, our technicians serve sites throughout California where a well-tuned heating system is a necessity. A quality pre-heating season inspection could mean the difference between a warm, comfortable winter and a week at work with no heat.
Fall Maintenance Basics: Filters and Belts
Clean filters are the simplest preventative measure you can take for your units. We go into more detail on filters in our last general maintenance post. Regular filter changes keep your evaporator coils clear and airflow pressures at the correct levels. Remember, clogged filters can cause a myriad of problems easily remedied with proper care. You don’t want your A/C units turning into ice blocks over one little dirty filter.
At RESSAC, we also include a belt check during our standard Fall visit. The option to include a yearly belt change can also be requested. If your equipment doesn’t have belts, as many smaller units 5 tons and under don’t, your program will be priced to reflect that. During the visit, belt tension is adjusted to help protect the pulleys from excess wear, and motor sheaves are tested for proper alignment. For more detailed information on belts, check out our April post.
Fall Maintenance Basics: The Heating Components
If your units are cooling-only, your 3rd quarter service will be minor. Your major tune-up would be in Spring, so a general inspection and filter change in Autumn is all a cooling-only system needs. VAVs also get receive a simpler Fall visit. But for any HVAC unit that supplies heat, the Fall service should include a full inspection, start-up and clean-up of all heating related parts. Gas-fueled systems will have a slightly different procedure than heat pumps, but the core tasks are the same.
- Burners – Gas package units or furnaces only. Mixes the gas and air needed to fuel combustion and create heat. Brushed clean of any accumulated dust annually.
- Gas Lines – Gas package units or furnaces only. Feeds fuel to the unit from a metering device. Connections to the equipment are checked, gas supply confirmed.
- Blower Compartment – Contains the blower motor, as well as the wheel, pulleys and belts in larger systems. Blown clean of any accumulated dust annually.
- Combustion Chamber – Contains the heat exchanger and burners, manifold and gas orifices. Blown clean of any accumulated dust annually.
Fall Maintenance Basics: Additional Steps
Your Fall PM visit is more than just a unit tune-up. It’s an opportunity to fully assess your equipment’s condition and plan for the next year. During this 3rd quarter visit, our technicians verify all equipment tags and records. Exposed duct-work is inspected for proper connections and integrity. We also check the return grills for fouling and vacuumed clean as needed. And the condition of your units is scrutinized. If units are rusting out or no longer operating at optimum efficiency, they’re noted and reported back to us at the office.
Fall maintenances arm our estimators with all the data they need. We then provide every customer with preemptive recommendations for work needed. And winter is an excellent time to schedule those non-critical unit replacements. Your HVAC company will have open installation slots, and your employees will be more comfortable in cooler weather while the AC is disconnected for the replacement. So get your sites on the schedule for Fall service today. And feel free to reach out to our staff at RESSAC Climate Control for any questions.