Summer is right around the corner and the last thing you want to have happen is an AC breakdown. So rather then a hefty repair bill go ahead and take care of a few key things to avoid a system failure.
Change Your Filter !
The run time on your AC system is going to increase dramatically in the upcoming months. Be sure to change your filter to ensure your AC’s air flow is not restricted.
Clean Your Drain Line !
With Summer just around the corner you can guarantee high humidity. Your AC system’s main purpose is to remove moisture aka humidity from the air. This moisture exits through the drain line make sure to put AC Drain Clean or Vinegar down your drain line
Cleaning your condensing coils is a very important routine maintenance that is often forgotten. If you AC coils are impacted or clogged that can impede airflow and cause a breakdown or worse…..compressor failure. Acid washing and removing debris is critical in assuring maximum efficiency and performance from your air conditioner
Ever wonder if your AC system is the cause of your high energy bill? The Power companies collectively say that your central AC system accounts for 50-60 percent of your entire power bill. The Compressor which is located inside the outdoor unit is the main consumer of power.
How Hard Is My Compressor Running
Finding out how hard your compressor is running is very simple. First you must locate the information panel on your outdoor unit. Look for the compressor RLA.
The RLA is the max Run Load Amps your compressor can take before if fails and causes a breakdown. According to the AC manufacturers the ideal amp draw for your AC system is 30-40 percent of your units RLA. The Carrier AC system pictured above has an RLA of 21.8 meaning ideally it should be running between 6.54 – 8.72 amps. In order to test your equipment’s amp draw you will need an amp meter if you do not own one I have provided a link to purchase a very affordable but reliable amp meter below.
Checking Amp Draw
In order to check your amp draw your system must be running. First remove the electrical panel door on your AC system. Next find the wire going from your compressor to your capacitor this wire is typically blue.
Turn your meter on and attach clamp to compressor wire only to test amp draw.
Ideal Amps- 6.45 to 8.72
Lets See !
This Carrier system is running at 8.19 amps which means its running at manufacturer specifications.
What To Do If Your Amps Are High ?
Check Out My Tutorials Below To Help Lower Amp Draw And Increase Your AC System’s Efficiency !
Cleaning your outdoor coils also know as the condensing coils is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent a breakdown on your AC system. The condensing coils are the copper tubes and aluminum fins that surround your outdoor unit. The purpose of these coils is to transfer the heat from inside your home out. To maximize efficiency the coils need to be free and clear of dirt and debris. If you fail to keep the condensing coils clean and airflow is impeded your compressor will overheat and cause a breakdown. The best way to clean the coils is to remove the top of the unit and clean coils from the inside out.
What You Need
Estimated Job Time: 15-30 min.
Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill Or Nut Driver, Water Hose, Coil Cleaner
First Turn the power off at the disconnect box or breaker panel.
Remove screws from top of AC unit or fan.
Spray coils a generous amount and let stand for 3-5 minutes.
Rinse coils thoroughly from the inside out.
Replace top of unit or fan and fasten with screws.
Restore power at disconnect box or breaker panel.
For best results perform this cleaning bi-annually.
Being in the field servicing commercial and residential AC units I know which brands are Reliable and which ones are Junk. Below I am going to list the top five brands from best to worst with pros and cons for each.
Carrier/Bryant- Pros: Quiet, parts are the most readily available, easy to service , great price point
Cons: Blower motors tend to go out under warranty period… not many cons for these machines
Trane/American Standard- Pros: Tried and true, compressors never die, very efficient air conditioning and heating systems, some of the most sleek designs
Cons: Very high price point for equipment and replacement parts,
Rheem/Ruud- Pros: All around good machines, smaller equipment to fit in tight attics or closets, good price point
Cons: Not as easy to service as others, not as quiet as the two listed above
York- Pros: Very stylistic in design, compressor comes stock with sound blanket, very efficient units available
Cons: High price point, coils tend to rust out and leak during warranty period