Air Conditioning Tune Up Checklist

Blower motor – The blower motor is responsible for circulating air through your air conditioning system and house. Over time, blower motors collect dust and get dirty. Since the blower motor is a spinning wheel, the accumulation of dirt will cause it to shake and lose balance. This reduces the airflow capacity and can cause it to breakdown resulting in costly repairs. In order to prevent this from happening, we ensure there is good filtration and that the blower motor is thoroughly cleaned.
Thermostat – The thermostat is the controller responsible for turning on and off your system at the your desired temperature. If your thermostat is not calibrated correctly, it can cause the unit to work more even after you’ve reached the desired temperature. Making you get either too cold or too hot and causes you spend more on your electrical bills. In order to prevent this, the technician will check the accuracy of your thermostats and calibrate it as necessary.
Clean/replace filter (if it’s a reusable one) The filter is responsible to maintain good air quality in your home by blocking the dust and other contaminants that would normally be circulating throughout your home. Not replacing the filter on time will also cause your unit to work harder since its passage way is blocked by contaminants. This puts stress on all the moving components and it will immensely slow down the cooling process in your home. This not only makes your home a lot less comfortable, but it will eventually lead to the breakdown of very expensive parts and even might cause you to need to replace your unit prematurely. If your filter is washable, we will wash it, dry it, and return it to your system making it like new. If you have a standard filter, we’ll replace it with a new one for free. This should be done every six months.
Bearing – Most of the moving parts in an air conditioning unit have bearings that are lubricated and sealed. The bearings must be aligned and lubricated. If the bearings are not aligned and lubricated it can cause the moving parts in an ac (like motors) to overheat and break down. This results in expensive repairs and decreased overall efficiency. We check to make sure that its not leaking any oil and that the bearing is not loose.
Inspect indoor coil (if accessible) – The indoor coil is responsible for generating cold air to the house. The blower will blow the warm air through the coil and the coil will cool the air. It is then moved to the house. The coil needs to be clean at all times to prevent any restrictions to the air flow through the coil. Dirty coils can cause stress on the blower motor, freezing of the ac system, and can lead to compressor failure, reduced efficiency, when the freezing melts it can cause water damage to your system and your home. JMS will inspect the coil and clean it if the customer approves. This is an extra charge, however it will save you on costly repairs for the future.
Cleaning condensate drain – The condensate drain is responsible for draining the water from your evaporator coil. Cleaning the drain line regularly prevents dirt and debris from clogging the drain and which would cause water leaks on your equipment and home.
Inspect condenser coil – The condenser coil is responsible for cooling down the hot refrigeration circulating through the system. Since this coil is exposed to the outside it tends to collect dirt across the ***cooling cells/fins***. A dirty coil can cause the air conditioning to over heat and prematurely break down. Inspecting the coil and removing the debris is crucial to allow the refrigeration to properly cool down, prolong your system’s life, and preventing damages to other parts of your air conditioner.
Checking refrigerant – The refrigerant is responsible for producing the cold air in the air conditioning unit. Having the right amount of refrigerant/coolant in the system is very important to maximize the potential of the air conditioning unit in cooling the house and reducing electrical usage. Overcharging or undercharging the system can cause stress and overheat different components which can lead to system failure and costly breakdowns. We will check and verify the amount of refrigerant is correct.
Test safety devices – Air conditioning units have safety devices to protect the system when one of the components fails. It strategically does this by shutting off the system when it recognizes a failed part. We will check that those safety devices are functioning properly.
Electrical disconnect box – The electrical disconnect box is responsible for disconnecting and connecting the main high voltage to the air conditioning unit. In other words, providing it power. We will check that you have the right sized fuse in the disconnect box and that all the connections are tight and stable. Loose connections can cause overheating of the wiring which can lead to entire system failure.
Electrical wiring – All the electrical wires across the system need to be connected properly and tightly. Loose connections can cause the system to overheat and lead to failure. We will check that the connections are tight and stable to keep your system running smoothly and prevent these costly breakdowns.
Test/inspect contactor for burned, pitted contacts – The contactor is an electrical switch that goes on and off every time your thermostat is set to cooling. This part moves quite a bit and after a while the points of contact whither due to constant connecting and disconnecting. Not having good contacts can cause your system to overheat and eventually lead to an entire system failure. We check to make sure the points of connection are stable which can prevent expensive repairs and discomfort when you want it the least.
Inspect electrical for exposed wiring – Since air conditioning units are outdoors, exposed wiring is a major concern. Based on the weather, it can cause electrocution, shortage of the system, and fires. It can also damage the equipment if it comes into contact with water or another wire. During a maintenance we thoroughly check your system to insure none of your system’s wiring is exposed. When you’re using your air conditioner, you should have the peace of mind knowing that your system is providing a safe environment for your home and not breaking down when you need it most.
Inspect and test capacitors – In your air conditioner, there is a component called a capacitor. Since an Air Conditioner needs to use a lot of power, this device helps provide more torque to help turn on your system and keeps it running for less power. A capacitor can sustain damage from excess power and will eventually wear down over time. If the capacitor fails and the unit continues to run, it will begin making a humming noise and can cause the entire ac to break down and need replacement. Having a bi annual maintenance on your system is crucial to catching this before it’s too late.
Inspect fan blade – Condenser fan blades are responsible for properly ventilating air throughout your system and maintaining it’s temperature. This keeps your ac from overheating. Since fan blades are metal, they can bend, break, and could potentially become loose from constant operation. If this happens, it can make loud, screeching noises and could damage other, expensive parts of your system. This will also cause your system to overheat as the fan isn’t doing its job like it’s supposed to. Keeping an eye on these blades is important to keeping your system cool and prevent larger damages in the future.
Inspect service valves for proper operation – A service valve is what allows the technician to remove refrigerant from your system without removing the entire refrigerant charge. Refrigerant is the gas that runs through the coil to cool down the air before it enters your home. In order to maintain proper operation the service valves in your system must be extremely tight. Think about the air valves on your car’s tires, if it’s loose, air will leak out and cause a flat tire. Now on the other hand, if your tire has too much air, the service valve allows you to safely remove air without deflating your whole tire. Same thing with air conditioning. Maintaining the proper amount of refrigeration is key to keep your system running efficiently and safely. Too much refrigerant or “overcharging” can damage the compressor and cause major and expensive long term problems. Also, when your service valve isn’t tight enough, the refrigerant will leak from your system and not only can cause severe damages throughout the system, but will also make you spend more on your energy bills due to decreased efficiency.
Measure supply/return temperature differential – You should see a temperature difference of 14-20 degrees between your air duct (or supply) and the return air. The supply is the air that is being pushed into your home and the return is the air that is being vacuumed back into your system for cooling. Testing for this will allow you to know if the air conditioner is cooling as it should or it if it may need some more refrigerant. Another reason the temperature might not be in the desirable range is if your system’s evaporator coil isn’t clean. The dust builds up overtime and with the condensation from the coil, it becomes dirt which in turn clogs the system and obstructs air flow. We check this during a routine maintenance in order to give you the opportunity to prevent much larger issues from taking place in your system.
Inspect ductwork for energy loss – Your ductwork is the insulated passageway in which the air flows from your system into your home and from your home back into your system. Your system can be the most efficient, high end air conditioner on the market, but if your ducts are neglected than all those bells and whistles wont make any difference. Here’s why. First, is the size or the duct diameter. If your ducts are too large than the cold air your air conditioner produced won’t be able to make it to all the designated areas. This is because your system relies on a certain amount of pressure to push the air to your home and larger ducts means less pressure. On the other hand, if the ducts are too small, there will be too much pressure and can cause back up in the system, making it more difficult to operate. This places a ton of stress on your blower motor causing it to waste much more energy and increase the likelihood of an entire system breakdown. Second, Duct leakages. A few problems occur when you have leaks in your ducting. Conditioned air escapes before it gets to your living space. In other words, you’re spending extra money every time you turn on the air conditioner for air no one will be able to enjoy. It makes your home significantly less comfortable since it’s going to take longer to cool your home, which on a hot day, is tragic. Another side effect is that unconditioned and unfiltered air will leak into your duct and circulated into your home, greatly decreasing the air quality. This can be especially harmful for the elderly, small children, and anyone with prior respiratory issues.
Compressor – In simple terms, an A/c compressor is a pump that takes the shape of a motor. Essentially, it’s the “heart” of your air conditioning system. It’s job is to circulate the refrigerant in the system under pressure which concentrates the heat it contains. It takes the low pressure gas (refrigerant) and turns into a high pressure gas which is then directed to the condenser to get cool. This process is vital to cooling down your home, and if your compressor’s not working, you will not get any cold air, period. Overtime, especially when it’s hot out, the constant stress on the compressor will cause it to wear down. Also, the compressor will collect dust and all sorts of contaminations that will get it stuck, turning your highly technological system into a plain old box of metal. We thoroughly check this component during a routine maintenance to make sure your air conditioner can do its job, and that’s to cool your home.