A few weeks ago Raleigh was hit with a heat wave that we haven’t seen in years! This Raleigh heat wave completely caught homeowners off guard with their air-conditioners completely unprepared. We’ve been doing AC repair all over the Raleigh and have found one common theme. If Cool Change had come to do annual AC maintenance, your air conditioner would be cooling your Raleigh home through these extremely hot days. These next few paragraphs are going to explain how just a little bit of maintenance WILL improve your air conditioners performance, especially on those really hot days. Regular scheduled maintenance will also lengthen the life of your air conditioning unit, save you huge repairs bills, and most important keep you from clawing for the telephone, as you’re dripping with sweat, hoping you can find any AC guy in the world to come to your rescue!
The truth is most homeowners in Raleigh, or anywhere else for that matter, do not realize how important it is to have your air conditioning unit regularly maintained. AC units are basically ignored by homeowners, that is, as long as they work! Then, if the air conditioner goes out, all heck breaks loose! People really become desperate! But that’s another article for another time.
So let’s talk about the effects of not maintaining your unit and how our AC maintenance could have prevented a hot house on a hot Raleigh summer day when the in-laws were here to visit!
First, we need to understand the basic idea of how an air conditioner works. Don’t worry we’re not getting too technical! Air conditioners are nothing but a heat exchanger. It removes the heat from your home and moves it outside via the freon. In order for your AC unit to do this it MUST breathe the air, and lots of it! That means the filters must be clean and kept clean all year long. The cold air that your air conditioner is blowing out of those vents comes from the air that it sucks in though the filters. In other words, if the filters are clogged, your AC unit cannot breathe well and is certainly not performing efficiently. So change those filters every thirty to forty five days. That part of AC maintenance is your responsibility. It is very important those filters are clean so your Raleigh air conditioning unit can cool you off on those 90 degree days!
Now let’s go out to the other side of this breathing behemoth, the outside condenser unit. This part of your air conditioner has just as big a set a lungs as your inside unit! It needs to breathe lots of fresh clean air to cool off that hot freon coming from inside your home. The only way it does this is by pulling air through those fins or grill outside.
When your AC unit was engineered it was designed so that it would work properly only if EVERY square inch of the coil is clean and available to remove the heat from the freon.
Throughout the year, pollen season, mowing the yard, and dry dusty days produce tons and tons of dirt particles clog up that outside coil. Folks, you have no idea how dirty that thing is! Unless you have cleaned that coil with a high pressure washer and the specialized soap, that coil is so dirty it would probably make you sick to see it washed out. Take a look at some coils we clean here, ……. I know gross right!
A dirty coil can not efficiently remove the heat from your home but the problem gets much, much worse on these super hot days in Raleigh.
Here’s where I’m going to get slightly more technical but it’s not hard, so follow along;
As we all know heat is the destroyer of all, it breaks down matter. The compressor in your air conditioning unit could be considered the heart of your HVAC because the compressor pumps the freon through the system. Your compressor is a large pump made of mechanical parts and electrical windings, something heat loves to destroy. Inside your compressor there is a heat limit switch that will shut you compressor off if it gets too hot.
Following me so far? Told you this was easy!
So, on these super hot days, if every square inch of that outside coil is not available to remove heat from the freon, the freon will not be as cool as it needs to be as it passes through your air conditioning system. The freon will get warmer and warmer until, not only does it become ineffective but it can not cool down the compressor and the compressor will shut off because it is too hot. The air conditioning compressor will cool down after about an hour or so and turn back on till it gets hot again, then shut down again. It will continue that cycle until……
Cool Change has a special method of cleaning the condenser coils that we have never seen any other HVAC company do. Every other AC repair company in Raleigh should be doing this same type of cleaning to EVERY single one of its clients. If your Raleigh AC repair company does not perform a high pressure wash using special solvents to scrub your condenser coils every year, they are doing you a disservice!. The cleaner your coils are, the better your AC unit will perform!! Many folks can’t really see the coils because they are covered with the casing from the unit. Even the condenser coils that can be seen one does not see the tons of dirt that is clogged between those fins. If your coils are clean, your air conditioner can do its job on those very hot days in Raleigh.
Watch on YouTube: Cool Change Heating & Air — Before and after AC unit gets cleaned
Ok, here’s another very important part of the yearly AC maintenance so that during the summer, your Raleigh AC will not need repair. We check all your capacitors. What is a capacitor? It is like a little battery that provides a little extra boost to you compressor, fan motor, and blower motor in your AC unit. How important is it for the capacitor to be within the specifications? VERY!! If the capacitor is out of factory specification, your motors will start drawing more amps. More amps is equal to more heat. Heat will destroy your motors! Heat will cause your motors to have a shorter life, and run slower. Heat will melt the insulation around the electrical windings inside your motor and cause it to quit on you on the hottest day of the year. Then you will be trying to get a Raleigh AC repair company on the hottest days of the year and you can imagine the chaos that ensues at a Raleigh AC repair company with a great reputation like Cool Change AC repair! Of course if we had come to do your maintenance we would have checked and replaced any necessary capacitors or any other electrical component out of specification. This will protect your Air conditioning unit from excessive heat, and breakdowns so you won’t have to call for a AC repair in Raleigh. 🙂
Another big reason we get lot of our calls to repair an AC unit in Raleigh is clogged condensate drain lines. When the main condensate drain line on an Air conditioning unit clogs, it often dispels water into the drain pan. This will trigger a switch that shuts of all or part of your air conditioning unit. This is such an easy one to prevent! We vacuum the drain lines when we come for our AC maintenance. This should almost never be a reason for a shutdown and a call to a raleigh AC repair specialist.
The items I have listed above are the bare essentials to a proper AC maintenance program.
1.Changing the filters every 30-45 days
2.Have your condenser coils high pressure cleaned with the proper solvents every year by a reputable Raleigh AC repair and maintenance professional.
3.Have all your capacitors checked and change them when they are out of their engineered specifications.
4.Have all the condensate drain lines flushed clean every year.
Provided your AC unit in Raleigh was installed properly by a reputable contractor, and is properly maintained, your AC unit should provide you with 20-25 years of virtually trouble free service. Call Cool Change Heating and Air to schedule a spring cleaning for your air conditioner and your wallet will thank you.