All heaters, heat pumps, and air conditioners need annual maintenance service from licensed HVAC companies. These services keep homeowners compliant with the terms of their manufacturer’s warranties. They also prime HVAC equipment for optimum performance during peak heating and cooling seasons. When scheduling routine maintenance for the AC in your Boise, ID home, the following is everything you can expect.

Air Filter Inspection and Replacement

Homeowners should check and change their HVAC air filters throughout the year. General recommendations suggest inspecting this component every 30 days and replacing it as required. In most homes, filters develop thick, lint-like mats of debris every 30 to 90 days. Putting a fresh filter in before your heater or air conditioner can no longer move air through your old one prevents icing, short-cycling, overheating, and other airflow-related problems. It also ensures that large clumps of accumulated dirt, hair, and other particulates aren’t blown free.

During routine maintenance, our HVAC technicians will inspect your HVAC air filter. They’ll look for proper sizing and orientation, and if needed, they’ll replace this component. Filter inspections during tune-up service can shed light on other maintenance-related issues throughout your system. For instance, if your filter is ill-fitted or filthy, you may have built-up debris and airflow obstructions at your air registers, vents, or grilles, or a coating of dirt on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil.

Performance Testing

Many HVAC companies run AC performance tests when diagnosing and troubleshooting cooling system issues. However, it’s also common to run these tests at the start of tune-up services, especially for aging units that are relatively near the ends of their lifespans. Performance tests allow technicians to pinpoint and resolve developing problems while they’re still minor. We use low-pressure and high-pressure gauges to spot deviations from normal, ambient-dependent gauge readings.

Thermostat Calibration

Your thermostat governs your air conditioner’s cooling cycles. Your AC won’t turn on or off until this device tells it to. To ensure that thermostats are reading indoor temperatures accurately, our team tests and calibrates these devices. We also make sure that thermostats are installed in ideal locations. For instance, if your thermostat is too close to a sunlit window, your oven, or any other heat-generating feature or appliance, it may register your indoor temperature as being much warmer than it is.

If needed, we can move your thermostat to a more suitable location. If you haven’t done so already, we can also upgrade your programmable or standard thermostat to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats offer energy tracking, remote functionality via branded apps, helpful reminders for air filter changes, indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring, and more.

Coil Cleaning

Air conditioners have indoor air handling units and outdoor condensing units. During their cooling cycles, air conditioners draw warm air from building interiors and pass it over their refrigerant-filled evaporator coils. The icy refrigerant absorbs the air’s heat before distribution. Hot refrigerant moves outside where it releases its heat as moisture vapor at the condenser coil.

Build-ups of dust and other particulates on either of these coils affect the heat transfer process. If your air conditioner has a dirty evaporator coil, cold refrigerant could cause the unit to ice over. When the condenser coil is dirty, hot refrigerant never cools back down. This can lead to overheating, insufficient home cooling, excess humidity, and other performance-related issues.

We use special tools and solutions to clean AC evaporator and condenser coils. Model-specific fin combs make it possible to extract tough, stuck-on, or trapped debris without bending or breaking small, delicate parts.

Champagne Bubbles and Other Signs of Refrigerant Problems

When cleaning AC evaporator coils, we also look for coatings of small, light-brown bubbles. Often referred to as “champagne bubbles”, they’re indications of refrigerant leaks.

Refrigerant Line Inspections

AC unit tune-ups include comprehensive refrigerant line inspections. Although AC refrigerants are becoming increasingly eco-friendly, they’re still highly toxic and should only be handled by licensed HVAC companies. We’ll check for loose connections, damaged tubing, and other structural problems. After finding and resolving refrigerant leaks, we can also perform recharge services.

Blower Motors, Belts, and Fans

Your AC blower motor activates and moves the blower fan that pushes cold air throughout your home. We check for loose bearings, bent blades, and worn components, and we make replacements and repairs as needed. We also lubricate all moving parts to limit blower motor wear and ensure smooth and consistent performance.

AC Capacitors and Electrical Connections

At start-up and throughout various parts of the cooling cycle, your air conditioner requires more electricity than your home’s electrical system can supply at once. To overcome this deficiency, air conditioners have run and start capacitors. These components constantly collect and store energy to initiate startup and power your cooling equipment as needed. Some air conditioners have dual capacitors that perform both jobs. We’ll check the integrity and functionality of these components, determine their remaining lifespans, and assess all related electrical connections.

Condenser Unit Maintenance

At the outdoor condenser unit, an annual tune-up service includes far more than just coil cleaning. This unit houses the AC compressor. It’s heavy and highly pressurized. As such, it must be on a flat, level surface. Most AC condensers are installed on concrete or composite pads in back or side yards. We make sure that shifting soils and other grading or landscape changes haven’t diminished the stability of these units.

We also check for airflow obstructions at outdoor condensers. We make sure that ventilated condenser covers aren’t blocked by fast-growing shrubs, weeds, grass, or trees, or by build-ups of loose organic materials like lawn clippings and general tree-fall. We finish by checking these units for evidence of pest infestation and shoring up all possible entrances.

HVAC Air Duct Leak Checks

Much like air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces, HVAC ducting requires annual maintenance service. You can schedule this separately or you can have your air ducts maintained at the same time as your heating and cooling equipment. In either case, we always check ducting for loose connections, crushed or collapsed segments, pest infestations, and perforations. Serious duct damage causes extraordinary HVAC system stress. It can raise your home energy bills and result in premature equipment failure.

AC Condensate Drain Line Cleaning and Inspection

When releasing heat, air conditioners emit hot moisture vapor. This is how they extract excess humidity from the indoor air and cool hot refrigerant down. This vapor condenses and travels down a condensate drain line into an attached pan and out of the home via the AC condensate drain.

During extended periods of dormancy, such as throughout the winter season, these components are prone to developing thick build-ups of bacteria-ridden biofilm and slimy algal blooms. Removing algae and bacteria keeps homes from feeling muggy in their interior. It also prevents condensate drain pan overflows and promotes higher indoor air quality.

For over 50 years, we’ve proudly served Boise, ID and the surrounding cities. You can count on us for expert plumbing, heating, and AC maintenance, installation, and repair services. We also provide cutting-edge IAQ solutions, new ducting, and preventative furnace maintenance and A/C tune-up. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact Access Heating & Air Conditioning now.


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