AC Maintenance Top Tips #BertLife
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Before you even start the maintenance, you need to make sure you give a good first impression of yourself and the company. It’s best to be courteous; walk on sidewalks instead of the lawn whenever possible and wear shoe covers before you enter the customer’s home. When you communicate with the customer, ask them what they’ve noticed and experienced with their unit.
It’s best to do a visual overview of the system to catch problems early. In the case of the system in the video, Bert noticed that the line set insulation was starting to come apart and that the wire splices could have been improved at the outdoor unit.
Since this video was shot in the fall, Bert turned the heat on to see how it performed and if any issues needed to be addressed before the cold season. Bert tested the heat strips and noticed that they were rated for 5 kW. Since the unit was a 5-ton unit, the heat strips were likely insufficient for heating the entire home in the winter. However, the heat was on at the thermostat, heat strips were working, and the heat pump was running correctly. Checking the reversing valve is another important procedure when maintaining heat pumps.
Bert likes to start maintenance procedures with power-off checks and cleaning. That way, he can do the rest of the maintenance checkups and tests with a clean system and minimize the likelihood of leaving power off when he leaves.
When cleaning a condenser, Bert likes removing the top. Removing the top allows him to check all the wiring, check the compressor terminals, and clean out the leaves and debris inside the condenser. Then, he sprays the coil with water from the inside out (for dirty coils, he uses Refrigeration Technologies Viper Venom Pack solutions).
When cleaning the drain, Bert flushes a minimum of two gallons of water through the pan. Then, he pours two gallons of water down the service port directly. When the shop vac collects the water, Bert removes the top and analyzes the water to learn about the conditions inside the drain.
Once again, visual inspections are critical on the indoor equipment as well to check for rubouts, poor connections, dirt buildup, and biological growth. After checking the blower wheel and evaporator, Bert also changes the filter, which is a procedure included in our maintenance program. The indoor coil is quite clean, so Bert uses a very small mild concentration of self-rinse Viper evaporator coil cleaner. He also wipes down the indoor electrical panels and everything he sprayed on.
After cleaning, Bert turns the power back on and runs his tests. First, he tests to see if the float switch shuts off power when tripped. Then, he takes his air temperature split.
Bert also checks the refrigerant charge; while waiting, you may decide to start cleaning up the job site and start preparing paperwork or final discussions with the customer.
When closing out a job, make sure all panels are closed, everything is clean, the refrigerant caps are put back on. Clean up any messes you’ve made; you may also go above and beyond by wiping down the platform and doing other small, HVAC-related cleaning tasks that make the equipment look cleaner. Make sure the customer feels listened to and is aware of everything you’ve done and some potential recommendations to improve the system’s performance.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE, make sure the equipment is running and that the indoor unit is draining properly.
Remember: a customer will only know if you did a good job if you have productive, positive interactions with them and if they can see how clean the unit looks. (Also, walking quickly is a good way to show a sense of urgency.)
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