Are You Ready For Fall?
Fall has come to mean football and tailgating. But it also means it’s time to get ready for heating season. Having a fall maintenance check now will help ensure you stay warm as temperatures drop in the months ahead.
We tag along on a typical fall maintenance check done by Lance Waterbarger, technician for Interstate AC Service. In this video, Lance checks on a 19-year-old Ruud system installed in a customer's attic. The air handler uses both a heat pump and a bank of two electric heaters.
Here are some of the points Lance makes as he performs his fall preventive maintenance service.
- The voltage across the capacitor is checked.
- All wiring connections are checked. In this unit, a transformer was replaced at some point in the past and a fuse was added to protect the transformer from damage in the event there is a short in the low voltage circuits.
- The blower motor bearings are checked.
- The heat is turned on and put it in emergency heat mode to test the heat banks. The amperage draw is checked for each heater. There is a short time delay between the first and second heat banks coming on, to avoid an excessive amperage draw that would dim the house lights.
- The heat bank sequencer is checked for proper operation. Generally, you'll have a 3- to 5-degree swing between first and second stage heat. When the first stage comes on, it goes into defrost mode in order to melt the ice on the outside coils.
- Lance checks that the heaters come on during the outside unit defrost mode.
- He verifies that the outside unit reversing valve works in defrost mode. The outdoor coil freezes up in heat mode and there is a sensor on the line that will indicate when it needs to thaw the coil. It has a timer or a demand control board that will switch the reversing valve, turn the heaters on and turn off the outdoor condensing fan. This traps the heat and melts the ice off the coil. When the sensor senses that the coil is approximately 50-55 degrees, it will kick in automatically back to your regular heat cycle.
- Other checks (not seen in this video) which are part of Interstate AC Service’s preventive maintenance include:
- Inspecting all air filters.
- Checking whether the blower belts are worn out.
- Checking the thermostat for proper operation and settings.
- Checking and cleaning the condensate drain.
- Checking all safety features on the unit.
- If it is a gas furnace, a check of the air supply and flue is done, as well as the burners, fuel igniter switches, inducer motor, and heat exchangers.
A fall maintenance check will not only keep your system running more efficiently and reliably through the winter, but could save your life by preventing a deadly carbon monoxide leak. So, if you live in the Nashville and surrounding area, call on Interstate AC Service today and schedule your fall preventive maintenance visit at 615-832-8500.
Posted on 09/15/2017 8:00 AM by cherylaustin
Feeling Caught in the Middle?
Whether it’s your HVAC unit, your car, or some other device, it’s easy to feel caught in the middle by “finger-pointing” from different service companies. See if any of these sound familiar:
- Company B tells you they need to install a new part that Company A just recently replaced.
- Company B says that Company A did something wrong and they are having to un-do it or re-do it.
What should you do? You’re probably not a technical wiz about the issue – that’s why you called a service technician to begin with!
The Importance of Relationships
Having a reputable company with whom you have established a relationship provides piece of mind. By having the same company service your HVAC unit year after year, and not just going with whichever company is running a special this month, offers some advantages. Here at Interstate AC service, we keep all your service records on file. That way, we know what’s been fixed or replaced and when, and may be better able to judge whether it was a defective part rather than a poor installation. If you have a consistent relationship with a company that does this, you may be able to eliminate much of the finger-pointing.
Having annual service or maintenance contracts can go a long way to alleviate the “caught in the middle” trap. If the same service technician(s) come to service your HVAC unit year after year, they learn your system, they know what was done last time and what your system is scheduled for this time. They can watch your system as it ages, and head-off failures before you experience a breakdown. In many ways, it’s similar to taking your car to the same mechanic each time for service: they get to “know” your car. So, besides all the other benefits of service contracts (see our previous post), sometimes the peace of mind service contracts provide are worth it!
The Aspect of Trust
No matter what a service technician is telling you, it comes down to trust… especially when you do not have first-hand technical knowledge in the field. When you have a serious medical problem, you want to find someone you trust to advise you: someone who has good credentials, is noted in their field, has high success rates treating your type of illness, etc. When picking an HVAC company, you want one that is honest, trustworthy and reputable, has experience with the type of equipment you have, and has many satisfied customers. Then, when the service technician advises you on some aspect of your HVAC system, you’ll feel confident you can trust their advice.
Moral of the Story
Find a service company you can trust, establish a relationship with them, and get a service contract on your equipment. These are just a few suggestions to help you feel more empowered and less likely to be caught in the middle.
Posted on 09/01/2017 6:00 AM by cherylaustin