What Does Bell Brothers Check During an AC Tune-Up?
At Bell Brothers, we constantly talk about how the most important thing you can do for your HVAC system is to schedule routine maintenance. However, we’ve never really delved into what we look for during an AC tune-up.
Most homeowners don’t know that their furnace is also running during the summer, it’s just treating cool air from the condenser. This is why it’s so important to have your HVAC system checked twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall. When our technicians are looking at your system, they’re checking for anything that could have an impact on the operation of your HVAC system and the safety of your family.
All AC tune-ups start with an inspection. We conduct visual and technical inspections on every critical piece of your AC system.
Fan Blade for Balance
- No air conditioning unit is complete without a fan! The fan blade sits at the top of your condenser and is responsible for pulling air into the unit and out to your home.Much like anything else that’s in constant spinning or rotation, the fan blade needs to be balanced. If it’s out of balance, the fan itself could hit the refrigerant line, damage aluminum parts, or fall off completely.
Duct Supply and Return
- The air in your home needs to come from somewhere. That’s why your system is outfitted with supply and return ducts. The supply duct guides air from inside your home to your HVAC system while the return duct sends the cool air back into your home after it’s been temperature treated.Part of an AC tune-up is making sure the supply and return ducts are free from any leaks or blockages.
Indoor Coil and Blower Motor Assembly
- Even during AC season, your furnace is working. Air that’s cooled by the condenser is pumped into the furnace so that it can be filtered and distributed through your home. Because of this, central air systems have the outside system—the condenser, and the inside system—the furnace.The indoor coil lives above the furnace. While conducting an AC tune-up, a Bell Brothers tech will work to ensure your indoor coil is clean and working at its most efficient level. They will also check the blower motor. The blower motor is responsible for sending any air—hot or cold—through your HVAC system and into your home.
Bearings for Wear
- Anything that spins should have bearings. You see bearings in skateboards and roller skates, and now they’re in your AC unit. As the name implies, bearings literally bear any pressure from the fan, making sure it always keeps an even rotation. When a bearing gets stuck, it hinders the fan’s movement.
- Between the constant rotation of the fan and buzzing of the compressor, there’s a lot of vibrating going on in one machine. With enough use, sometimes a whole season of use, can dislodge some wiring in your condenser. Our techs are trained to fix wiring on the spot, so when they see something loose, they put it back together. Simple as that.
- Without refrigerant, you wouldn’t produce cool air. Refrigerant is the substance responsible for pulling the heat out of any ambient air. All the refrigerant it piped in through a single line. It’s critical for our techs to inspect the line and make sure nothing is wrong with it. Even a small kink or crack can hinder the refrigerant.
- The heat exchanger is something that gets checked during both the furnace and AC tune-up. It’s such an important part of the system that our techs want to make sure it’s doing well after a season of use. We want to make sure it’s ready for the upcoming fall and winter seasons, which you don’t want to go without when the temperatures drop.
Once the initial visual inspections are complete, it’s time to start cleaning. A professional cleaning is included with every AC tune-up we perform.
- Your outdoor condenser is always exposed to the elements. While that’s not a bad thing, any covers can foster mold growth, it does mean your condenser gets hit with dirt, leaves, and other debris. Every AC tune-up comes with a condenser cleaning. Our techs will wash everything out with cleaning solution and a hose.
HVAC Air Filter
- One of the most important parts of every AC tune-up is checking, changing, or cleaning, the HVAC air filter. Since the air filter lives in your furnace, it’s being used throughout the whole year. Also, the air filter is responsible for catching any indoor air contaminates and keeping your HVAC system dust-free. Two big jobs for a small filter.if you have a filter you prefer, just give it to your HVAC tech and they’ll change it for you.
- The process of cooling air creates condensation. That condensation builds up your condenser and needs somewhere to go. The average condenser can create up to 5 gallons of condensation per day. All that condensation needs to go somewhere because it can’t say in your system. That’s why we make sure the condensate drain is clear and ready for any water coming its way.
- Like it or not, your condenser is part of your yard’s landscaping. We try to keep it as nice looking as possible. After we’re done cleaning and testing everything, our techs will clean the outside of your condenser and put a coat of wax over it. Think of it like the wax that goes on your car. It’s the same concept. This wax helps keep your condenser clean, shiny, and helps repel dust.
Test and Measure:
- Remember the electrical wiring we mentioned above? After that’s all secured into place it needs to be tested. We make sure everything works and if it doesn’t, our techs are outfitted with the tools to fix it on the spot. No required waiting on an electrician.
- Your thermostat is the remote control of your HVAC system. The settings on your thermostat change how the entire system operates. A Bell Brothers technician will check your settings and make sure everything is ready for the summer. They will also change out the batteries that you have if your thermostat needs it.
- TXV is short for thermal expansion valve. A small name for a small part with one very big job. Sometimes referred to as the metering service, the TXV, regulates the amount of liquid refrigerant that’s distributed into your evaporator coil.It makes sure nothing is wasted and the right amount of refrigerant gets into your system. Too little refrigerant and your air is only slightly cool and very humid. Too much refrigerant and your system could ice over.
Ensuring the TXV is in working order helps prolong the life of your system. It also helps the system run as efficiently as possible, saving you time and money in the long run.
Service Valve Operation
- Have you ever checked your tire pressure with a valve? This same principle is applied to the service valve. Our techs use a tool similar to a tire pressure gauge to make sure there aren’t any refrigerant or gas leaks.Each of our techs have an electronic sniffer and soap bubbles in their tool bags. They use these to test the service valve. Our techs are also equipped with replacement service valves. If anything is wrong, they’ll change the valve on the spot.
Safety Devices Operation
- One of the best things we can say about modern HVAC systems is that they’re incredibly safe. Every model has new and improved safety devices and sensors. While it may seem that your HVAC system is much testier than your old one, it acts that way because the machine was made to have higher safety standards. We make sure to check all these safety measures during every AC tune-up.For example, if too much condensation or other liquids, build up in your system, the whole thing shuts off. This could prevent costly damage to the HVAC system itself and your home. We’ve seen extensive water damage from a backed-up condensation line.
Refrigerant Charge Evaluation
- Refrigerant levels can be compared to blood pressure. If an AC compressor’s blood pressure—or refrigerant levels—are too high, you could give your machine the equivalent of a heart attack. This means you are forcing the compressor to work much harder than it needs to which could result in early failure.On the opposite spectrum If the compressor has low blood pressure, it’s running slowly and weakening the whole system. The refrigerant charge evaluation will make sure your refrigerant is flowing at a proper pace.
Primary Motor Control Operation
- Your condenser has two motors. The primary motor and the compressor motor. The primary motor keeps the whole system running, and just like every other motor, it has a designated lifespan. At Bell Brothers, we train our techs to conduct a visual inspection to see how the motor is working.Charred surfaces and soot remnants are obvious signs the primary motor is on its way out and should be replaced. We like to say we get ahead of technical problems. By checking and diagnosing the primary motor control before the season even starts, we’re potentially saving you from investing in a whole new system.
Fan Motor Amperage and Voltage
- The fan in your condenser needs a motor to keep spinning. It can’t spin on its own. The thing about that motor is that it needs to be running at a specific amperage and voltage. If it’s not, then you could risk premature failure. Every part comes with a small guide that tells us what the motor amperage and voltage should be. Our techs will text the fan motor for that and make adjustments as needed.
Secondary Motor Control Operation
- The secondary motor control is responsible for the electric component that’s released into your condenser. It stores electricity and releases it in specific intervals. It releases the electricity in spurts to keep the fan motor spinning at a specific rate.If the secondary motor control isn’t working correctly, it could negatively impact the compressor and the fan. While the fan and compressor are not cheap to fix, the secondary motor control operation is. We check this because we would rather catch and fix a small problem than a have it turn into a huge issue.
Compressor Amperage Draw and Voltage
- Just like the fan motor, the compressor has specific, manufacturer provided levels where its amperage and voltage should be. If your compressor’s amperage is too high, you could be looking at a spike in utility bills and unnecessary wear and tear in your system. We make sure all levels are correct during an AC tune-up.
Temperature Difference at Supply and Return
- After everything is tested, inspected, and cleaned, our techs do the final test which is to check the temperature differences at the supply and return vents. Any home with a heating or cooling system will have supply vents, where the HVAC system pulls air from the home. And return vents, where treated air is returned into the home. These vents should have a specific temperature ratio between the two of them.
Bell Brothers Offers the Best in Sacramento and the East Bay
When you schedule an AC tune-up, you want the best. At Bell Brothers, we pride ourselves on offering the best AC tune-up in Sacramento, Stockton, Vacaville, and the East Bay. Our certified HVAC technicians check every point mentioned above and offer Good Deeds For Free. Do you have anything that needs to be done around the house? Don’t forget to ask a Bell Brother technician about Good Deeds for Free. To schedule your own stellar service, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.