AC Preventive Maintenance

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Old 05-26-16, 07:40 AM
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AC Preventive Maintenance

I have a Carrier AC system that started up and is blowing lots of cold air. I am serious about maintenance, but someone told me that unless you have a leak, you won't lose the refrigerant, and if you do you lose all of it. It has been 3 years since the unit burned out a capacitor, and had to be repaired and the charge topped off so to speak. Am I wasting my money to have a HVAC tech come out to hook up his gauges?
 
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Old 05-26-16, 11:41 AM
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Checking the system to see if it needs "topping off" requires the loss of some refrigerant in the hoses and connections. There is no need to routinely check the refrigerant charge unless there is a noticeable problem.
 
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Old 05-26-16, 12:12 PM
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But it is prudent to clean the unit periodically whether you hire it out or diy.
 
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Old 05-27-16, 06:58 AM
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AC Preventive Maintenance

I keep the inside filter changed monthly, and the outside compressor collects dust and cottonwood seeds. I have used a garden hose to keep it clean but not sure whether that is the best way. I could run a compressed air line out around the house If that is a better option?
 
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Old 05-27-16, 07:02 AM
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The garden hose approach should be sufficient. Just remember to spray the water through the coils from the inside to the outside. The condenser fan turns in the direction to pull outside air in through the coils and expel it out the top of the unit. When you clean the coils, you want to "backwash" them, spraying the water from inside to outside (opposite direction of airflow).
 
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Old 05-27-16, 08:06 AM
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I clean the outside unit like Bob described 1-2 times a year but the air handler also needs to be cleaned although it's not as easy. I try to clean mine out every 1-2 yrs [I think they recommend yearly]
 
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Old 05-28-16, 08:22 AM
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Air Handler

Where is the Air Handler located?
 
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Old 05-28-16, 09:53 AM
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The air handler is inside the house where the blower and the cold coil are located. Many times the coil is very hard to see. In some cases there are access covers that can be removed. Other times the blower housing is removed and you can work thru there.

My cold coil was installed in a furnace and is a bear to clean. I have to pull the blower housing out and work on my back looking up. Usually I use a mirror and a bright light to keep the spray out of my face.
 
 

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