What AC Maintenance Questions Should I Ask the Technician

AC Maintenance

Ask Your AC Maintenance Technician These Questions During Your Appointment

The US Department of Energy, air conditioner manufacturers, and HVAC technicians all agree that:

  • Air conditioners of all sizes and ages need regular maintenance—an annual maintenance schedule is best.
  • Ignoring air conditioner maintenance shortens useful life, but scheduling maintenance can stretch useful life by about 5 years.

Ignoring maintenance may also void a warranty, so it is important.

It can be very helpful for homeowners to know what happens during these regular preventative maintenance visits. Homeowners will know whether the technician did a good job or not, so one knows whether the service was worth the fee. It also helps the homeowner to know what questions to ask. After all, air conditioning systems are significant investments toward a home’s value. But more importantly, air conditioners make a home more comfortable, safe, and healthy.

Factory-trained Trane technicians will complete tasks surrounding three major goals.

Keeping Key Components Clean

  • Air Filters–always the first on everyone’s list. Even the most basic air filter removes about 80% of airborne dust and allergens, but it collects a significant coating over a short period. A clogged air filter restricts airflow and stresses every other air conditioner component. Make sure to change the air filter at least once every three months. Ask the technician for a recommended MERV-rated filter.
  • Condenser coil. The condenser unit is the outdoor portion of the air conditioner. It is a hollow network of tubes and fins with a large fan in the center. The refrigerant gas coming through those tubes gets hot and it must be cooled. Just like the air filter, dirt, pollen, and grass clippings can coat the tubes, restricting airflow. If the gas is not cooled as designed, it can cause the compressor to overheat and fail, a very costly problem.
  • Evaporator coil drain line. The excess humidity in the home condenses on the evaporator coil and drips to a drain pan mounted underneath. Debris can clog this line. A dark, moist space is also excellent for algae growth. Both can clog the line and create an expensive mess.

Assess Mechanical Components

  • Moving refrigerant. One of several types of refrigerant gases circulate throughout the network of tubes, removing heat and cooling air. The gas is in a closed system, so if the pressure of the gas decreases, it indicates the presence of a leak. The technician will measure the refrigerant pressure to ensure there is no leak; if there is a leak, the technician will recommend repairing the leak before replacing the refrigerant.
  • Service the blower motor. The blower motor and fan are the only moving parts in the air conditioning system. Preventative maintenance will include examining the blower motor, determining whether it needs to be lubricated or a belt changed, and assessing the blower motor output to ensure it is moving air properly.

Check Electronic Controls

The electronics in an air conditioning system vary tremendously, from thermostat wires that carry a handful of volts to those carrying 220 volts to power the compressor and blower motor.

  • The thermostat function is tested to ensure it is calibrated properly, switching on a cooling cycle when the temperature setting calls for cooling.
  • The entire system, inside and out, depends upon a system of sensors, switches, and controls, that determine when and how long each component runs to perform the required tasks. This is very important since a failed part will generally affect surrounding parts, causing poor function and then failure.

Answer Questions

A preventative maintenance check will include a performance report, noting repairs made and repairs needed. If you have questions about locating essential parts, filter recommendations, or thermostat programming, now is the time to ask.

Knowing the questions to ask during your AC maintenance appointment can reduce future repairs and save you money

Houston Trane can connect you with a Trane Licensed AC maintenance contractor who can help you design an HVAC system that will fit your home and your family’s needs. To find a local Trane HVAC maintenance technician, visit our Local Dealer search tool.