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.