How Does a Tune-Up or Safety Check For My Furnace or AC Work?
A thorough furnace and air conditioner tune-up goes hand in hand with a safety check. These regular services are vital at least once per year to prevent breakdowns and ensure your home is safe from unseen hazards. Only a certified HVAC technician can perform the thorough inspection and maintenance that you need.
Starting with the furnace, the technician you hire should take specific steps to check the entire system, including:
Testing Gas Levels: The goal is to ensure your system operates safely and efficiently. Using a combustion analyzer, your technician measures the carbon monoxide and oxygen levels and the amount of heat coming through the flue. From that test, he recommends ways to improve the efficiency or safety of your unit.
Ensuring Ignition: Your furnace needs to light when needed—every time! Whether its uses a spark igniter or a hot surface igniter, the technician makes sure your furnace lights properly and makes adjustments as necessary.
Cleaning Flame Sensor: How does your furnace know to stay lit? It has a flame rectification system with a sensor that determines when the flame should be on. It’s important for the technician to clean and test this sensor. If it can’t sense the flame it’ll keep trying, which puts more stress on the ignition system, forcing that to fail.
Keeping It from Overheating: The unit’s high limit control safety switch ensures the furnace will keep from overheating. The technician trips the switch so it resets on its own, ensuring it works properly.
Preventing Poisoning: The system’s heat exchanger produces toxic gases when the furnace runs. The technician checks the integrity of the heat exchanger and repairs any holes or cracks that allow carbon monoxide to fill your breathable air.
Validating Power: The technician checks the air movement system and the motor to see how much power it draws. He makes adjustments to ensure it operates according to manufacturer’s specs.
Next, the technician focuses on making sure the air conditioning system makes it through the entire summer season, which includes:
Checking Airflow: Your technician checks to see how well the system moves air both within the system and outside of the system. He makes necessary adjustments to ensure smooth operation.
Cleaning Evaporator Coil: Evaporator coils clogged with dirt and mold may freeze over and restrict airflow because the refrigerant is remaining mainly liquid and not vapor as it should be. Your HVAC technician cleans and unclogs the coil so this liquid refrigerant does not travel to the compressor and damage it.
Check All Electrical Components: A simple loose wire will stop your air conditioning system dead. Your technician will inspect that all electrical connections are tight and repair anything that’s loose.
Checking Refrigerant Levels: Because low refrigerant could mean a leak in the system, your technician checks that you have the proper refrigerant levels to keep your system running, uninterrupted, all summer.
Calibrating Thermostat: Your technician ensures the thermostat is reading your home’s temperature accurately and calibrates any inconsistencies so that you have full control over your heating and air conditioning system.
Cleaning The Outdoor Coil: Your air conditioning unit’s outdoor coil is like your filter. If it gets really dirty it stops working efficiently. The technician ensures the coil is free of debris from bushes, trees and weeds.
Turning Off Humidifiers: A whole home humidifier is ideal for winter months, but it will make you extremely uncomfortable in the summer. Your technician checks to make sure your humidifier is off during the hot months of the year.
Adjusting Dampers: Dampers are plates inside your ducts that open and close based on the amount of air you want coming into your home. Your technician will check that the dampers work and make necessary adjustments for total home comfort.
The biggest benefit of a heating and air conditioning tune-up and safety check is so you get the highest energy efficiency that your system can produce without breakdown.