How To Check My Home Air Conditioner

Your Home Central Air System

Air conditioners inside of our homes become part of the house and because we spend so much time inside the house with the air conditioner on, we can generally detect when something seems awry. Still, there are a few home tests you can run to ensure that your air conditioner is healthy, clean and functional. To have your air conditioner in shape to run from summer to fall, try these five tests and see if your AC is up to the task.

1. Measure temperature drops when the AC is running.

This test is one of the most basic exams you can do on your air conditioner. Simply set the thermostat to a temperature that you find comfortable. For most homes that temperature is somewhere around 73-75 degrees. It is important, however, to make sure that this number is lower than the ambient temperature inside the home.

As your air conditioner works, keep an eye on the thermostat to see if the home temperature is actually dropping. A good indicator that your AC works efficiently is if the ambient temperature drops at least one degree every 20 minutes.

As an additional note in keeping your AC strong and healthy, refrain from overheating the home. This is not in regards to using the furnace but letting ambient temperature rise too high. High ambient temperature adds great strain on the air conditioner when it needs to cool the home, causing it to run almost non-stop.

2. Go outside and see if the condenser is turned on.

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The condenser is the unit that sits outside of the home. It is an important part of the air conditioner and is responsible for the refrigeration process that helps cool air. At Service Champions, there is a simple way of measuring the condenser’s performance.

While the condenser is on, place your hand about a foot above it. There should be air blowing out of it. If there is no air, the condenser is not working. If the air feels cool it means that your air conditioner is not removing any heat from inside of the home. A correctly functioning air conditioner has a condenser emitting warm to hot air that has been displaced from inside of the home. As a general rule, the warmer the air is the more heat is being removed.

3. Listen for unusual or new noises.

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As central air systems grow older it is typical for them to grow noisier as well. However, abnormal noises, generally when the system turns on, are a red flag signaling an underlying issue. Listen for noises coming from the condenser. If you do hear noises coming from your condenser that you have not heard before call your preferred HVAC technician.

Because you spend the most amount of time using your central air system, you will be able to discern what sounds are out of the ordinary. Costly repairs can be prevented with early detection and attention.

4. Evaluate your air vents or registers for healthy air flow.

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Air vents and registers are the grills on the walls and ceilings that allow air to enter in and out of the air ducts. Because they are the gateway for conditioned air it is important that these vents are in good form.

Clean and healthy air does not leave residue, discoloration or particles behind. Any of these on the vents may reveal the falling quality of air supply that is dirty enough to stain the vents. If the registers are collecting stains there is most likely a source for contamination either from the attic or another location. For this problem, your HVAC technician can work with you in finding that source of contamination and resolving it.

Also be sure not to close too many registers. Because this shuts down passageways for conditioned air to empty into the home and it creates back pressure. Back pressure refers to the static pressure building up in the air conditioner and ducts which results from trapped air. Because air flow is restricted from fewer open vents, conditioned air remains in the system causing an imbalance of temperatures between what is set on the thermostat and what is actually being produced.

5. Look out for odors.

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Be wary of odors coming directly from the air conditioning system. One particular region to be cautious of is the evaporator coils. These coils are prone to biological growth due to its swamp-like conditions.

Evaporator coils are constantly collecting moisture because of its prime role in air conditioning which requires continual heat transfer. Since the evaporator coils also receive no light, the presence of moisture, lack of air and light make it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Microbiological growth may accumulate and begin a stench coming from inside the air conditioner.

When and if your evaporator coils host biological growth, have your HVAC technician visit for a deep cleaning. He can work to eliminate all growth. For added protection, you can look into UV lamps and air cleaning products that destroy potential for any bacteria, airborne particles and microbiological growth.

Service Champions Are the Air Experts of California

Achieving perfect air conditioning requires a healthy and efficient central air system. Keeping your air conditioner in good shape requires regular maintenance which later prevents costly replacements, repairs and personal inconvenience.

For your comfort, Service Champions has many different programs from which you can benefit.

Each of our technicians train to bring you the absolute best in air conditioning and heating with expert technical care and superior customer service.

All members train for 150 hours each year in our private training facility. They learn new technology and techniques and hands-on practice ensures that they come prepared to service your central air system with the most advanced methods available.

All technicians pass background checks and drug tests. In addition, you receive an e-mail containing the photo ID of your technician prior to your scheduled appointment.

Have your central air system serviced by California’s trusted experts. Call to speak to one of our friendly representatives and schedule a visit at a time most convenient for you.