Getting an HVAC tune-up is a crucial maintenance step for keeping your air conditioning and heating systems operating proficiently year-round. One does not approach the process only when a problem arises; a tune-up can help prevent expensive breakdowns in the first place. It can also save you money by keeping everything running at peak efficiency. While each system is different, there are things that any HVAC tune-up checklist should include.
START WITH CARBON MONOXIDE TESTING
Safety should be the top priority, so a tune-up checklist needs to include combustion testing of your furnace. A fuel-fired furnace does not spend all its gas during operation and releases some of that fuel as carbon monoxide (CO). Inspecting the level of CO released while the furnace is running can tell you if it is wasting too much gas.
Trained personnel can inspect the furnace with equipment once temperatures in the system stabilize and at each heat exchanger cell. That will help keep your furnace running efficiently and prevent unwanted CO buildup that could endanger everyone in the home.
TEST ALL HVAC SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Inspecting your HVAC’s safety equipment to verify it is working is another crucial step on every tune-up checklist. This equipment includes gas shut-off valves and the limit switch that keeps temperatures from climbing too high around the combustion chamber. The air pressure switch, carbon monoxide detectors, and mercury flame sensors or thermocouples that help with pilot light safety will be checked as well.
Our technicians will check safety equipment to make sure it operates as intended. They will identify potential issues and help to correct them. This safety equipment protects your family, home, and HVAC system from wear and potential hazards.
CHECK BURNERS AND CLEAN THEM IF NEEDED
The burner plays an integral part in your heating system by mixing air and natural gas to produce the flame that heats your home. Dirt and other debris can cause burners to operate poorly, and connection or valve issues could develop over time.
Technicians check the flame to verify it is burning blue and evenly across the burner, cleaning it if needed. Connections might work loose and require reattachment or replacement. Properly functioning burners are cost-effective, produce adequate heat, and produce minimal carbon monoxide, no matter if the furnace is running or off.
CHANGING AND CLEANING FILTER MEDIA
A clean filter can stop dust, pet dander, pollen, and other small particles from circulating throughout the air column in your home. Those particles become trapped in the filter media and clog it over time. A dirty filter is less efficient at keeping the air clean and can restrict airflow through your HVAC system.
No tune-up checklist would be complete without checking, cleaning, or replacing the filters. Disposable filters need to be changed every three months. Permanent filter systems can be cleaned and reused. Our technicians will inspect your filters to help keep the air you breathe clean.
EXAMINING THE DUCTWORK
Your system’s ductwork moves air from your air conditioner, furnace, and ventilation pipes throughout your home. This integral part of your HVAC system can become filled with debris or become damaged. That leads to reduced air circulation and poor air quality.
A tune-up checklist should include examining the airflow through your HVAC’s ductwork. A technician can look for signs of dirty air flowing out of a
vent, limited airflow, rooms with different temperatures, or signs of vent damage near seams. You may need to have the ducts cleaned, patched, or resealed along seams to fix the problem.
VERIFYING THE THERMOSTAT IS WORKING PROPERLY
Your HVAC thermostat is the brain, sensing the air temperature and turning your air conditioner or furnace on and off when needed. A tune-up list should include inspecting the thermostat to verify it is sensing the proper air temperature and that all connections are secure.
Trained professionals can examine your HVAC system to verify the thermostat is kicking on your air conditioner or furnace when adjusted to various temperature ranges. That includes short cycling when your HVAC shuts down before full cooling/heating cycles are complete. A tune-up can also help you set programable thermostats to match your schedule and needs.
CHECKING THE SYSTEMS CONTACTORS AND RELAYS
Your HVAC contactors and relays open and close circuits, controlling electrical flow to your system’s components. That flow is what turns equipment on and off. Signs these components are not working include inconsistent operation, noises like chattering or humming sounds, and signs of charring or melting.
Our technicians can inspect these components using specialized equipment like multimeters. They can isolate and test these parts, replacing them if they do not close or open correctly. This tune-up step will allow your HVAC system to produce consistent temperatures in your home and help equipment shut down or start up properly.
CLEAN AND FLUSH DRAIN LINE AND TRAP
The HVAC system requires a condensate drain and trap to prevent the air from the system from escaping. It prevents conditioned air from blowing outside in a positive pressure system. When attached to a negative pressure system, it stops condensation from pooling in the air handler.
Our personnel can inspect the air conditioner drain tube to check that it is not blocked and unclog it if needed. That can prevent overflow at the condensate plate and stop algae growth and other debris from creating a block. They can also verify water is flowing correctly at the trap.
CHECKING THE AIR CONDITIONER REFRIGERANT LEVELS
Your HVAC system needs to maintain a proper level of the chemical compound used to absorb heat and provide cool air after running through compressors and evaporators. Low levels of this refrigerant make your air conditioner lose its ability to transfer heat, resulting in warm air circulating within your home. Our trained technicians can inspect and handle these chemicals in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, keeping your HVAC running cool.
ADJUST BELTS AND LUBRICATE MOVING PARTS
HVAC belts connect components like the motor pulley to the blower wheel pulley, helping push air throughout the ductwork. Adjusting these to the proper tension should be standard during a tune-up to prevent slippage and belt deterioration. Motor bearings and other moving parts require lubrication to reduce friction and reduce wear and tear on these parts. Regular lubrication can also reduce the amount of corrosion and heat buildup that affects sensitive components.
WE PROVIDE TUNE-UPS AND MORE
We can provide all your tune-up needs in Riverside and the surrounding area. From annual HVAC maintenance to getting your air conditioning ready for summer’s heat or your furnace set to handle the winter cold, we can help. Some of the other services our company provides include:
- AC installation
- AC repair
- Heating installation
- Heating repair
- Ductless mini-split services
- Indoor air quality solutions
- Maintenance plans
- Smart thermostats
We have provided professional work for homeowners in Orange County and the Inland Empire area since 2010. Discover how our customer service and HVAC expertise stand out from others. Contact Dragonfly Heating & Cooling today for more information.