Head off common A/C problems with our free logs and checklist

The better data you have on your air conditioning’s performance, the better you’ll be able to spot problems and extend your equipment’s useful life. You can find our complimentary air conditioning logs here, which can help you track operating characteristics and alert you to trouble down the road.

In addition to documenting information in the logs, regular maintenance can make a world of difference in helping to prevent common issues with your equipment. Here’s an actionable checklist to help you maintain your air conditioning system:

Annual maintenance:

Check open or hermetic motors for burn out

  • Check air ventilation openings on open-type motors for obstruction.
  • Check bearings on open-type motors for adequate and proper lubrication.
  • Have insulation resistance meter readings taken on motor windings.

 Inspect motor controls

  • Remove the covers on the motor’s magnetic starters and examine the contacts.
  • Check all terminal connections for tightness.
  • Check the overload protection for defects and proper sizing.
  • Make sure timing devices have the correct operating sequence.
  • Check mechanical linkage for binding and looseness.

Check the thermostatic expansion valve

  • Check it for proper superheat setting over its full range of operation.

Check the operating and safety controls

  • Make sure they’re properly calibrated and in working order.
  • Immerse thermal sensing controls in a cold medium to verify the condition and setting of their sensing elements.
  • Test oil pressure differential switches mechanically and electrically.

Clean the condensers/ cooling towers

  • Clean air cooled condensers, but only with a solution marketed for this specific use.
  • Remove the heads on shell and tube condensers and clean the tubes of scale and debris.
  • Clean the coils, sump, spray nozzles and overflow drain on evaporative condensers.
  • For cooling towers, clean the sump and spray nozzles and check the baffles for tightness and soundness.
  • Check the makeup water valve to be sure it’s operating properly.

Monthly maintenance

Check the fans

  • Check fans for broken, cracked, bent or loose blades and hubs.
  • Check the fan shaft and bearings.
  • Check belt tension and condition.

Check the pumps

  • Check the condition of pump bearings, packings, shaft couplings and seals.

Help prevent ‘scrambled’ compressors

  • At least eight hours before start-up, hermetic compressors need to have their crank case heater energized.
  • Have the cylinder heads removed and check the compressor valves – at least once every two years, or every 10,000 hours.

Avoid lubrication failure

  • Every year, have your service technician check the oil then leak test the system and repair any point of leakage immediately.
  • Check these likely leak spots every week:
    • Compressor shaft seals
    • Piping joints
    • Coils
    • Vessels
    • Compressors
    • Motors

Avoid refrigerant circuit failure

  • Equip your refrigerant circuit (liquid line) with a moisture sight glass indicator. Look for any change in the indicator chemical color

Regularly check temperature and pressure controls

  • Periodically have them serviced, adjusted and proof-tested – only by qualified personnel.
  • To avoid pressure problems: try to determine normal discharge and suction pressures. As with temperature changes, any increase in pressure is reason enough to call the service technician at once.

Keep air filters clean

  • Keep air filters free of dust particles, smoke and dirt. Keep a careful log of cleaning dates to maintain an effective cleaning schedule.

Any change in normal operating characteristics is a warning. Call the service technician if you notice:

  • Unusual noise or vibration
  • A strange odor
  • Oil or water spots
  • Sudden changes in temperature, speed or pressure.

For more information, read this Equipment Care document on our website:
How To Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Keep Its Cool

…or check out our other blog posts on Air Conditioning:

Our advice is intended to complement the equipment manufacturers’ recommendation – not replace them. If you have doubts about any particular procedure, call an air conditioning service firm.

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© 2017 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only. All recommendations are general guidelines and are not intended to be exhaustive or complete, nor are they designed to replace information or instructions from the manufacturer of your equipment. Contact your equipment service representative or manufacturer with specific questions.

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