Maintenance/Service

I have a soon to be 5 year old Trane Air Conditioner. Is it necessary to have service done at this time? Nancy/Florida
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It should be done annually as per the manufacturers recommended service in the warranty, and in the international mechanical code.
--
Bob Pietrangelo
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (home)
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See your owner's manual for recommended maintenance (XR12 A/C excerpted below). Some of the work can be done by the homeowner, some requires a trained technician. If you don't consider yourself trained then you should hire a contractor for the 'dealer' work. Homeowner's tasks:
Help ensure top efficiency by cleaning or replacing the filter monthly.* When the air conditioner circulates and filters the air in your home, dust and dirt particles build up on the filter. Excessive accumulation can block the airflow, forcing the unit to work harder to maintain desired temperatures. And the harder your unit works, the more energy it uses. Clean or replace your filter twice a month during seasons when the unit runs more often. When replacing your filter(s), always use the same size and type that was originally supplied. Filters are available from your dealer. Where disposable filters are used, they must be replaced every month with the same size as originally supplied.
How to remove your filter.* Ask your Trane dealer where the filter is located in your system and how to service it. Just be sure to replace it with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow. Efficiency can be maintained by keeping outdoor unit clear of debris, leaves and shrubbery. Efficient operation of your air conditioner depends on the free flow of air over the coil. Anything that blocks the airflow, causes the compressor to work harder to move the warm air out of your house. To avoid overworking your unit, do not plant flowers or shrubbery right next to it. Also, make sure that nothing is stacked against the sides of the unit or draped over it. Making sure your outdoor unit is kept clear at all times helps it work at peak efficiency.
Keep your air conditioner looking new for years. Clean the enamel finish of your air conditioner with soap and water. For stubborn grease spots, use a household detergent. Do not use lacquer thinner or other synthetic solvents as they may damage the finish.
Call your dealer for additional routine maintenance:
Your air conditioning system should be inspected regularly by a properly trained service technician. The inspection (preferably twice each year, but at least once a year) should include the following:
. Routine inspection of air filter(s). Replacement or cleaning as required.
. Inspection and cleaning of the blower wheel, housing, and motor as required.
. Inspection and, if required, cleaning of indoor and outdoor coils.
. Inspection of the indoor coil drain pan, plus the primary and secondary drain lines. If supplied, the auxiliary drain pan and line should be inspected at this time. Service should include cleaning, if required.
. A check of all electrical wiring and connections.
. A check for secure physical connections of individual components within units.
. Operational check for the air conditioning system to determine actual working condition. Necessary repair and/or adjustment should be performed at this time.
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I should have added:
Be wary of contractors who say that you "need more refrigerant" or that they "topped up the Freon".
Air conditioning systems are sealed systems and do not require replenishment of the refrigerant. If refrigerant is added it is because:
A) You have a leak - and if your system has been running for five years it is unlikely that it is leaking.
B) The system wasn't properly charged to begin with. Unlikely if the amount of refrigerant added is more than a few ounces and it has been working OK for the last five years.
C) The contractor thinks you are stupid and won't question the need to "add a few pounds" of refrigerant.
Buyer beware.
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