New House - New to Central AC and Yearly Service Advice

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Old 07-14-13, 06:23 AM
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New House - New to Central AC and Yearly Service Advice

Hi Guys,

I'm in a new home with Central AC. This is my first experience with central AC.

I have 2 units, one in the attic and one in the basement handling the second and first floors. Both are Trane and about 8 years old.

The condensors seem clean though I haven't pulled a cover to fully inspect the insides.

The air handlers have old electric filters with only pre-filters though they were turned off when we moved into the house. I've since cleaned the pre-filters though the electric grids are clean. I've looked at the evap cores and they seem fairly clear. I haven't looked at the blower motor yet...

I'm a fairly handy DIY guy who usually never outsources home work unless absolutely necessary. I'd rather buy the tools and learn from the web and here and learn the skill and pass it along to others.

That said, what am I looking at relative to maintenance for the units? What is the frequency and what needs to be addressed. Are there any special tools that I will need and what parts of the service are beyond my scope...?

Looking forward to learning along the way.

Thanks,

Bryan



Bryan
 
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Old 07-14-13, 06:46 AM
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Bryan,

I'm just a DIY myself. To my knowledge, keeping the condensor coil clean, replacing the air handler filter regularly, and changing the thermostat batteries when needed are just about all that the average homeowner can do.

To clean the condensor coil, the recommended way is to remove the fan assembly from the top of the unit (so you can gain access to the inside of the coil). The fan sucks air in through the coils and out the top, so to remove any dirt, you want to take a garden hose and spray water through the coil from the inside (opposite direction of the normal airflow through the coil). When spraying the coil, be careful not to bend any of the fins, and (of course) be sure the power is turned off before working on the outside unit.
 
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Old 07-14-13, 07:24 AM
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I agree with Bob. Regular filter replacement will normally keep the inside coil clean as long as no construction is done with the system running. Maybe once every 5/yrs or so it should be inspected after initial startup. Outside unit as he described. I've also used a aluminum wheel cleaner (not the acid stuff) or a KrudKutterorSimple Green mix to spray on and clean the dirt off. In the off seasons (late fall, winter, early spring) I would put a cut to size piece of window screen held with magnets on the top of the unit to keep leaves out.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 07-15-13 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 07-15-13, 05:23 AM
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The screen is a great idea in the off season!
 
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