As with any machine, failure is inevitable. Machines are built to be as durable as economically feasible. Practicing routine maintenance will extend the life of any type of equipment. Summers in Wichita, Ks are generally hot and the abundance of cottonwood seed flying around well into June doesn’t help air conditioners run efficiently. If we expect for our equipment to operate reliably they must be maintained every season. All that being said, here are the top 5 breakdowns we see every summer in Wichita, Ks.
(5) Refrigerant leaks are fairly common. Years of Evaporator coils being built thinner to achieve higher efficiency ratings, while keeping costs down, has resulted in a large number of coils that just don’t last more than 10-15 years. The industry has taken notice and many manufacturers have gone to an all aluminum type of coil. These coils have performed much better in salt water testing and maintained the high efficiency standards needed for 13+seer systems. Some systems will develop tube rubs, condenser coil leaks and the occasional loose service cap but the vast majority of failures are evaporator coil leaks. These leaks can almost never be repaired and require evaporator coil replacement.
(4) Motor failures are very common on HVAC equipment. All air conditioners require 3 motors running at the same time to function properly. Blower motors commonly fail in furnaces or air handlers and the usual diagnosis is bearing failure or electrical failure in windings. Condenser fan motors generally fail due to extreme heat or weak capacitors. Both of these types of motors can generally be replaced for a reasonable price and extend the life of your system considerably. The third motor is the one inside the compressor. The compressor is a very important part, the heart of the machine. If the compressor fails either by bearing or electrical failure it is an extremely costly repair and generally it is more advisable to replace the entire air conditioner rather than rebuild an existing system that will only receive a 1 year warranty.
(3) Contactor failure is common and is generally due to break down of the contactor surface. There is no way to prevent this failure and the only real way to extend the life expectancy is to start with a higher quality part. Every time the air conditioner starts the contacts pull in and this connection create a spark. Years of this repeated activity causes the shiny points to degrade exposing the steel beneath them. This causes more sparks, heat and failure. This repair is generally quick and inexpensive and can be made by a service technician on the spot as they usually carry this part on the truck.
(2) Capacitors assist in the starting of motors. Your system will generally have two to three capacitors; one for the blower, located inside the furnace, and either two separate or a dual type located in the air conditioner. The capacitors in the air conditioner are for starting of the compressor and the fan. Extreme heat, voltage spike and bad weather are usually blamed for their failure. If a capacitor fails on your system you will often times hear a growling coming from the air conditioner or blower and you may trip breakers or see the lights dim. This is a very common problem and the HVAC service technician will be able to diagnose and make this repair quickly and the repair costs will not be extreme.
(1) Lack of routine maintenance is the number one cause of all failures. These systems need to be clean and have good filters in them. Small problems need to be corrected before they become large ones. A good, trust worthy technician will keep your system running trouble free for years. They will catch weak capacitors, tight bearing, dirty filters, plugged condensers and issues that could have been solved while a system is still under warranty. Catastrophic system failure are almost always preventable. The cost of a professional air conditioner cleaning is well below the cost of repairs no matter how minor they are. The cost of maintenance is well below the amount of money you will save on electricity by running a system free of any obstructions or defects. The answer is obvious. Call us today and we will send a technician right over!!!
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CALL EPIC HEATING & COOLING TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Justin Ritter (316)633-8097