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How to Reduce and Prevent A/C Calls

hvac

How can I reduce and prevent A/C service calls?

Preventive Maintenance = Savings!

Take care of your HVAC system, and it will take care of the residents and result in fewer service calls.

For many of us it is a hot and hectic summer and we want fewer A/C calls and for some reason they often seem to come in all at once. For anyone on call it can seem as if it is at 4:59 pm every Friday. An effective way to reduce the amount of A/C calls is to check the entire system during the make-ready process and label the outdoor units/condensers to identify which unit it is actually connected to.

How many times have you found a unit that had the wrong number on it? Whether it was a unit that had a different number on the electrical disconnect compared to what is written on the actual unit itself or if the outdoor unit was completely on a different side of the building with no unit number identifying the units is time wasting and can be very frustrating. One way to help is to use vinyl stickers on the disconnect box and unit. They are inexpensive and do not fade in a short time period like magic markers and paint pens. In my experience if the sticker ever does get peeled off one can almost always make out the numbers and letters.

 

Check the Difference in Temperature The difference between the air going into the return grill and coming out of the supply vent should be around 15-20 degrees. In other words, If it is 100 degrees in someone’s home the coldest the supply air will be is 80-85 degrees. If it is 80 degrees in a home the coldest the air coming out of the vents should be is 60-65 degrees.

If the difference is too high that means something may need to be right such as airflow or the charge is either too high or low.

Make sure all coils are clean If an A/C unit doesn’t has excellent airflow it cannot and will not operate at its maximum capacity or efficiency and as a result will give incorrect gauge pressures. Cleaning the indoor and outdoor coils during a turn doesn’t take too much extra time and the time is well worth the reduction in A/C calls, unnecessary overtime, and most of all it will prevent an over-worked Service Team.

Check the Refrigerant Level Check the refrigerant charge during every turn in the summer or warm months.

 

Condensate Leaks. Well for some of us we have just finished getting bombarded with the first wave of A/C calls and corrected more than our share of undercharged units. Whew! Historically what happens next when the A/C systems are up and running is condensation leaks. Condensation leaks can wreak havoc in your ceilings, on the carpet, and really make a mess while frustrating a resident. Cleaning out drain pans and adding something as simple as a Sludge preventing drain tablet can save a fortune in time and frustration and prevent you from making a return trip.

Let’s face it the last thing a technician wants to do is make several trips to the same home for the same or similar problem. Keep in mind that condensation water is absolutely filthy and should be treated whenever it leaks. It has been known as a source to cause legionnaires disease so please be sure to disinfect any area that has come in contact with condensation. Many reports show that is carries more harmful bacteria than raw sewage.

An ounce of prevention will save you a pound of work so install the tablets and they will make a difference. Clean coils whenever you get a chance, and of course, the best time to install the drain tablets is during the turn process. If you make it a habit I guarantee you’ll get fewer condensation leaks. Checking the charge is one of the best ways to determine in an A/C is functioning but it should also be one of the last checks made. The reason, if the coils are clean, the airflow is correct then the gauges will give a much more accurate and telling measurement.

Train the Team

Teams that continuously train perform better than teams that don’t. Whether it is a refresher class for an experienced technician, trouble-shooting, or an introduction for a new and upcoming technician, training always costs less than one resident with no A/C for a few days.

Check our Calendar to see when a course is in your neighborhood or contact me if you want a class just for your team. You’ll be glad you did and so will your residents.

Mark Cukro President Plus One Consulting, Inc. www.serviceteamtraining.com

Call now to Book a Seminar or have Mark speak at an event 1-704-363-6236