Air Conditioning Service For Your Older Whole House AC Unit | Cypress, TX
While many homeowners replace their air conditioning units every ten to fifteen years or so, taking advantage of the increased energy efficiency and reliability of newer systems, it’s also possible to operate whole-house AC systems for longer periods of time, generally up to thirty years. Sometimes they’re old enough that, when our Mr. Reliable Heating & Air team arrives for air conditioning service in Cypress, TX, we’re concerned about whether parts for a unit that old are still available. Fortunately, most units have similar designs, so our experts are pretty good at sourcing what they need, and probably have most of the necessary repair parts along with the right tools on their truck when they arrive.
The Diagnostic Process for Air Conditioning Service of Older Units
One way to look at servicing your older AC system is that you can’t really make assumptions about it. In a fairly new system, we know which parts are likely to wear out or fail sooner or later in the unit’s lifetime, based on our experience and industry information. When everything in the unit is well beyond a typical lifespan, we have to think about everything, even whether nuts and bolts have corroded or sheet metal has vibrated to the point where the cover structure is getting loose. The unit may provide easier access to creatures that like to build nests in air conditioners, and the coil may get dirty more easily. Insulation on the refrigerant lines may be old and ineffective, or simply falling off, and motor mounts may be worn leading to excessive vibration when the unit operates. Wires may be old and insulation cracked or, if creatures have been inside, the wires may be damaged by gnawing and even removed for nesting material. This is on top of a typical diagnosis which involves a decision tree that our technicians have memorized.
Refrigerant Issues Can Be a Factor in Air Conditioning Service of Older Units
You’ve probably heard about the change in refrigerants for AC units, refrigerators, car AC, and other older devices. Servicing these units requires special care to replace the existing refrigerant that has been determined to cause risk for the environment, and install a new type of refrigerant in its place while collecting and properly disposing of the original one. Since the refrigerant qualities affect the operation and reliability of the compressor, our air conditioning service experts may suggest other services to ensure that the compressor responds well to the new refrigerant. For older units, of course, it’s especially important to make sure that the new refrigerant is being introduced into an intact system, without coil leaks or other ways that loss of the new refrigerant could occur.
Capacitors and Other Electrical Components
The contactor, motor starting capacitor, and other electrical components need to be inspected and electrically tested to ensure that they are still doing their jobs effectively, or replaced preemptively if that’s a better option. If the original thermostat is still controlling the unit, it’s worth checking as well to make sure it’s still calibrated correctly and reliably operating. Many older thermostats use mercury as part of the switch, so replacing the thermostat with a newer unit should include proper disposal of hazardous mercury.
By the way, there are many modern thermostat options such as timer-based temperature control and smart thermostats that are helpful energy-saving devices, even when they’re operating older equipment. One other electrical test that’s helpful to perform is a motor check to make sure that the fan motor in the AC unit, and the air handling system motors are operating freely, with bearings still in good shape. In some systems, hidden motors and actuators operate flow control doors in the ducting, and those should be located and checked, since they can reduce or cut off airflow if they malfunction, and they’re often located out of the way in attic duct runs.
Speaking of Ducts
If your air conditioning service is on a unit that’s 20 or 25 years old, it’s important to check the ducts to see if they’ve been serviced and cleaned over the years. It’s quite possible that they haven’t, and over that period of time a lot of dust, dirt, dead insects, and who knows what can build up and significantly narrow the ducts so that the airflow is restricted and the air quality is not so good as the felt-like material releases contaminants back into the air. If you’ve been experiencing allergies inside your home, allergens returned to the air from your ducts may be part of the problem. When we install or upgrade modern systems, many homeowners add HEPA filters, air purifiers, UV light pathogen neutralization, and humidity management systems to make the air easier and healthier to breathe. Air conditioning service for an older system should include or be followed by a proper duct cleaning, and also a check of duct condition to ensure that the system is intact for proper airflow, and repaired or resealed as necessary if not.
Thinking About a New AC System
When air conditioning service costs for repairs start to add up, it’s likely that the unit’s efficiency is also becoming lower. These are both good reasons to take a look at new replacement units. When you compare costs of operation as well as the price of the new unit, they are often compelling in suggesting it’s time for something new. These days, two-speed compressors not only provide a great way to reduce energy use by working only as hard as needed for cooling down your home or maintaining its temperature, they also let the system work less hard for less wear. Let us help you make the comparison when it’s time to think about replacement.
Expert Air Conditioning Service in Cypress, TX
At Mr. Reliable Heating & Air, we’re ready to provide air conditioning service and maintenance for your older unit in Cypress, TX as well as all-new models. Call our team today!
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