As we move into July and August – typically the hottest months of the year – many people turn to their air conditioning systems to keep them cool. Just like your home’s heating system, however, your central air equipment should be regularly maintained and inspected to ensure proper functionality and prevent potential issues or inefficiencies. Here’s a look at three main areas that a professional inspector will review during a comprehensive inspection.
The first basic test to be performed is activating and confirming that the home’s central air conditioning system works properly. This process involves activating the system from the thermostat and then inspecting the unit itself during operation. The inspector will examine over the unit, looking for signs of issues or potential problems with the system. This includes dents and dirt build up, blocked ducts, missing insulation or potentially broken or clogged drainage lines. The inspector can then make a note of any concerns and offer recommendations on your next course of action in their report.
The next step in an inspection is finding and examining the air filter or filters that are a part of your central air system. As there are many different configurations possible for an air conditioning system – Is it installed indoors or outdoors, although in Alberta they are generally installed outside? Is the system located in the basement, closet or attic? – an inspector will need to check over your system for any unique designs or layouts. Once located, the inspector will check over the filter or filters, looking for signs of excessive wear or dirt collection, problems with the filter position, potential issues with undersized or oversized filters being used and any other potential concerns.
Lastly, an inspector will visually inspect the ductwork in your home to determine if there are any issues with the way that they are positioned or braced, or if they are suffering from excessive wear. As ducts age, they can begin to wear through, leading to holes that can allow the cool air to escape along the way to the intended vent. These same holes can also let in warm air, which can reduce the efficiency of your cooling system and even cause increased humidity due to the combining cold and warm air. That excessive moisture in the air can, in turn, potentially lead to dangerous mold growth although this would be very unusual in our province. The inspector will also examine the vents and returns themselves, looking for symptoms of damaged or misinstalled register boxes that may also be contributing to air loss or reduced efficiency.
Summer is the time you need your central air most, and is the best time of year to have the system thoroughly checked by a professional. Operating and testing a system during cooler seasons is often not possible, as air conditioning systems can easily be damaged during cold-temperature operation. Call Accurate Home Inspections today at 403-826-6111 or schedule an appointment online and make sure that you stay cool this summer!