Flipping the Switch: Starting Your Air Conditioning System

May 14, 2014 – With just over a month before the official start of summer, now is the time to begin thinking about turning your air conditioning system back on. Experts report that more air conditioning breakdowns occur early in the summer than at any other time of the year.  While ensuring the safety of your staff and members is one responsibility of the church, so too is making sure they are comfortable. Consider these tips for avoiding a hot and sticky building with no air conditioning:

  • Have your air conditioning units serviced – Perform preventive maintenance to identify potential problems before they occur. A maintenance agreement with a qualified and reliable HVAC contractor is strongly recommended. Scheduling a contractor visit before both the cooling and heating seasons will allow your organization to have professional help in start-up and shut-down of your HVAC systems. Ask the contractor for tips and view manufacturer’s recommendations for ongoing maintenance activities that your organization can perform.  

  • Keep air filters clean – Develop a regular schedule for replacing or cleaning air filters within the HVAC system. Keep air filters free from dirt and dust particles. Consider keeping a log of replacement or cleaning dates to help maintain a consistent maintenance schedule.

  • Clean condenser units – Be sure to shut off power to the units before cleaning or performing other maintenance. Keep exterior air-cooled condenser units clean with a solution specific to this use. Ensure the area around the condenser is free from leaves, weeds and grass to avoid an obstruction of airflow. Additionally, check for bent or broken fan blades that might need to be replaced.

  • Keep HVAC components lubricated – Lubrication is an important element of your HVAC system, and the lack of it can be one of the biggest causes of equipment breakdown. Without proper lubrication, moving parts in motors and compressors can overheat, wear out or break.  Discuss with your HVAC contractor what components of the HVAC system you should lubricate yourself and those that should be handled professionally during maintenance visits.

  • Check condensate lines and drains – Part of your HVAC system is a condensate drain, where the condensation of water from the air conditioning drips from the evaporator coil and drains outside the building. If the drain is clogged, it can cause water to back up inside the building and overflow, leading to water damage. You can prevent this issue by ensuring your condensate lines and drains are clear at the start of the cooling season.

Get more tips in this Air Conditioning Start-Up Checklist from Hartford Steam Boiler, GuideOne Insurance’s mechanical equipment breakdown reinsurer.

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