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Get Cooling System in Shape for Summer

June 11, 1995|GARY ABRAMS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Abrams, a general contractor, has written on home improvement topics for The Times for six years

Few things are more annoying for the homeowner than to be stranded in the midst of one of our grueling summer heat waves waiting for the air conditioning guy who promised to be there two days ago.

Save yourself some aggravation by taking the time now to have your central cooling system serviced before the high summer temperatures arrive.

Most air conditioning experts recommend annual servicing of the cooling system in the springtime and the heating system in the fall.

Central air conditioning units have several key components that require inspection and maintenance. Not all systems require the same maintenance procedures, but as a guide, refer to this list when checking with local qualified technicians in your area as to what they include in their spring maintenance visits:

1--Clean or replace filters. 2--Lubricate motors and other moving parts. 3--Check and recharge refrigerant as needed. 4--Inspect and clean condensing and evaporator coils. 5--Inspect and clean condensate drain lines. 6--Check amperage draw on condenser, compressor and fan motors. This can reveal upcomingproblems. 7--Inspect relay contractors for worn or burnt points. 8--Check and replace worn drive belts. 9--Check thermostat operation. 10--Test air flow at room registers. 11--Check temperature drop across evaporator coils. 12--Inspect "run" and "start" capacitors. 13--Check for proper "change-over" operation from heating to cooling. 14--Inspect for loose or worn wiring. 15--Clean dust and debris from inside the equipment.

Most air conditioning service companies will perform a complete maintenance on your system for less than $150. Some companies offer an annual maintenance program at one price that includes an autumn inspection and service of the heating system, as well as the cooling.

Either way you proceed, always save the service records as they will be valuable to buyers when you sell your home.

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