Today we had an HVAC group come in to take a look at, inspect, and do maintenance on our air conditioning system because it was constantly running. When I mean constantly, I mean CONSTANTLY. Nearly 24/7 unless we turned it off. We weren’t pushing it either. We weren’t trying to push 60 degree air on 100+ degree days. We were trying to hit 70-80 degree air on 90 degree days. We finally got fed up with it after 2 months of ~$400 power bills. We contacted the property management company and told them that they needed to send out a group to inspect it and the property.
Boy, am I glad we did.
The company that came out (Remm Heating in North Brunswick, NJ) came out today around 8:00am.
Right off the bat, they told us that the filters needed to be replaced and that it should be done every 3 months. I told them we replaced it in January, then the property management company told us to stop doing maintenance of any kind and let them handle it. We had been replacing the filters every 6 months. They said that if the system is on near-constant (as it typically during the summer) it should be every 3 months. During the winter we could probably get away with 6 month intervals (replace in November, replace in May, replace in August). They also said that the air intake should be vacuumed out at the same time. I wasn’t aware of that before today, so it’s news to me.
They asked us what sort of problems we were seeing that we thought we needed servicing. I said that in the 5 years I’ve lived here we haven’t had the system inspected and serviced, but beyond that it just wasn’t generating sufficient cold air. The fans were spinning to create air movement, but just no cold air. For example: Last week NJ was in the throws of a heat wave. We’re talking 90+ degree days for over a week, with some days reaching above 100 degrees. The AC, even running 24×7 did not get the apartment below 75 degrees. Even at night.
Next they said that they should check on the system outside since everything else on the inside looked OK. They popped outside and disappeared for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes they came back and told us that it was a complete mess outside. The air conditioner condenser / heat exchanger fins were completely and totally gunked up. They also said that the AC system had low operating pressure, indicating that there was not enough refrigerant (R22). They cleaned the fins and recharged the system (2 Units; I assume pounds but I cannot confirm nor deny it).
I have to say: it has made a huge difference. Today has been a 83-89 degree day. My AC system has been ticking on every half hour or so, and has had no problem keeping the apartment a chilly 68 degrees (though I’ve since turned it up to a comfortable 72).
Get your HVAC system checked, preferably at least once a year.
It’ll save you money and headaches.