Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
Summer months are approaching. As a contractor, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to service residential AC customers’ homes during the early spring months so you can address their needs, and prepare for the uptick in demand for your services. It is crucial to stay up to date with best service practices and business practices when it comes to HVAC. Learn what to look for on your AC servicing calls, opportunities to expand your business with new customers, and opportunities to expand business to existing customers.
When is the best time for Contractors to do AC Servicing?
Think well ahead. Preventative and regular maintenance will ensure the best results for your customers— two times a year for maintenance checks is recommended. Warmer temperatures may arrive early. Spring and early summer is when it is encouraged to get ahead of these potential problems, and is the perfect time to schedule a maintenance call with your existing customers. On the other hand, servicing at the end of the year when AC is being turned off for the colder months prevents issues the following spring when it is time to start up again and gives your customer more confidence in knowing everything is in order.
For New Customers - Check Operational AC Unit Parts
On the other hand, if you have a new customer that has called you up with AC unit problems when temperatures warm up, it’s important to start with the basics. It is fundamental to check that all parts of their AC unit are operational. This will give you a better understanding of what you are dealing with, what is working properly, and what needs to be improved or fixed. Carry some extra parts with you in your vehicle to speed up the process for possible repairs. Wolseley also has Express Pick-Up at many branches in case you do need a few of those last-minute parts while on the job.
Visually Assess their AC Unit
Assess your client’s air conditioner’s placement outside to determine if it sits in a place that protects the unit. If it’s not protected, damage may occur during the winter weather, or from being hit with things such as car doors or shovels. There is also potential for debris from trees or plants to affect the unit. To help prevent future damage, it is good practice to sell a homeowner a unit cover.
An initial inspection of physical damage will also reveal whether any fractures of an internal line or valve where refrigerants in the unit have been cracked and need replacing.
Examine Refrigerant and Condensate Lines
It is extremely important to check the refrigerant and condensate drain lines on a yearly basis. While you want to make sure the refrigerant lines are securely connected from the unit to the coil, the major concern is with the A coil. The evaporator A Coil is quite small and self-contained mechanically, so it does lead to problems if neglected.
As cool air fills a home, the dropping temperature naturally produces condensation on the A coil, but the condensation needs somewhere to go. If the condensate line is not properly maintained to remove the heat and moisture, blockages and plugs may occur. This can create an overflow situation with water built up in the tray around the A coil. Over time, this can lead to a larger issue, like a flood into the owner’s furnace, creating exponential damage. In locations with hard water or well water, be aware of calcification around the coil that can lead to this outcome.
Overall, make sure the drain line is put into an appropriate space that is close to a drain in working order, which is typically a laundry room sink, instead of relying on the drain in the floor.
Prevent Condensate Overflow with Condensate Removal Pumps
There are two standard types of condensate removal pumps: those with a safety switch and those without. With a safety switch, when condensation builds up, a float would trigger the condensate pump to pump out water. It will also sound an alarm that would notify the homeowner of an overflow situation. It helps if contractors understand the different features and benefits manufacturers put in condensate pumps, to explain to customers the importance of having one.
Running Diagnostics on the AC Unit For Maximum Efficiency
Another way to ensure smooth operations of your customer's AC unit is through running some diagnostics. When you’re at the unit, do a check of the unit using a pressure gauge readout. Keep an eye on the results to see if the pressures are within the acceptable range.
Close the AC Service Call - Maintenance and Warranties
Make the best of your service calls with new customers and continue to stay a step ahead of their needs. Schedule a maintenance program and implement a service agreement with your client for their insurance needs if anything were to go wrong. Though it’s an added expense, it's incredibly beneficial for your customer's peace of mind. They continue to remain protected in case of potential problems. Think of it in the same vein as car insurance; while a driver may not ever need it, it is far better to have that safety net than not having one.
Maintenance on a regular basis also extends the life of AC equipment anywhere from 10 to 15 years. Warranties for parts last a decade on average, and during that time the homeowner is covered. When the end of that duration arrives, you can also alert your customers to think about making upgrades to a new unit sooner, as old parts become relatively expensive when out of warranty.
To continue your success through the spring and summer, now is the time to prepare! You can put homeowners' minds at ease when they know their systems are operational and ready prior to the heat of the summer, and maintained year-round.
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