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Special to the News-Standard

AUSTIN — Few things are as miserable — or as expensive — as a broken air conditioning system that could have been prevented by regular maintenance. Springtime is the perfect time to hire a licensed air conditioning contractor to assess any mechanical issues in your system. Regular maintenance of your system will extend its life and help you avoid expensive health and safety issues.

But before hiring an air conditioning contractor, consumers should check the TDLR website (www.tdlr.texas.gov) to make sure the contractor is licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

“Hiring a licensed contractor helps ensure the safety of your family and property. Checking whether your technician is licensed is an important step in protecting yourself from shoddy and dangerous work,” said TDLR Chief AC/R Inspector Bill Weatherly.

Once you’ve confirmed that the contractor is licensed through TDLR, here are several things they should be inspecting in your cooling system. At a minimum the contractor should:

•Check equipment cabinets for damage or missing panels.

•Check and tighten compressor, fan motor, contractor and control panel terminations.

•Check compressor crankcase heater (if applicable) for proper operation.

•Lubricate condenser fan motor and indoor blower motor bearings (if applicable)

•Check alignment, tension and condition of indoor blower belt(s) (if applicable)

•Check and clean condenser coils.

•Check and clean evaporator coil and condensate drain pan.  Add biocide pan tabs to condensate pan.

•Check air filters and replace as necessary.

•Start Indoor Blower and perform static pressure test to ensure proper air flow.

•Start cooling cycle and check for refrigerant leaks

•Check system for proper refrigerant charge, trim charge as necessary.

•Make operating log of all temperatures, pressures, voltages, and amperages.

•Submit a written report to the customer and report any uncorrected deficiencies.

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