After you have had a new HVAC unit installed, you should run it through its paces to make sure that everything is working as it should be. There are three primary areas to look at when you test your HVAC unit: the controls, the ductwork and the vents. An HVAC system that is working efficiently has clear, apparent and near-immediate results, especially in the summer, so the process of testing your AC unit is relatively straightforward.
Testing Your Thermostat
Begin with a check of the control system for your HVAC system. Compare the temperature readout on the thermostat to a thermometer that is not connected to the system. If they differ, your thermostat may have a problem sensing the temperature of your house, and if your thermostat cannot tell when it needs to kick-in or stop, even an HVAC system that is otherwise in perfect order becomes unable to do its job.
Then, start to run a cooling test from the thermostat. An AC test is best after a few days during which the outdoor temperature has stayed above 65º Fahrenheit, and absolutely not lower than 60º Fahrenheit, to avoid stressing or damaging the system’s compressor. Set your thermostat to auto-regulate heating and cooling, and set the target temperature to a comfortable room temperature, typically between 76º F and 78º F. In the future you may want to program a time delay, but for the purposes of the test, make sure that the thermostat is set to start cooling immediately. The condenser and the fans should start running right away.
While it is working, take a few minutes to check the main HVAC unit, paying special attention to the HVAC sounds you hear, which can indicate different problems with the unit. Rattles and clanks indicate loose or disconnected parts, slapping sounds often mean that something has gotten stuck in the rotating blower and squeals at any time other than the first few seconds of start-up usually come either from belt problems, compressor issues or motors in need of lubrication. Many of these issues are delicate or difficult to fix on your own; look for Tempe Arizona HVAC installation technicians rather than trying a do-it-yourself repair job.
Checking the Ducts
Once the AC unit has been running for about ten minutes, the system should be cooling your house. Walk along the path from the unit to the air vents around the house, listening for unusual noises. Anything that has been left or lodged in the ductwork may interfere with the passage of cooled air to the rooms of your home. Rattling, flapping or hissing noises are more common here: the ducts do not have machinery to fail, and duct issues are usually either blockages or improper sealing that allows cooled air to leak, a major cause of wasted energy during the summer.
Examining the End Results
Finally, go from room to room throughout the house and check each air vent. Now that the system has been running for ten or more minutes, the cooled air should be circulating through the whole system, and all air vents should be providing noticeably cool air to the rooms. If vents in a certain room or a certain part of the house are not blowing, and you have checked that they are open, you may have a block or a leak farther in the ducts. Otherwise, your system is functioning correctly and should be able to bring your home to the correct temperature quickly and efficiently.