A/C System Performance

Ways to reduce costs, unexpected downtime for A/C related repairs

Too much oil in a system can coat the inner walls of the evaporator and condenser coils and diminish their ability to absorb or dissipate heat. Because excess oil tends to collect at low points in the suction line, there is also the risk of slugging the oil into the compressor at start-up.

"When you add oil to a system, be precise. Replace only what you take out."


Dust, bugs, feathers and other debris collect on the face of condenser fins and tubes and act as a thermal barrier, so it's important to keep the condenser clean. "Trouble is, a high-pressure hose can damage fins and disrupt the airflow across the condenser. Remind your drivers and technicians to mind the fins."

Condensers also fail because of vibration. Hose connections can come loose and fatigue the condenser tubing adjacent to the fittings. A routine inspection will highlight the need to clean the condenser and comb the fins, and make sure the hose connections are securely clamped.


"Refrigerant recovery, recycling and recharging equipment will last a long time if they are properly maintained and calibrated," Burrow points out, and offers these two steps to take to improve service life:

Use a refrigerant identifier to detect blends and contaminated refrigerant that can harm the service equipment. "It's worth the expense if the identifier saves one expensive repair."

A recovery station has a compressor, hoses and filters that need attention after so many hours or jobs. "Make sure everyone knows the PM schedule and who is responsible for changing filters, calibrating scales and so on."


Training and product support should be part of the package when buying A/C replacement parts. "At Red Dot, we spend a lot of time in the field helping people specify and maintain heavy duty HVAC systems and components," says Burrow. "Chances are, we've seen the problem you're working hard to resolve and can help you handle it more efficiently and cost-effectively."

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