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Keeping Cool on the Inside

GT Air Mechanical Services team of experts can keep you cool all summer long.
Image Credit: GT Air Mechanical Services
April 23, 2018 - 12:00 AM

It’s distinctly possible that the Okanagan Valley in the springtime is the most beautiful place on earth. When the seasons change for the warmer, it’s tempting to start looking forward to all the things we’re going to do outside. But let’s not forget about the systems that work together to keep us comfortable inside.
     Before you start figuring out all of the adventures you’re going to do in the weeks and months ahead, let’s take a moment to make sure your cooling systems are ready for spring, says Greg Fougere, owner of Kelowna’s GT Air Mechanical Services. Checking your air conditioner before the heat hits will ensure you are prepared to stay cool indoors.
     Changing the filters every quarter will help control indoor allergens like dust, pollen and pet dander. Modern HVAC systems have built-in filters “electronic air cleaners” or “UVC & UVV light” that remove these common household contaminants.
     “It is generally recommended that the filters be replaced every three months per season, but if you have pets or an allergy sufferer in the house, you may need to change the filters monthly or every other month, ” says Fougere.
     Ideally, your air conditioner was covered in the fall to help keep it free from debris. If not, performing a visual inspection and removing any twigs or leaves is important, after which you can clean the fan blades with a damp cloth. Pay particular attention to the coils. If you see dirt and they are looking dirty, they require cleaning ASAP to avoid compressor damage. Once it’s had a cleaning, turn the unit on to test it well before you are using it regularly for the season.
     “It’s relatively easy to schedule an air conditioner service call in the spring, and on the hottest day of the year, you’ll be glad you took the time do it,” says Fougere.
     Since the early 1990s, a radical shift has been taking place in the air conditioning industry. R-22 refrigerant, also known as Freon, has been completely phased out of production in favor of a superior refrigerant called R410a, also known as Puron, explains Fougere. The reasons for this shift in refrigerant are mainly environmental. R-22 poses serious environmental risks as leaks in A/C compressors contribute to releasing hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HFCF’s) into the air, depleting the ozone layer and contributing to greenhouse warming. R410a A/C SCROLL compressors are also more energy efficient, another important factor when considering the environmental impact of home cooling.
     But what if you already own an R-22 air conditioner? Fougere suggests that replacing it with an R410a unit is your best option. “While it may seem expensive up front, it is the most economical way to address obsolete equipment.”
     Something else to consider is the difficulty in completing repairs or maintenance on existing R-22 units. Parts and refrigerant for R410a units are not interchangeable at all with R-22 units despite what any retailer or servicer may claim, cautions Fougere.  Any retro-fitting, unless developed specifically by the manufacturer, only poses further environmental risks and will likely decrease the performance of the unit.
      The option to repair or refill R-22 refrigerant units will soon not be an option. The production of Freon and R-22 replacement parts was banned in 2010. It is only a matter of time before there is no more R-22 refrigerant available as well as any replacement parts. Not to mention any remaining stock will only skyrocket in price as supply dwindles and demand increases. “We have already been experiencing this as a servicer for years as R-22 refrigerant is now double the cost of R410a refrigerant,” stresses Fougere.
     Fougere and his skilled, qualified team at GT AIR Mechanical Services can come by this spring to service your AC unit. Whether it’s commercial or residential, GT Air provide a free consultation on a needed new system. Visit https://www.gtairservices.com/ for more information or to book an appointment.

 

Sponsored By   GT Air Mechanical Services

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