Start-up and commissioning is the most crucial aspect of a new installation/replacement of a major component. Although this can be performed in many ways, there are steps and processes to ensure you get the most out of the parts and equipment. Much like anything else, a poor install can lead to property damage, poor equipment performance, and premature breakdown. When talking about the refrigerant side of air conditioning, we have to remember this is a system that uses pressure inside sealed lines. In our industry topping off refrigerant on older equipment seemed like a typical activity. This is actually on the contrary as the refrigerant systems perform with closed-loop lines and should never leak. This means the refrigerant should not be able to escape unless we have an issue somewhere. It is typical that the gauges technicians use to test the system tend to remove a few ounces of refrigerant every time they connect or disconnect. A well-prepared tech will have fittings that will eliminate this loss of refrigerant from happening.
When we start a system, it’s essential to make sure the refrigerant system is not leaking or going to leak under pressure. We have a procedure of pressurizing the lines in order to expose a leak. Leaks can be large and very small; we use soap bubbles and allow pressures to settle for 30 minutes to ensure that no leaks are present. Once we have confirmation that there are no leaks, it’s time for us to hook up the vacuum system which will evacuate the lines from contamination. This process can take some time, and without using a Micron Gauge, there’s no way to know whether or not the system has been appropriately evacuated. Both of these processes can have a significant impact on the system. This seems to be the most shortcut process in our industry. The equipment to evacuate an AC system can be costly and requires a level of expertise not to damage anything. For example, the unit can have non-condensable or contamination; this can block the refrigerant and cause issues with performance. This is the last thing you want to experience while running your system.
Amongst other things, new equipment and parts should also be started up under the right parameters for their design. With the advancement in technology, they make these new parts and equipment very customizable to reach many customers. Profiles can be set for comfort based on region or how you operate your home or business. These small changes can take comfort and energy savings to its highest levels. We always recommend if you have never had this done or are installing a new system, having a Blue Diamond Technician come to ensure everything is set up appropriately.