5/24/2012 9:59:00 PM Ask the contractor: APS offers rebate for AC diagnostic tune-up
by SANDY GRIFFIS Executive Director Yavapai County Contractors Assocation
In our column on May 11, we talked about the new APS (Arizona Public Service) program call Advanced Diagnostic Tune-up. This is an air conditioner tune-up rebate program that rewards the customer with a $100 rebate if they have their operational AC unit tuned up by a participating contractor using approved advanced diagnostic equipment. I had this test performed on my AC unit on May 17. My AC passed the test: Things called internal and external pathways were all in the good to normal range for a 6-year-old unit. Maybe my air conditioner inherited my genetic predisposition - my father lived to be 85 and my mom is still ticking at 91. My AC also seems destined for a long life, as the mechanical equivalents of valves, blood vessels and glands were all within the normal range.
Results are determined after performing a 15-20 minute evaluation. The snapshot did indicate there were some issues with the unit and, if left as they were, it would take the unit longer to cool, use more energy and struggle more during cooling hours, eventually cause the unit to wear out faster. The coils were terribly dirty, and the dirt caused the run time to increase and had an effect on other operating components, making the unit work harder. The technicians cleaned the coils and added a tiny amount of refrigerant, and bingo - I now have an efficiently running AC unit.
The unit was also tested for refrigerant leaks, relative humidity, dry bulb temperature, condenser air in and air out, static pressure, low side pressure, target superheat, target subcool, system airflow and actual temperature.
Have your unit tested and it can save you energy use and utility expenses, and prolong the unit's life. I now know that my unit is operating and performing above the manufacturer standards. For that peace of mind, it was money well spent. Thank you, Arizona Public Service, for being a great utility partner and making programs like this available to the consumer. Remember, the rebate is a limited-time offer, and is available to a maximum of 6,000 APS customers. Visit aps.com/main/green/choice/choice_159.html for more information and a list of participating contractors.
Q: How can I measure my home's water pressure?-Laverne, Chino Valley
A: To test water pressure, you must first have a water pressure gauge. You can purchase a gauge at most hardware stores. The nest step is to turn off every plumbing fixture inside and outside the home. This includes all faucets, landscape irrigation/sprinkler systems, icemakers, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, pool/spas, and evaporative cooler if you have one. Then, find the outside water hose bib that is the closest to the front of the home. This hose bib location is critical because this is where the water enters the home from the city water supply. Take the water pressure gauge and attach it to the hose bib. Turn the water spigot on. The needles on the gauge
will move and will stop on a number that will indicate your water pressure. This test should be repeated three times during the day - during the early morning hours, early evening and at night. There will more than likely be some sort of variation every time. The range for water pressure is a minimum of 35 to 65 pounds per inch or PSI. If your pressure is low, call your water provider. If the pressure is high, a water pressure regulator should be installed and you will need a plumber for that job.
YCCA encourages anyone thinking of hiring a contractor to check with YCCA to verify that the person or company you are hiring is licensed to do contract work in Arizona and that their license is current and in good standing with the State of Arizona Registrar of Contractors. This will keep you from becoming a victim.
Yavapai County Contractors Association is a professional association that protects consumers. Call YCCA at 778-0040. Submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or through www.yccca.org.