You’re not ready for summer until your home is Bouldenized. You’ve seen that on our website. You’ve heard it on our radio ads, but what is it mean when Boulden Brothers says you should be Bouldenized? Sam McMullen from Boulden Brothers joins us to explain how a Bouldenization goes beyond a tuneup.
First of all, I have an air conditoner sitting next to my house. It’s been sitting dormant all winter. Nothing has been used. I’m just going to turn it on, start using it in the springtime. What’s wrong with that?
Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. You do want to make sure that the system’s going to start up for you. That’s a main concern that you want to avoid.
What would keep it from starting up?
There could be a number of reasons. There could be an issue with a power… there might be a power surge that might blow a fuse or pop your breaker that would keep the outdoor unit from coming on. Sometimes the refrigerant charge, if it’s incorrect, wouldn’t allow the starter to cool. But you just always want to make sure that the system’s going to at least run and come on.
So that’s why you say get a tuneup every springtime.
Now, a typical tuneup consists of what?
Typical tuneup, somebody’s going to come out, and they’re going to look things over. They might clean a few things, or they’ll look at the condition of the fan motor outside. They might just do an overall visual of the system.
And call it good and charge you 49.99 and be down the road.
That’s very possible, yes.
All right, so, a Bouldenization, on the other hand, you’d say goes further. I say what does that mean?
Yeah, a Bouldenization takes a maintenance visit to the maximum level. We have a 48 point checklist, safety and diagnostic, where we’re going to check all kinds of parts in the system to make sure that they’re operating with a manufacturer’s specifications for peak efficiency, and make sure that that system is not going to break down on you during the heat of the summer.
So this is when you talk about bringing the system back to factory fresh specs at the end of a Bouldenization.
As best we can do. Absolutely.
All right. So, what does that entail? What kind of things are on this 48 point checklist of yours?
Well, first off, we check the condenser coil and fan capacitors. We make sure that the condenser coil’s clean. We’ll look at the capacitor, make sure it’s within specs. We even look at the compressor and the operation contactors to see if the points are pitted or not. Fan motor, make sure it’s not rusted through. Fan blades, make sure there’s no cracks.
We look at drain holes, and make sure nothing’s got in there and plugged any of the drain holes up. Electrical connections, we want them to be super tight. As electric passes through, it heats them up and sometimes it can loosen lugs. We want to make sure the disconnect’s secured to the house and operating properly.
Oh, keep going. You’re doing great.
We check the refrigerant. That’s how we provide cool air in your home is a transfer of heat through the refrigerant, so we’ll make sure it’s at peak levels and that the pressures and the temperatures superheat and subcooling are exactly where they need to be on the system.
Wow. And what about my thermostat? Are you going to check my thermostat?
Yeah, that list was just the outdoor unit, Charlie.
Oh, my. There’s more?
Yeah. Absolutely. We’re going to check the indoor unit to make sure the fan is aligned. We’re going to make sure that the control board is operating the way it’s supposed to. We’re going to look to make sure your air filter is nice and clean. We’re going to look at the indoor coil to make sure there’s no dirt accumulation on the indoor coil. We’re going to check your condensate. Over a period of time when water sits in the condensate, it tends to get a gelatinous texture to it and can clog the condensate pipes. So we’ll make sure that’s clear. We’ll make sure your condensate pump-
Whoa, whoa, whoa wait a minute. A condensate. Okay, I don’t know what that means.
When the refrigerant is running through your system, and the hot air passes across the indoor coil, condensation forms on those coils, and it runs down these little channels into a tray. And in the disposal point, it comes out of the coil, runs down a tube, and it either runs into your French drain or underneath the slab in your basement. Some of them run to a little… it’s called a condensate pump, and it’ll accumulate that water and then pump that water to a specified location to dispose of that water.
Okay, so this is not pure water. This is stuff that’s come off the coil.
And you’re saying it can get gelatinous and clog.
Yep. When it sits for a period of time, it’ll build on the inside walls of the tubing and it needs to be cleaned out, flushed out, or sometimes that tubing needs to be replaced if it’s too far gone.
And this is something you’re going to spot on the Bouldenization.
Okay, what else?
So, your thermostat. We want to make sure your thermostat’s operating correctly. If it has batteries, we’re going to check the batteries for you. But we’re going to start the system in cooling. We’ll make sure that the thermostat comes on to its desired temperature, make sure the fan comes on. And just do an overall check on appearance and make sure it’s tight to the wall, making sure that that thermostat operates correctly.
So, when you leave, I know I’m going to get, I think they call it the drop across the coil that I’m supposed to get. Is that what they call that?
It is. The more technical term is a Delta T. So the Delta T is a general way for a technician to know if the system is operating at least close to peak performance. A Delta T that is more than 20 degrees or less than 20 degrees tells us that there might be an issue with the system, and then that way we can get more involved in finding out what that might be. Could be low refrigerant, could be dirty coils. It could be a number of reasons, but that’ll start to give us an idea of where to look.
So, when you’re done doing this entire 48 points, my system is restored to factory fresh specs as close as they can be humanly delivered to that. And I can be confident I’ll be cool all summer long.
Yes, you will.
All right. So, you want to learn more about a Bouldenization? Everything you want to know about it is right here on our website. You can find it at bouldenbrothers.com/bouldenization if you don’t want to click around. Sam, thanks a lot for helping us out today.
No problem, Charlie. Thank you.
And there’s a lot more to learn about your air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, and you’ll find it all and the help to keep them running right at bouldenbrothers.com.