"Taking Care of Our Neighbors Since 1980"

Is your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Level?

We've all heard about the relentless drought that's gripping the Midwest. The hot, dry summers around the Olathe area have gotten even hotter and drier, which is causing numerous unexpected problems for homeowners. When the ground becomes severely parched, it cracks and shifts. As the ground settles, it becomes uneven, which can wreak havoc on our HVAC systems. Air conditioners and heat pumps need to be positioned on level ground to function optimally, and they can even malfunction if the ground beneath them shifts or tilts too much.

Why does this happen? The short answer is that tilting puts stress on the compressor. When the air conditioning unit is level, oil and refrigerant travel smoothly through the tubing, delivering lubrication throughout the entire unit. When the unit is off kilter, the oil and refrigerant can become trapped in the tubing, which prevents it from being properly lubricated. A severe tilt can result in slugs of liquid being released into the compressor, which causes immediate problems.

Another source of stress is vibration. If the air conditioner is resting on an uneven surface, it isn't properly supported and will vibrate whenever it's turned on. As with any machine, constant vibration stresses every component, resulting in premature failure. Additionally, the constant vibration can loosen the tubing or create kinks. That's why it's important to address this issue now, before the hot weather sets in. Your air conditioner will be under even more stress when it's running nonstop.

Is your air conditioner level? Step outside and have a look. Does the concrete slab below the unit look sound, or is it beginning to crack and slope? If your unit has legs, inspect them to make sure that they aren't rusted or wobbly. Is the unit noticeably tilted? If you have one, you can use a levelling tool to find out how tilted it is. A very slight tilt is completely normal—that actually prevents water from collecting in the bottom. Anything more can cause severe damage over time. If you notice a problem, call the Olathe heating and cooling professionals at Davenport immediately to level the unit before the hot weather ramps up.

Don't attempt to level the unit on your own. (Ignore the DIY enthusiasts online who recommend using crowbars and paving stones to make adjustments.) If you try to move the unit yourself, you risk bending the refrigerant lines and causing a leak. Even the slightest kink in the tubing can be disastrous. Additionally, the leveling process is not one size fits all; the exact fix depends on your soil quality and the degree at which your unit is tilted. Simply shoving gravel or stone beneath the concrete pad may work for the time being, but it's only a temporary solution. The Olathe heating and cooling experts at Davenport can level it safely and effectively, providing a long-lasting fix.

Founded in 1980, Davenport Service Company has provided "Customer First" service in Johnson County, Kansas for over three decades. We provide 24/7 emergency service, preventive maintenance service, and seasonal tune-ups for commercial and residential heating and air conditioning systems. Call 913-441-2222 for hassle-free scheduling today!

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