Getting your AC ready for the Summer

Central Air Conditioning

 

Summer is almost here and it is time for outside BBQs, dips in the pool and sitting on the deck enjoying your favorite beverage. When it gets too unbearable to spend time outside we hibernate back to our air conditioned indoor environments.

Some homeowners have already turned on the Central Air for the season but I want to pass on a few tips that will keep the outside condenser fan running smoothly.

Clean the coils

Each spring, clean the fan blades and coils on your condenser. Turn it off the power first . Take the grill off and pull the blades out to clean them.

When you mow your lawn, take care that you don’t get grass clippings all over your outdoor unit.Don’t have the grass clipping shoot in the opposite direction. The same goes for when you blow leaves, so make sure your are careful when moving any debris in the vicinity of your HVAC devices.

Fall is a hard time on HVAC units. Frequently clean the fan grill when trees are shedding leaves. The fan needs to be able to get proper air inside without any blockages, and extra blockage can later develop into more serious problems.

If the coils are really dirty, you can get a commercial coil cleaner at any refrigeration supply house or hardware store and you apply it with a sprayer, following the manufacturer’s directions for applying the product and safety precautions

Coil fins – make sure they’re running straight and not bent

You can do this with a plastic fin comb or a pointed stick – this is important because air will not circulate efficiently with bent coil fins.

Insulate the “cool line”

This runs from the condenser to the compressor – If it is cracked or missing  ,make sure  to replace it with snap-on urethane or other high R-value insulation – this is availabe at most hardware stores

Replace or clean the filter regularly

This is often forgoteen about. This is so important. The filter  catches dust, pollens and other allergens, preventing them from entering your home . And if it’s plugged with dust and pet hair, it slows down the cold airflow, makes the system run harder and longer – and costs you more of your hard earned money.

Spend a few minutes of your time now to make sure that your condensate coil is clean and ready to go for the summer. Following theses steps now will ensure that your indoor environment is air conditioned for the summer.

If your air conditioning unit is having a a hard time keeping up read our recent AC Not Keeping up article

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AC not keeping up?

dirty ac evaporator coil

Dirty ac coil severely plugged up

With the AC season almost here, it seemed like a good idea of discussing the “my AC can not keep up” syndrome. If your AC unit is sized properly for the space it was meant to service and with proper maintenance it should be capable of delivering a comfortable environment for the occupants.

The key word is should. Most AC units fail to keep up because they are not sized properly, they have not been maintained properly, lack of filter changes and plugged fins on the evaporator coil.

When fins on the evaporator coil become severely plugged like the picture above they restrict airflow. Ac coils are designed to let airflow pass through the coil. When air does pass freely through the evaporator coil, humidity is removed from the air which in turns lowers the temperature. As a result of removing humidity from the airflow, moisture runs down the evaporator coil to the drain pan and the water is drained away from the unit.

When coils become plugged with dirt, lint,pet hair and dead skin, the water is not able drain away from the evaporator coil freely and it starts to pool on the evaporator coil. The moisture eventually starts to freeze and air flow drops and temperatures rise. Your electricity consumption increases. Now we start to have some cranky people in the environment who are not happy.

Nadca has industry specs for duct cleaning contractors cleaning evaporator coils. Physical
removal of debris may be accomplished through a variety of methods which may include HEPA Filter contact vacuuming, and brushes for penetrating between the coils fins. The ACR2013 spec has conditions for duct cleaning contractors detailing how coils should be cleaned.

Regular maintenance of your Furnace and Air Conditioner by a qualified HVAC contractor , regular filter changes and a regular duct cleaning  with help to ensure that your heating and cooling system runs efficiently  and keeps everyone comfortable when you need it most.

 

 

 

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We Do Give A Soot

Soot on furance filterCandles are wonderful and enjoyed by many people everyday . They are affordable and create a magical ambience by infusing the house with color and fragrances. Behind the scene ,candles can play havoc with the indoor air quality in your home.

Homeowners sometimes blame the home builders and HVAC Companies for faulty construction and improper installation of the HVAC installation because the furnace filters quickly discolor with black soot residue . This problem is referred to as Black Soot Deposition (BSD)

Research indicates that the problem is a result of candle additives (fragrance oils added to the product for aromatherapy) as well as improper wick trimming by the user. It appears that some manufactures have quickly entered the market without the proper training or experience. The result of their little experience and cheap product is a low quality candle that creates soot (BSD) problems in the home or environment

Chemical testing has shown that the emissions of these candles can contain twenty (20) volatile organic compounds, lead and a significant amount of carbon.  Significant amounts of soot can also create mechanical problems for the HVAC unit

What can you do about BSD

The first step is to stop burning all candles. Inspect the HVAC system and replace the furnace filter. Purchase only good quality candles and get in the habit of trimming the wick of the candle regularly. Candles should never us under a draft or near fans and heaters.  Replace the furnace filter and if the soot contamination is significant,  have the duct work cleaned by a professional duct cleaning contractor

For more information

For additional information about candles is the National Candle Association (www.candles.org) They are a group of professional manufactures who commit to manufacturing quality candles and candle-making

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Proper Dryer Duct Exhaust

picute of dryer duct fireThe benefits of keeping the dryer close to an outside wall will far exceed the benefit of having a dryer situated in the middle of the house. A lot of homes today have home style residential dryers situated in the middle of the house. This can provide a benefit of having the dryer accessible but it requires a lot of exhaust pipe to be used and routed through wall to meet its termination exhaust point on the outside. Often the exhaust pipe requires more than 15 feet of exhaust pipe to reach the termination point

The long exhaust pipe will eventually create an exhaust problem and possible fire hazard for the home. Residential style dryers are not designed to have to exhaust air more than 15 feet to the termination point. When exhaust pipes are fitted through walls they often have 90 degree turns in the piping . This creates friction drops and the air is not able to exhaust as freely as it should. When you factor in

elbows and long lengths of exhaust pipe you will have a considerable friction drop across the exhaust system. When this happens dryer lint starts to build up in the piping. Eventually the pipe will plug up and the dryer will take a considerable long time to dry the clothes. This is where dryers start to overheat and fires can start at this point.

It is a good idea to clean out lint traps regularly. Check to ensure that the outside grill (termination point ) is not plugged and a regular cleaning of the dryer duct will also make the dryer more smoothly requiring less energy to operate.

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The Importance of Changing the Furance Filter

Furnace filters help cut down on dust in the furnace and will prolong duct cleaningTemperatures are dipping, which means it’s time for many of us to rely on our furnaces for comfortable home temperatures in the coming cold winter months. Like summer, winter is when your HVAC system is working its hardest to move air through your home’s duct work. And since most of us spend more time indoors in the winter, you will likely be working your furnace even harder than your air conditioner during the summer months.

It’s important to change your furnace filters regularly. It will keep the air in your home clean and safe. How often, depends on what kind of filters you use and various lifestyle factors. Most filters need to be changed every three months, but maybe less depending on various factors mentioned below. Regardless of frequency, everyone should check their filters once a month to see what condition they are in.

Factors To Consider

Do you have pets? Pet dander will accelerate how often you need to change your filters. Are you a smoker, or do you live with one? If so, that’s another reason you will need to change filters more often.

What kind of filters do you use? Standard fiberglass filters need to be changed monthly (maybe a little less depending on how contaminated your home air gets). If you use permanent washable filters, they need to be thoroughly cleaned and dried once a month.

Why do you need to change furnace filters so often?

Why is it so important to stay on top of your filter changing? Because that small thin piece the only thing between you and toxic air. It’s a big factor in your indoor air quality and how well your furnace operates.

As the filter collects various bits of airborne debris, it starts to clog up. After a while, that build up makes it very difficult for air to pass through. That means the blower is working harder, increasing your energy bills, taking longer to heat your home, and risking burning out the blower motor.

The best way to know how often you need to change your air filter is by simply checking it on a regular basis. Every furnace heats a different home, with different factors that affect a filter’s life span. After a while, you will develop a good idea of how quickly contaminants build up on your filter and how often you will need to install a replacement.Furnace filters help cut down on dust in the furnace and will prolong duct cleaning

 

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