Air Conditioning System – CheckThisHouse https://www.checkthishouse.com Home maintenance, remodeling, repair, and improvement tips for your property Thu, 29 Oct 2020 11:19:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 5 Tips for Hiring the Right Air Conditioning Technician https://www.checkthishouse.com/9394/5-tips-for-hiring-the-right-air-conditioning-technician.html Tue, 01 Sep 2020 13:06:31 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9394 When it comes to air conditioner repair, it is essential for you to hire the right technician for the job. Your air conditioner is something on which you have spent a significant amount of money, and you don’t want to hire an unreliable technician and ruin your air conditioner unit for good. There are a ... Read more]]>

When it comes to air conditioner repair, it is essential for you to hire the right technician for the job.

Your air conditioner is something on which you have spent a significant amount of money, and you don’t want to hire an unreliable technician and ruin your air conditioner unit for good.

There are a lot of AC repairing services out there that are offering different packages and expertise. You also don’t want to hire a technician that is overpriced and doesn’t provide you value for the money.

So, to make things easier for you below, here are a few tips that will help you hire the right air conditioner repair service:

1. Do Some Research

The first thing you need to do is learn more about the air conditioner and get familiar with the repair services available out there.

Check the brand, model, and the type of air conditioner and see if any other expensive repairs can arise from the problem you are facing.

Just keep in mind even if you do not know much about air conditioners, you should still get familiar with their build, so when the technician tells you about the problem, you will be able to understand it as well.

You can also open the unit and can check it on your own. However, if the fault seems too much, then it is better to let the professional do the deed.

2. Experience Matters the Most

Before finally hiring a technician, you need to make sure that he has a good amount of experience under his belt.

In such things, experience matters a lot, and the more a technician has worked on air conditioners, the better he will be at repairing them.

Ask them how long he has done this job for and whether he has done it full time, or was it just a part-time gig? Is there any area where they consider themselves as experts?

Also, ask them about any certification they have. Just make sure they have a better experience.

3. Look For Reviews

While hiring an air conditioner repair company, you need to check their reviews as well. You don’t want to go with a company or technician that has no evidence backing them up.

In this modern age of technology, finding reviews is easier than ever. All you have to do is check the website of the company or social media.

Go through the reviews thoroughly and see what people have appreciated and what they have complained about. If you find too many negative reviews, then it is better to look for another company.

4. Be Specific about the Repairs

When the technician has identified the problems for you, ask them to be as specific as possible.

For example, if the outdoor unit of the fan is not working, then ask them about why exactly it isn’t working and what they are going to do about it.

The thing here is that when you are a specific technician won’t be able to charge you anything extra, and you will pay a fair bill.

5. Compare Costs

Another important thing you need to do is to compare costs. Instead of just sticking with one technician, do your research and consider a number of them.

Once you have compared their services and experience, shortlist them, and then compare for the price.

Here you need to make sure that you are getting value for the money. You also don’t necessarily have to go with the expensive one.

If you can get something done at less price, then why not go for it? So do consider the cost and make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

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Should I Get an Air Conditioner? https://www.checkthishouse.com/9377/should-i-get-an-air-conditioner.html Tue, 25 Aug 2020 21:12:00 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9377 Are you finding the summer heat unbearable? If you are opening every window, turning on every fan or even sticking your head in the freezer to find some relief from the heat, it may be time to consider getting an air conditioner. But before you run to the store to make your purchase, there are ... Read more]]>

Are you finding the summer heat unbearable?

If you are opening every window, turning on every fan or even sticking your head in the freezer to find some relief from the heat, it may be time to consider getting an air conditioner.

But before you run to the store to make your purchase, there are things you should consider before choosing an air conditioner for your home:

Do I Need an Air Conditioner?

This is probably the most important question, since there is no point in buying an air conditioner if you don’t really need one.

There are many ways you can try to keep your house cool without an air conditioner. You may want to explore these options before committing to yourself to not only the cost of an air conditioner, but the cost of running it and maintaining it as well.

For example, you can try moving down to your finished basement during particularly hot nights or trying to keep your lights off as much as possible during the summertime (yes, this really helps!).

However, if you find that nothing provides relief from the sweltering summer heat, it’s probably time to make that purchase.

What Kind of Air Conditioner Should I Buy?

Once you’ve determined that, yes, your home definitely needs an air conditioner, the next step is choosing the best AC unit for your home.

When it comes to choosing an air conditioner for your home, consider the following:

  • The size of the unit. You need to choose a unit that has the capacity to cool your home. A small unit will struggle to keep up with cooling a larger home, but a unit too large for your home is a waste of space and money.
  • Your budget. It’s possible that your budget can’t handle a full AC installation, so you may want to choose a portable or window unit. To save money in the long run, pick an energy efficient model and look for rebate programs.
  • The type of system. There are 3 main types of AC systems you can choose for your home and each has their own pros and cons

There are two types of AC systems that are popular for homes:

Split Systems

More and more people are opting for split AC systems because they provide both heating and cooling options. It’s referred to as a “split” system due to the indoor and outdoor components.

If you already have a furnace, you simply need to add an AC coil to the top of the furnace and use its ductwork to blow cool air throughout your home.

Portable or Window Units

With a smaller living space, it may be more appropriate to purchase portable or window units to cool down specific rooms in your house.

The benefit of having a portable unit is that you can, obviously, move it from room to room with ease. Window units are harder to carry around and tend to stay in one window for the summer.

Air Conditioning and Maintenance

When you purchase an air conditioning system, you need to consider maintenance and repair costs. In order to maintain efficiency, you want to make sure your unit is in good working condition.

Split systems are more involved than portable/window units, so they may require professional services when it comes to keeping them maintained and repaired.

Portable and windows units are easier to take care of.

No matter the style of unit you choose, keep in mind that you will need to keep filters clean in order to provide optimal cooling and maintain good air quality.

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How to Maintain Your A/C as it Gets Hotter Outside https://www.checkthishouse.com/9323/how-to-maintain-your-a-c-as-it-gets-hotter-outside.html Fri, 07 Aug 2020 10:58:11 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=9323 Few things are worse than a broken air conditioner on a hot summer day. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure your home stays cool, even as temperatures increase. Read on to learn more about maintaining your A/C throughout the summer: Change Filters Regularly Changing out your A/C filter regularly is one ... Read more]]>

Few things are worse than a broken air conditioner on a hot summer day.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure your home stays cool, even as temperatures increase.

Read on to learn more about maintaining your A/C throughout the summer:

Change Filters Regularly

Changing out your A/C filter regularly is one of the easiest things to do to make sure your system works effectively.

When a filter is clogged with dust, the A/C unit must work harder to cool your home. Over time, a clogged filter could cause significant damage to your air conditioner as well.

Filters come in many shapes and sizes, so be sure to know what type of filter your A/C unit needs. For reusable filters, vacuum and rinse them frequently to remove dust and debris.

Disposable filters should be changed monthly. One easy way to remember is to tie it to an existing monthly task.

For instance, you may want to change your A/C filter the same day you pay your rent or mortgage.

Clean Vents

When A/C vents are clean and free of dust or debris, air is able to freely flow, keeping the room cooler.

To clean your vents, first turn off the power to your A/C system and unscrew them from the wall or ceiling.

For loose dust or cobwebs, you may be able to simply brush the debris away.

If your vents are caked with dust and dirt, clean them with soap and water, then dry with a clean cloth before you screw them back into place.

Clear Drainage Lines

Everyone knows that air conditioners pump cold air into rooms to cool them, but they also remove moisture from the air. In the summertime, the A/C removes humidity, which helps with cooling.

As moisture is removed, condensation forms on the evaporator coil then drips into the condensation pan. The pan connects to a pipe that takes the liquid out of the home and deposits it into the yard.

Along with condensation, dust and bacteria often make their way into the drainage line, causing a grime that could block the line over time.

Boiling water poured into the drainage line or using a wet-vac can often clear a blockage.

However, if a clog appears in your drainage line, it’s best to contact an HVAC technician to avoid damage to your A/C system.

Clear the Area Around Your A/C Unit

Maintaining your outdoor air handler is just as important as maintaining the unit inside your home. Be sure to keep the area around your air conditioning unit clean and free of debris.

Keep grass low and trim plants back away from the walls of the system.

This way, no outside debris will make its way into the system, which can restrict air flow or create a clog.

Help Your A/C Work More Efficiently

While we rely primarily on our air conditioning units to cool our homes, there are many other things we can do to take some pressure off the A/C.

Curtains, for instance, block the hot summer sun from heating your home, and they also prevent air from escaping through older, less energy efficient windows.

Replacing your windows’ weatherstripping will also help to keep the cold air inside.

If your home has ceiling fans, be sure to use them, especially in the summer months, even if your air conditioner is running. The fans will help to keep the room cool, which will make the air conditioner’s job of bringing down the temperature a lot easier.

It’s also a good idea to let your system rest when the house will be empty.

Hire a Professional

Don’t wait until your A/C breaks on a hot July afternoon to call your HVAC technician. Schedule an appointment before the summer heat sets in, even if you don’t suspect any issues.

our experienced technician will clean and inspect the system, recommending any necessary repairs.

This way, your air conditioner will be in prime working condition before the summer heat sets in.

Stay Cool as Temperatures Increase

Don’t wait until your A/C breaks to maintain it. Change filters and clean vents regularly, and clear drainage lines when needed.

Keep the area around your outdoor handler clear as well.

You can also take the pressure off your air conditioner by keeping curtains closed, weatherstripping windows, and using ceiling fans.

Remember to schedule an A/C inspection before summer, too, to keep your house cool, no matter the temperature!

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Ideal Portable ACs for an Open-ended Kitchen and Living Area https://www.checkthishouse.com/8494/portable-acs-for-open-ended-kitchen-and-living-area.html Wed, 18 Dec 2019 20:27:49 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8494 closeup product shot of a portable air conditioner with white backgroundAir conditioning devices are essential devices used to cool rooms and buildings when it is hot. In the past, you could not carry around an AC because they were usually AC wall units. Nowadays, you can even find portable ACs that you can carry anywhere. However, there are very many portable air conditioners on the ... Read more]]> closeup product shot of a portable air conditioner with white background

Air conditioning devices are essential devices used to cool rooms and buildings when it is hot. In the past, you could not carry around an AC because they were usually AC wall units. Nowadays, you can even find portable ACs that you can carry anywhere. However, there are very many portable air conditioners on the market. The hurdle now comes when you are trying to select the most appropriate one to meet your specific needs. Many people have trouble choosing portable air conditioners for open-ended spaces. Here are some of the best portable ACs for just such an area.

1. Whynter 14000 AC

Whynter 14000 Air conditioner

If you are going through a list of portable ACs for open-ended kitchen and living areas, you should not miss this Whynter device. The Whynter 14000 BTU portable air conditioner comes with three operational modes. The three modes are; air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier. With the air conditioner, you can cool an open area with ease, leaving no hot spots. The fan mode gives you a supply of fresh cool air throughout the living room or kitchen.

With the Whynter 14000 BTU, you get to enjoy programmable functions. The digital display on the device allows you to program it to do whatever you please. It also comes with a remote that allows you to make adjustments from a distance. Let us not forget the auto drain function. This particular function turns collected moisture into cool air.

2. Hisense 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Hisense 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

One of the notable things about this hisense portable air conditioner is its high performance. This AC comes with 10000 BTU powerful enough to cool medium to large-sized rooms. If you have an open area, then this AC is perfect for you.

Another thing that distinguishes this portable air cooler is the remote. Almost all air conditioner comes with a regular remote. But when it comes to this Hisense device, the remote control is slightly different. When it comes to the Hisense 10000 BTU, you get a smart sensor. This sensor is known as the i-Feel temperature sensing remote control. With this, the device senses the room temperature and makes the necessary cooling adjustments.

3. Honeywell 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Honeywell 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

If excellent functionality and dependability are things that are on your checklist when looking for a portable cooling gadget, then with Honeywell air cooler, your search might come to an end. The high BTU enables the device to cool open spaces of about 500 square feet. The device itself is easy to install, as is the filter maintenance. The washable filter protects from hair and dust. This, in turn, helps in keeping your home cleaner and fresher all day long.

Operating this device is also quite a simple task, thanks to the digital control panel. If you do not wish to use the panel, you can control everything using the remote. All of these options allow you to toggle from one option to another with ease. Another factor that makes it a top choice is the fact that it runs quietly. In essence, when the device is operational, it makes no noise at all.

Conclusion

Choosing an appropriate air cooler is a challenging task; there is no doubt about it. The task becomes even more difficult when looking for one that will fit into your open-ended kitchen or living room. When having trouble making such a choice, you can go through the specifications of the Honeywell 12000 BTU air conditioner. Its capabilities will blow your mind. The Hisense 10000 BTU air conditioner is also another device you should include in your list. It is the amazing cooling effects it brings into your open space is what makes it a great pick. Of course, we cannot leave out the Whynter 14000 AC, an amazing device with fantastic functionality.

For more great home interior tips, check out the other blogs on Check This House.

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Is a Mini “Split” Air Conditioner Right For Me? https://www.checkthishouse.com/8481/is-a-mini-split-air-conditioner-right-for-me.html Mon, 25 Nov 2019 18:50:26 +0000 https://www.checkthishouse.com/?p=8481 When it comes to heating and cooling your home, you have options – but which option is most appropriate for your home? One of the newer styles of air conditioning units is the mini split air conditioner and, given all of its great benefits, it may be the best fit for cooling and heating your ... Read more]]>

When it comes to heating and cooling your home, you have options – but which option is most appropriate for your home?

One of the newer styles of air conditioning units is the mini split air conditioner and, given all of its great benefits, it may be the best fit for cooling and heating your home.

What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?

A mini split air conditioner is a combination heating and cooling system. It allows you to control the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces.

How it Works

A mini split air conditioning unit involves two components: an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor evaporator/air handling unit.

The indoor handling unit blows warm air from inside your home over cold evaporator coils. The cool air is blown back into your home while the heat that is absorbed from the air is moved to the outdoor unit.

The outdoor compressor releases this warm air outside. The system continues this cycle to keep your home cool.

Mini split air conditioning units can also include a heat pump, which converts cold air into warm air in order to heat your home. Having one can eliminate the use of a furnace.

Installation

Installing a mini split air conditioner involves a small 3 inch hole through the wall of your home to the outside for the conduit. The conduit consists of the power and communication cables as well as the copper tubing and condensation drain line – it connects the indoor and outdoor units.

Small indoor units are then installed in individual rooms.

Is a Mini Split Air Conditioner Right For Me?

If your home requires an air conditioning system to maintain and cool and comfortable temperature during the hotter months, you may want to consider installing a mini split air conditioning unit instead of window or duct-based units.

Benefits of a Mini Split AC

When comparing a mini split AC to other air conditioning systems, the overall installation is easier and requires no duct work throughout your home. This is beneficial as well, since ducts tend to leak and this duct leakage means that cool air is lost and the unit has to work harder to keep your house cool.

When your unit works harder, it requires more energy to do so. Having a ductless system, and reducing cool air leakage, increases the energy efficiency of your home’s cooling system.

You also save money because the temperatures of your home can be zoned. Because the indoor units are installed individually in each room, you can choose which units are running and which are shut off.

This is especially helpful since mini split AC can be installed with a heat pump, meaning that you can also choose which rooms you heat during the wintertime. Of course, like any major appliance, It’s always best of have a professional install any cooling equipment.

When to Choose a Mini Split AC

Apart from the amazing benefits of a mini split air conditioning unit, there are other factors you should consider when choosing to install this style of system.

Houses that are 2000 square feet or larger may require a more heavy-duty system to accommodate the large space. However, if your home is less than 2000 square feet, a mini split AC is perfect.

Because you can choose which rooms to heat or cool, having a mini split AC unit is preferable for homes in which some rooms are not used on a regular basis.

Lastly, mini split AC units are designed with filters to prevent dust build up within your home. Systems that rely on ducts are more likely to blow around dust and allergens.

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Improving Air Circulation in Homes with No Air Return on Second Floor https://www.checkthishouse.com/6284/air-circulation-in-homes-with-no-air-return-on-second-floor.html Sat, 19 Nov 2011 01:15:49 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=6284 Air circulation in homes - single, central air return register installed on the ceilingAir circulation in homes which are older and/or in poorly designed newer ones equipped with a central, forced air system might be compromised because they do not have an air return port installed on the second floor. It doesn’t matter how much you run the air conditioning system during the summer – that second floor will ... Read more]]> Air circulation in homes - single, central air return register installed on the ceiling

Air circulation in homes which are older and/or in poorly designed newer ones equipped with a central, forced air system might be compromised because they do not have an air return port installed on the second floor. It doesn’t matter how much you run the air conditioning system during the summer – that second floor will always stay much hotter than the first.

During the winter it becomes difficult to keep the property warm without proper air circulation as well. In both situations, the forced air system is wasting huge amounts of energy to keep up with the recommended thermostat settings.

A few solutions to consider when improving air circulation in homes and things to investigate. Implementing any and / or combination of them will make your living more comfortable and lower your home energy usage:

Air circulation in homes # 1

The following is recommended in any heating system but its importance magnified with forced air HVAC systems – check your bedroom and bathroom doors through the house. There should be at least a ¾” gap between the door bottom and the threshold /finished floor surface, in order to provide a positive air circulation in homes.

Air circulation in homes # 2

With no air return port installed on the second floor, slightly open the window in each room to release the air pressure. You are still throwing lots of money through the window but the temperature will become more comfortable.

Air circulation in homes # 3

The best solution – try to locate an area on the upper floor of your house corresponding to the forced air system location in the basement, crawlspace, etc. See if it would be possible to run an air duct between the two locations – the size / diameter of the duct should be calculated by a professional. Keep it close to the interior wall corners or closets if possible because it will be easier to build a chase around that air return duct and hide it.

Air circulation in homes # 4

If you have an open 2 story staircase between the floors, install a ceiling fan on the top floor ceiling / above the stairs, and run in clockwise (summer and winter in this case) on a low or medium speed. This will help to circulate / push the air down to the first floor return(s).Installing ceiling fans in majority of rooms will further improve air circulation in homes.

Keep the forced air system thermostat fan ON (instead of “AUTO”) position to help circulate the air during the hottest and coldest periods of time. Within a few minutes the temperature should equalize between the floors.There’s another, more advanced and much more expansive way of improving air ventilation and air circulation in homes, especially multi story buildings. This is by using supplemental mechanical balanced heat-recovery ventilation systems.

However, I’m pretty sure that one or combination of any of the 4 tips above will help improving air circulation in homes.

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How to Use Thermostat Fan ON – OFF Feature https://www.checkthishouse.com/6274/how-to-use-thermostat-fan-on-off-feature.html Fri, 11 Nov 2011 00:56:59 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=6274 Picture of the thermostat fan ON-OFF switchThermostat fan ON – OFF Use forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently. Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only). HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often [...]]]> Picture of the thermostat fan ON-OFF switch

Picture of the thermostat fan ON-OFF switchUse forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently.

Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only).

HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often responsible for poor air circulation and can utilize thermostat fan ON – OFF feature.

There might be areas within your house with a temperature differential as high as 10°F (sometimes even more) during very hot or very cold days. There are two ways you can equalize the temperature quickly.

You can use each one of those procedures separately, or combine both of them during extremely hot or cold days for maximum performance. It’s good to familiarize yourself with benefits of thermostat fan ON – OFF feature

Thermostat Fan ON – OFF Feature #1

Move the switch to thermostat fan ON setting if you feel significant temperature changes while walking between different sections of your house, i.e. from the first to second floor. The fan will circulate air independently from the Heat or Cooling cycle, equalizing temperature through the house.

Some of the more advanced heating systems have a variable speed fan installed, which operates on the lower speed setting during that cycle – this function is very energy efficient and extremely quiet. You can also purchase additional equipment that attaches to your HVAC air duct system providing constant air circulation and air cleaning continuously (their cleaning is an important part of your home maintenance schedule).

Thermostat Fan ON – OFF Feature #2 – adjusting air registers

Instead of using the thermostat fan ON – OFF feature you can attempt to equalize temperature through the house by adjusting your air supplying registers between the cold and warm season.

Thermostat fan ON-OFF - air duct damper allows changing air flow volume to various registers through the hoouseThermostat fan ON-OFF - air duct dampers allow changing air flow volume to various registers through the hoouseYou may also have dampers installed inside the air ducts that adjust airflow through the house.

  • Cold season – fully open upper floor registers, and partially close the ones located on the lowest floor. Make your adjustment until the temperature equalizes through the house. Do not to close any of the registers completely (unless you really want to eliminate conditioning of some area). Use the thermostat fan ON function if necessary to speed up the air exchange process
  • Warm season is just the opposite of the above. By partially closing upper floor air registers and fully opening the ones located on the lower floors you’ll be able to equalize temperature through the house much faster. Again, turn the thermostat fan ON to speed up this method.

This natural process, known as a “stack effect”, is simply being accelerated by the HVAC system.

Stack Effect” in buildings is a process of warmer air rising from the lower to upper portions of the house where it escapes through the openings beyond the house.

If you have a forced air heating system or if you are using fans, the air is being re-circulated back to the lower floor. The same thing will happen naturally as soon as the warm air cools down. The rising warm air reduces the pressure at the lowest level of your home, which allows infiltration with the cold air (through the windows, doors, or any other openings).

Combine thermostat fan ON-OFF feature with recommended thermostat settings for even bigger energy savings!

Utilize thermostat fan ON – OFF function to increase efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system and to make your home more comfortable.

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Recommended Thermostat Settings For Energy Savings https://www.checkthishouse.com/6249/recommended-thermostat-settings-for-energy-savings.html Mon, 31 Oct 2011 21:29:08 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=6249 Recommended thermostat settings savingsRecommended thermostat settings  and thermostat location Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations. To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment. Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature. Thermostat locations you should avoid! The recommended thermostat settings [...]]]> Recommended thermostat settings savings

Recommended thermostat settings savings

Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations.

To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment.

Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature.

Thermostat locations you should avoid!

The recommended thermostat settings may not help to improve your home energy savings if you have a thermostat installed in the following locations :

  • Behind the doors and within the walls inside corner areas
  • On an outside wall’s interior surface
  • In direct sunlight or where radiant heat from appliances might affect control operation
  • Next to, or directly in front of, an HVAC air discharge grill, stairwells, or outside doors
  • Where thermostat’s functioning may be affected by water pipes, steam, air ducts, or by an un-heated/un-cooled (not conditioned) space behind the thermostat

Recommended Thermostat Settings / What is the perfect temperature for maximum home energy savings?

Finding and setting your home at the right temperature is the first goal. Recommended thermostat settings during the winter or at least the best starting point for the cold season is 68°F.  In the summer months, recommended thermostat settings is that of 76°F degrees (again for the starting point).

As a rule of thumb, every 1 degree difference in thermostat settings will give you energy savings of 2% to 4% for a 24 hour period (energy used for heating and / or cooling). This will depend on your geographical location / climate zone, insulation, etc.

Let’s use this recommended thermostat settings profile as a starting point; if you are in the winter months and you have your thermostat set at 70°F degrees normally, if you can still feel comfortable by lowering it to 68 F degrees, you will be able to save up to 8% in your energy costs dedicated for heating purposes.

In the summer, keep the air conditioning set at just 76 F degrees and turn on a fan.  Doing this will pull out all of the humidity in the air and keep the temperature at a low level.  If you can tolerate moving this more so, you will save money.

Recommended Thermostat Settings  – Using Programmable Thermostats

If you’re still using old fashioned dial type thermostat, consider upgrading it to a digital / programmable one. They are not that expensive but can produce significant savings every year if properly used – about $180 every year.

Recommended Thermostat Settings  – Programmable Thermostats advantage

Recommended thermostat settings for a programmable thermostatProgrammable thermostats operate on the same principle as the regular once. Whenever the temperature drops below (heat cycle) or raises above (cooling cycle) the pre-set they turn ON and OFF your appliance.

However, they have additional functions which will allow us to input recommended thermostat settings for energy savings into their memory to achieve maximum home energy savings.

Depending on the thermostat model you might be able to set several time periods during each day of the week for maximum home energy savings.

  • What’s the point of keeping the temperature at home at the comfortable level if nobody’s there to enjoy it – use recommended thermostat settings from the table below!

When you go to work, send your kids to school, or take entire family for weekend getaway simply adjust the thermostat to conserve precious energy and set the time to be about an hour or two before you come home, and at that time, the comfortable / recommended thermostat settings  for energy savings settings will kick in.

When the time comes to turn the system on, they get the home to the right temperature efficiently. Once you start using recommended thermostat settings you will not notice any difference until you see that your next heating or cooling bills have dropped. I’d also recommend programming the thermostat for different temperatures at night when you are sleeping.

Another of the great features of the programmable thermostats; you do not need to remember changing recommended thermostat settings  for energy savings every day, as the device will take care of that for you once set.

The recommended thermostat settings for energy savings below are pre-programmed in many (if not all) programmable thermostats. Play with it and keep checking your monthly statements.

 

Recommended Thermostat Settings for Energy Savings

Setpoint Times & Temperatures

Setting Time Setpoint Temperature (Heating) Setpoint Temperature (Cooling)
Wake 6:00 A.M. ≤ 70° F ≥ 78° F
Day 8:00 A.M. Setback at least 8° F Setup at least 7° F
Evening 6:00 P.M. ≤ 70° F ≥ 78° F
Sleep 6:00 P.M. Setback at least 8° F Setup at least 4° F

Remember, those recommended thermostat settings  for energy savings are just a starting point for you. Since we all have different levels of comfortable temperature environment, you might need to do some adjustments. However, I would recommend to do it in 1° increments and giving at least a couple of days between the next changes of thermostat settings.

Use recommended thermostat settings  for energy savings and stay comfortable!

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Attic Air Conditioner Drip Pan Installation & HVAC Coil Catch Pan https://www.checkthishouse.com/15/drip-pan-under-the-attic-installed-air-conditioning-coil.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/15/drip-pan-under-the-attic-installed-air-conditioning-coil.html#comments Thu, 29 Jul 2010 16:01:31 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=16 Attic air conditioner drip pan installation falls under the IRC (International Residential Code) and UMC (uniform Mechanical Code) regulations. Like with any building codes, check with your local building department if any or all of the following requirements apply in your jurisdiction. Even if you don’t like rules, make that attic air conditioner drip pan ... Read more]]>

Attic air conditioner drip pan installation falls under the IRC (International Residential Code) and UMC (uniform Mechanical Code) regulations.

Like with any building codes, check with your local building department if any or all of the following requirements apply in your jurisdiction. Even if you don’t like rules, make that attic air conditioner drip pan installation a part of your warm season house maintenance procedures before it will start leaking, and damage the ceiling.

The following industry standards apply to locations where accumulating / not draining properly condensate would damage building components, and the attic air conditioner drip pan installation fits right under those standards.

The rules listed below are based on 2006 IRC – International Residential Code [….], and 2006 UMC – Uniform Mechanical Code{….}:

Protection is required if condensate stoppage would damage building components[IRC] {UMC} :

Picture of the attic air conditioner drip pan installation

AC condensate primary and secondary discharge pipes - attic air conditioner drip pan installation

Secondary AC condensate drain to a conspicuous point of disposal – you need to have a main drain from the coil catch pan located inside the coil compartment and a secondary drain in case the first one gets clogged [IRC] {UMC}.

Both AC condensate drains should discharge in different locations and that secondary drain to some easily accessible / conspicuous location so you can monitor it (code requirement). If you notice condensate dripping from the secondary discharge pipe, it means that the main condensate drain pipe stopped functioning for some reason.

AC primary and the secondary condensate drains tied together which negates the secondary drain purpose - attic air conditioner drip pan installation

Attic air conditioner drip pan installation - missing (required) primary AC condensate drain line trap, all four drains tied together, no required slope on gravity drain pipe

The attic air conditioner drip pan installation installers are sometimes tying together both – the primary and the secondary drains, which installation negates the secondary drain purpose.

Just think for a moment, if the primary and the secondary pipe discharges in the attic, will you ever go there and check on them?

The areas that people install AC condensate secondary discharge pipe: above the kitchen window / through the roof soffit (not over or into the public way), sinks, toilet bowls (if you have some pictures and don’t mind emailing me them for posting online, please let me know).

Attic air conditioner drip pan installation options

  • In case that auxiliary drip pan cannot be plumbed to some conspicuous location, it requires interlocked detector / cutout switch. The switch cuts off the power supply and stops air conditioning system operation as soon as the water starts accumulating inside the drip pan [IRC] – this is probably the most effective way of alerting the homeowner about the problem.
  • In case the attic air conditioner drip pan installation isn’t possible at all, the IRC calls for water level detection device with interlocked cutout installed in AC coil primary drip pan.

This particular requirement also applies to the down-flow type units (blower motor installed on top / blowing down) with no secondary drain and no means of installing auxiliary drip pan

  • Primary AC condensate discharge pipe requires a trap installation (no traps on a drip pan secondary line )

A central air conditioner condensate trap purpose is to prevent air from being discharged from or sucked back into the “A” coil compartment or air handler during system operation.

For the attic air conditioner drip pan installation, a missing trap on the primary AC condensate discharge pipe compromises system’s efficiency. It may also be responsible for condensate drainage problems, internal leaks, mold contamination of the coil compartment wall liner.

The next step in the attic air conditioner drip pan installation is to find a place to drain the primary discharge line and the secondary drip pan under the coil. This is often a challenge for HVAC contractors, especially when dealing with remodeling projects, additions, alterations of the existing property.

There are a few, constantly broken rules that apply to the attic air conditioner drip pan installation and the condensate discharge pipe / its terminations in general;

HVAC system installation picture - Condensate pump can be used if gravity drain pipe installation

  • AC condensate discharge pipe must be at least ¾” in diameter and the minimum required slope towards the drain should be 1/8”. This applies to gravity / natural drain with no condensate pump assistance. Make sure that there are no reductions in pipe diameter along the entire run. There’s always some dust, lint, corrosion that will eventually cause blockages, especially if a smaller size condensate line is being used.

  • Types of materials that are permitted to be used as a condensate drain pipe: PVC, cast iron, galvanized steel, copper, polybutylene, polyethylene, ABS and CPVC.
  • AC condensate shall not discharge over or into the public way: the sidewalk, stairs, etc. You should also avoid areas where condensate might affect / damage house finishes, cause site erosion, or penetrate foundation / cause foundation settlement.
  • Dripping condensation will eventually stain / cause discoloration of concrete, stone, brick, siding (and other materials), and by keeping them moist promote mold growth on their surface. Also, you have to keep in mind that some of those AC condensate discharge pipes might be responsible for condensing / high efficiency furnace drainage. In such case, house exterior wall termination (and sometimes attic installation that is not protected / insulated) of the discharge pipe might freeze up in a cold climate. This will compromise high efficiency furnace operation and flood the heat exchanger.
  • Direct connections of the AC condensate discharge pipe to plumbing system waste or vent pipe are not permitted. This is the most (at least from my experience) abused installation requirement. Because it is easy and much faster than trying to do it right (especially in the attic), many installers of the air conditioning system connect the condensate discharge pipe directly.

There are two very important concerns associated with a direct connection of the attic air conditioner’s condensate discharge pipe to the plumbing system waste or vent pipe;

Primary and secondary AC condensate drains tied together in the attic and discharging directly into the plumbing vent stack - attic air conditioner drip pan installation

  1. It makes difficult or in most cases impossible to early detect any blockages inside the “A” coil compartment.
  2. There is a possibility of bacteria growing back up the condensate line and / or sewer gases contamination of the air conditioning system

The attic air conditioner drip pan installation – recommended condensate discharge locations (it applies to any central AC system installation as well)

AC condensate might drain indirectly into the waste pipe – an example would be the tub overflow, the sink tailpiece, laundry drain. However, in all those examples, discharge pipe must be connected above the p-trap on the sink side, bathtub overflow side, laundry machine discharge pipe connection side – such connection is called “indirect” waste pipe connection.

Here are some of the other locations the AC condensate can discharge to, but under one condition – the lowest point of the condensation drain line must remain at least 2″ above the highest flood level rim of the indirect waste receptor;

What is that “indirect liquid waste receptor” – it is a plumbing fixture (like a sink) with a p-trap installed on its drain line that separates it from the sewer / waste system, and makes the connection indirect.

  • Sinks – if it has a safety overflow, condensate discharge pipe must be at least 2” above it, without overflow hole – 2” above the sink edge
  • Floor drains are acceptable for condensate discharge, but NOT directly into the ejector pump pit the floor drain is connected to
  • Sump pump pit is also acceptable
  • Trap in the attic attached to the vent stack – if you use it to drain the primary and the secondary condensate drain pipe, your local building inspector may not approve it.

Interlocked detector, cutout switch cuts off the power supply and stops air conditioning system operation as soon as the condensate starts accumulating inside the drip pan

Picture of the primary and secondary AC condensate drains discharging into the attic floor drain equipped with a trap

However, it might work if combined with the water level detection device / interlocked cutout switch. Also, such drain will perform properly only if you keep the trap filled with water. Prolonged periods of time without operating HVAC system will cause water to evaporate and allow sewer gasses to discharge into the attic.

With the attic air conditioner drip pan installation, you can try to use the plumbing vent chase or other vertical space between the attic and the lowest level to drop the condensate carrying drain pipes down and discharge them to any of the listed locations. Just make sure that you seal the penetrations on both ends – at the attic floor and at the bottom – for example basement ceiling.

Very bad choices for the attic air conditioner drip pan installation and any other central AC systems condensate discharge pipe terminations;

  • Crawlspace – dumping any moisture into the crawlspace is always a bad idea, moisture attracts all kinds of insects, can contribute to differential settling and facilitate the growth of a variety of molds that can promote unhealthy conditions
  • Discharging under the concrete slab – I see such installations sporadically, usually in older homes/basements, and I can’t even imagine the bacteria/mold growing under the concrete layer and contaminating condensate discharge pipe.

So how is your attic air conditioner drip pan installation doing…

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Furnace / AC Seasonal Inspection – Do You Trust Your HVAC Guy? https://www.checkthishouse.com/3879/furnace-ac-seasonal-inspection-do-you-trust-your-hvac-guy.html Thu, 23 Jul 2009 22:32:47 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/?p=3879 Read more]]> Making seasonal inspections of your furnace and air conditioning system makes sense, and I’d highly recommend having it done on a regular basis on any age furnace and AC units.

The question is – do you trust your HVAC guy?

Most people do, because they are always very happy to announce at the beginning of a home inspection that their heating and air conditioning system was JUST serviced by a professional, and it is in a perfect condition.

This statement always makes me suspicious of some hidden issues, and in most cases, I end up delivering a rather unpleasant message to the home owner …that he just dumped a $100.00 HVAC checkup fee into the drain.

This has happened many times already and I always feel sorry for the homeowner, but in a particular home inspection, I finally got proof that I can present to you. In this case, the HVAC guy taped his invoice to the front of a 20 year old furnace with an explanation of his work.

Direct vent furnace inspection invoice
“Check furnace and A/C and found no problems, I cleaned the evaporator coil + drain. Tested operation – Good.
Unit look good for its age and operates normal.”
$89.00

Armstrong, direct vent furnace components locationThe appliance was a direct vent forced air furnace with a cooling unit, everything in one box. It was installed in a townhouse utility room with its back compartment open to the building exterior. I’ve seen many of those units, usually in condominiums, and I know from my experience that heat exchangers in this particular type of a direct vent furnace / AC combo often fail within 15 years, and 20 is a significant stretch.

Heavily contaminated air return compartment under the AC coilThere are usually two service panels: one gives you access to the air conditioning coil and air filter, the second is for the burners. The filter and AC coil behind the first panel looked OK, but the condensate pan and condensate drain tubing was leaking, there was standing water on the floor underneath the coil / floor heavily contaminated, and black mold covered the air return compartment – old stuff, something that accumulated there over the years.

Severely corroded burner chambers in a direct vent type furnace - AC combo unitI already had a huge headache, because my sinuses suffer in a moldy environment, so I moved over to the furnace’s second compartment to finish the job. Unfortunately, it took a while to remove screws holding this access panel (one was severely corroded) and I’m 100% sure that nobody even attempted to open it for a long time (certainly not 3 days ago).

As I expected from this 20 year old direct vent furnace, areas around the burner chambers showed severe corrosion but no visible holes or cracks.

  • Direct vent type furnaces utilize air from the house exterior for combustion (gas burning process) purposes. Because exterior air usually contains more moisture than conditioned air from the house interior, it accelerates corrosion of the furnace internal components – heat exchanger.
  • The gas furnace heat exchanger – it is a metal separator between two areas inside the furnace. One area is where the fire is burning; the second area is where the air stream is pushed by the blower fan into the air ducts and registers (some very old furnaces operated without blowers). When that separating piece of metal cracks, Carbon Monoxide, which is a bi-product of an incomplete combustion, might leak into the air stream … and cause your death.

The good thing about most of those direct vent type furnaces is that you can easily access the heat exchanger for evaluation – as long as you can remove all of the corroded screws holding the furnace heat exchanger compartment access panel.

Direct vent furnace inspection - cracked heat exchanger #1Direct vent furnace inspection - cracked heat exchanger #2It was not easy, but I was finally able to lift the panel a few inches and take some pictures from the furnace heat exchanger interior. No surprises there, corrosion and several cracks along the edges of the metal tubes that serve as the heat exchanger.

Lets summarize our findings and compare them with the verdict from the HVAC professional:

  1. Furnace / AC compartment contaminated with potentially hazardous mold, distributed through the house every time the system is turned on – visible from the furnace air filter access panel / no comment from the HVAC service person
  2. Heavily leaking condensate drain pipe, water accumulating on the floor inside the air return compartment, water soaked framing of the compartment – HVAC professional claims cleaning the AC coil condensate drain pipe, not mentioning leaks and standing water
  3. Furnace heat exchanger severely corroded and cracked in many places – potential life threatening hazard / possibility of Carbon Monoxide poisoning – there’s not even one word in the HVAC service description mentioning severe corrosion and dangerous cracks of the furnace heat exchanger …

And the owner paid almost $90.00 for a statement that everything is OK

Before you hire a contractor:

  • do some research on the internet to find out the basic “How To” for whatever type of service you need
  • ask friends for recommendations
  • check credentials of the contractor
  • ask if there’s any warranty to cover performed work
  • follow the servicing person if possible (not invading his work space of-course)
  • ask him to explain what is he doing.

This poorly performed furnace / AC inspection is not just a single accident, it happens very often, and remember – it’s your money that ends up in somebody else’s pocket.

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HVAC Air Filters Type and Locations | Forced Air Systems https://www.checkthishouse.com/13/air-filters.html Sun, 24 Feb 2008 00:54:16 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=14 We notoriously forget to replace air filters in our forced air heating / air conditioning systems… Air flow starts deteriorating through the house, system seams to be operating, but it takes significantly longer to achieve desired temperature …

The solution might be simple – clogged air filter, or missing air filter, and in that second case, you might have a contaminated evaporator coil (part of air conditioning system). Air filters, usually come in two groups: electronic/electric and passive (reusable, electrostatic or disposable).

Electronic/electric – reusable filters, click on link for detailed information and maintenance instructions (this one is for American Standard Inc. brand, but principal is the same for most of them) – use caution when performing all maintenance tasks, parts of those filters require extremely delicate handling.

Operation of some units might be noisy and resembles sounds from mosquito / bug zapper (device with fluorescent, blue light that you hang on your back-yard)… which some people don’t like and replace electronic cells with regular, disposable filters.

Passive (reusable, electrostatic or disposable) – depending on type, should be cleaned or replaced anywhere between 1-4 months Location of filter varies significantly, but common areas to look for one are:

  • furnace blower compartment (depending on setup, it might be top, bottom or any side section of the furnace) – access requires compartment service cover to be removed – be very careful! – by removing blower compartment cover, safety switch located underneath should be activated and turn off the furnace / disable blower.

However, some older furnaces have no such device installed, or it could be broken / removed, compromised by taping it in constantly closed position, bypassing, relocating from designated position – in such case furnace / blower will not stop when you remove the cover, or might start turning during filter replacement.

Therefore, for your safety, before changing filter (s), turn the furnace off by switching thermostat from “on” to “off” position, and / or by turning off service switch, usually located in close proximity to the furnace (if you don’t feel safe, you can also disconnect power to the furnace by turning off the breaker or unscrewing fuse in the main electrical panel – assuming it’s been properly marked).

Large air filter installed in compartment located next to the furnaceAir filter located behind the main air return port grill compartment located next to the furnace enclosure

narrow slot installed next to blower compartment, sometimes with a cover

  • house air return grill – usually installed on one of the walls or ceiling, might contain filter behind its door (usually secured with screws or small latches)
  • in some of the attic installed heating / AC systems you might actually have to claim up to the attic in order to replace air filter – be careful!

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Air Conditioning Icing https://www.checkthishouse.com/12/air-conditioning-icing.html https://www.checkthishouse.com/12/air-conditioning-icing.html#comments Sat, 23 Feb 2008 21:55:10 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=13 Read more]]> One of the problems with home forced air air conditioning systems is icing, which you my notice during its operation on: exterior condensing unit (inside the enclosure), refrigerate lines, or evaporator coil (AC section inside the house, usually not visible without removing of the access panel).

AC lines icing, frost covered

Condition is usually associated with inadequate or lack of cooling, and might have various reasons, but first thing you should do is turn off your cooling system.  You can turn OFF your air conditioning system by:

  • switching off your thermostat
  • adjusting thermostat setting higher that room temperature – some thermostats out of calibration might require several degrees differential
  • if none of the above works, turn OFF the house AC power disconnect, which should be located by the condensing unit (exterior), or circuit breaker / fuse marked AC located in an electrical panel

and wait for ice to melt.

In the meantime:

  • make sure, that your filter is clean (replace if contaminated)
  • check if all air supply registers and return grills are open and clear
  • check air conditioning coil exterior for lint, dust contamination – clean it carefully if contaminated

After all visible ice has melted, turn your air conditioning system back on, check if the condensing unit (exterior part of air conditioning system) is blowing warm air (just put your hand above the top of its enclosure). Make sure, that there’s air coming out of the registers and monitor parts, where icing occurred before.

If air conditioning icing starts reappearing, turn your system back off, and contact HVAC professional because additional testing equipment will be most likely necessary to perform further evaluation:

  1. evaporator coil might be clogged
  2. system low or high on refrigerant (both might cause icing)
  3. bad fan motor (inside air handler and / or condenser enclosure)
  4. inefficient compressor
  5. temperature falling below 60 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. oversized cooling equipment  might be also responsible for air conditioner icing

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Refrigerant Line Insulation, How to Properly Insulate Refrigerant Lines & AC Foam Lines https://www.checkthishouse.com/11/refrigerant-lines-insulation.html Sat, 23 Feb 2008 20:41:09 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=12 Refrigerant Lines InsulationRefrigerant Line Insulation Refrigerant line insulation is partially responsible for the efficiency of your air conditioning system operation. Two different diameter copper refrigerant lines, run between the air conditioning system condensing unit (house exterior), and the AC coil (named after its shape) installed inside the house (sometimes crawlspace or attic) / contained within its own compartment. Suction refrigerant line This is a thicker copper pipe, carries cool refrigerant gas and has a temperature of approximately 40°F (4.4°C) / requires insulation. Liquid refrigerant line Thinner copper pipe carries liquefied refrigerant, [...]]]> Refrigerant Lines Insulation

Refrigerant line insulation missing on AC suction line at the evaporator coil

Refrigerant line insulation is partially responsible for the efficiency of your air conditioning system operation.

Two different diameter copper refrigerant lines (one approximately 1/4″, second 3/4″ – diameter depends on your system size and distances), run between the air conditioning system condensing unit (house exterior), and the AC coil (“A” coil – named after its shape) installed inside the house (sometimes crawlspace or attic) / contained within its own compartment.

Suction refrigerant line

This is a thicker copper pipe, carries cool refrigerant gas and has a temperature of approximately 40°F (4.4°C) / requires insulation.

Liquid refrigerant line

Thinner copper pipe carries liquefied refrigerant, its temperature is approximately 110°F (43.3°C) / does not require insulation but in some installations insulating liquid refrigerant line is recommended. A good example would be when running liquid refrigerant line through the attic area where temperature often exceed 110°F. Un-insulated refrigerant line will lower your air conditioning system’s efficiency.

In most cases the coil compartment is attached to the forced air furnace, but sometimes you’ll just have an air handler (some properties use hot water or steam heating systems, and separate forced air, central AC).

An entire length of the thicker / larger diameter copper refrigerant line (suction) should be insulated with vapor proof foam type of insulation (usually black or gray sleeve).

Older refrigerant lines might be wrapped with insulating tape in order to prevent condensation from forming on pipe surface during system operation. This is critical during hot, humid days, and lack of the refrigerant lines insulation often results in condensation forming up on their surface, and dripping onto the surrounding surfaces.

Refrigerant line should be sealed properly at furnace plenum entrance

Condensation on the refrigerant lines exterior sections is usually harmless if the unit sits on the ground, but the system will have to work harder, and waste energy to compensate for lack of the insulation.

Refrigerant lines insulation should be also installed properly at furnace plenum (ductwork inside the house) penetration, to prevent condensation / water from dripping onto the furnace enclosure and heat exchanger.

Lack of, or improperly installed refrigerant lines insulation might be responsible for corrosion, discoloration, could compromise internal components of the air conditioning / heating system, and significantly shorten its life span.

Lack of suction refrigerant line insulation on pipes running inside the wall / ceiling cavities, or through the attic will result in heavy condensation, could cause damage to your interior finishes and expensive repairs.

Get your refrigerant line insulation and help your system perform efficiently through the entire hot season.

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AC Wall Units https://www.checkthishouse.com/10/ac-wall-units.html Sat, 16 Feb 2008 00:00:49 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=7 Read more]]> Contaminated AC through the wall unit, missing air filter

Air conditioning wall units are typically installed inside the metal sleeves, permanently secured to the building wall structure. In most instances, they only require regular maintenance procedures like filter replacement, and cleaning, which should be performed on regular basis.

AC through the wall installation

Because wall units should discharge condensate (condensation that builds up on the coil, inside the air conditioning unit enclosure) behind the sleeve /  to the house exterior – proper slope of the installed sleeve, and air conditioner positioning inside the sleeve are very important.

The exterior section has to be slightly lower than interior to prevent condensate from dripping inside the property. Sometimes with older, corroded sleeves, air conditioning wall unit condensate will leak in-between the wall.

  • Lack of discharge on exterior during unit operation &
  • Moisture stains on interior or exterior wall

should be further investigated (lack of discharge might be also caused by undercharged, or not operating AC compressor.

If this is the case, set the unit to fan only position, turn it “ON”, and after listening of the fan sound for a few seconds, switch to AC position, if the compressor is functional (not necessarily cooling), you should hear significant noise increase.

Wall damage caused by seal problems around the AC unit sleeve

Deteriorated seals (usually caulking or silicon) around the sleeve at structure wall penetration (exterior), and AC units poorly insulated for cold season, are often responsible for interior wall damage around the sleeve / AC unit, in which case they should be serviced.

Sometimes, sleeve installation was improperly performed from the beginning, and the only way to avoid problems is to completely re-install AC wall unit sleeve.

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AC Condenser Disconnect & Proper AC Disconnect Grounding How To https://www.checkthishouse.com/9/house-ac-disconnect.html Thu, 14 Feb 2008 04:57:41 +0000 http://checkthishouse.com/testhouse/?p=6 AC Condenser DisconnectAC Condenser Disconnect | AC Disconnect Grounding Your house’s central cooling system ac condenser disconnect switch is a requirement and an important safety feature. AC condenser disconnect must be located in sight and not directly behind the condenser so it’s easily accessible. Depending on the manufacturer, enclosures have a disconnect handle located on the exterior or behind the small cover. Accessing of some older air conditioning condenser disconnect switches with a hidden handle might be difficult, they are often corroded, have padlocks installed with missing keys which might prevent emergency disconnect when needed. Therefore, house AC disconnect enclosure should be periodically tested for proper operation, and maintained accessible [...]]]> AC Condenser Disconnect

Your house’s central cooling system ac condenser disconnect switch is a requirement and an important safety feature.

AC condenser disconnects must be located in sight and not directly behind the condenser so it’s easily accessible. Depending on the manufacturer, enclosures have a disconnect handle located on the exterior or behind the small cover.

Accessing of some older air conditioning condenser disconnect switches with a hidden handle might be difficult, they are often corroded, have padlocks installed with missing keys which might prevent emergency disconnect when needed. Therefore, house AC disconnect enclosure should be periodically tested for proper operation, and maintained accessible at all times.

AC condenser disonnect typical location

Missing AC condenser disconnect and one is required in sight

Whenever a flexible type of electrical conduit (metallic liquidtight conduit) has been used between the AC condenser disconnect, condensing unit, and sometimes electrical panel, grounding wire is required inside that conduit and must be secured to the enclosures on both sides of this conduit.

There is usually one screw (sometimes two screws, just like on the first picture below) with a terminal to secure that wire.
Liquidtight conduit separated at connector, missing ground wire at the ac condenser disconnect boxMissing ground wire between service disconnect and the condensing coilLiquidtight conduit separating at the AC condenser connectionDue to the vibration caused by an operating compressor and a fan, or sometimes just a poor installation, conduit connectors might become loose, separate from the condenser and / or AC condenser disconnect. Therefore, the ground wire is necessary to provide a return path for fault currents and therefore allows the fuse or breaker to disconnect the circuit – in other words; it protects people and equipment from the electricity that has gone out of its intended path.

Other common issues with a house AC condenser disconnect enclosures:

  • AC condenser disconnect is loose / not secured to the supporting structure
  • Holes (missing knockouts) in the AC disconnect enclosure exposing high voltage terminals (critical with small children on premises)
  • Thermostat / control / low voltage wires installed inside the conduit carrying high voltage wires between the air conditioning condenser disconnect – AC condenser, and sometimes through the electrical panel.

Even if your cooling system appears to be performing properly, go ahead and check AC condenser disconnect for proper installation.

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