A common AC mistake committed by most homeowners is not scheduling their AC maintenance at the start of the summer season. They assume, since the air conditioner was working fine last summer, it will continue to do so. Seldom do they realize that the problem may have started brewing last season, and...
On a hot sunny afternoon when you want to relax in the cool environment of your home, you realize that your air conditioner won’t work. Why? Because it has frozen. What a bummer. Your only option now is to open the windows at home and pray like crazy that a cool breeze is blowing outside. Nine times out of ten, you won’t be that lucky. The next step would be to call your HVAC company and ask them to send somebody ASAP. The good news is that a frozen AC is not the end of the world. The bad news is that it will still take some time to resolve the problem. You can defrost a frozen AC unit, so take a deep breath and relax. Gather your patience because a frozen AC will take a little long to defrost.
What Is A Frozen AC Unit?
Don’t be confused by the term “frozen AC unit”. It does not mean that your air conditioner will become encased in a block of ice. When the flow of air is insufficient, it makes the temperature of the coils drop below freezing. The moisture present in the air then gathers on top of these coils and increases the ice buildup on your air conditioner. This is what is known as a frozen AC.
What To Do When The AC Freezes
1. Turn The Thermostat OFF – Ice formation on the air conditioner is an indication of the refrigerant being extremely cold. You need to stop the flow of this excessively cold refrigerant as it can kill your compressor. Why is that so? It is so because the AC compressor can only handle the refrigerant in the form of superheated gas. Normally, the thermostat is on the “COOL” setting. You need to turn it “OFF”. Turning it “OFF” will stop your AC from repeatedly sending cold refrigerant to the outdoor unit.
2. Switch The Fan To ON Position – Do not make the mistake of turning the AC fan setting to AUTO. This is because in “AUTO” setting the blower motor runs only during a cooling cycle. Since you have turned the thermostat from COOLING to OFF, your air conditioner will not go through any cooling cycles. The fan setting should be ON so that it pulls warm air from inside the home and forces it to blow non-stop over the frozen coils of the AC. This helps the ice thaw faster.
This two-step process will ensure that your frozen AC thaws or defrosts quickly and adequately. However, if you want to speed up the process a little more by lending a helping hand, you can use a hairdryer on low heat to blow additional warm air. Once the AC is completely free of ice, clean up the water puddles around the unit.
Frozen AC – How Long Does It Take To Defrost?
Depending on the extent of ice buildup on your AC, it can take anywhere between an hour to a day to defrost completely. While you are waiting for your AC to defrost, you need to pay attention to these two things –
1. Drain Pan Overflowing – As the ice melts it may overflow in the drain pan and leak onto the floor causing puddles. Spreading towels on the floor around the AC unit will help keep your floor dry.
2. Clogged Condensate Drain – When the ice on the evaporator coil thaws, it turns into water. This water drips into a condensate drain pan. From here the water flows outside through a condensate drain line. At times, the water picks up dirt along the way and clogs the drain line. A clogged drain pipe can cause the water to back up and overflow. You need to be on the lookout for such an occurrence and unclog the condensate drain to keep dripping water to a minimum.
What Causes The AC to Freeze?
The main reason behind a frozen AC is dirty air filters. In fact, there could be a number of other reasons as well, but this is the only one which you can deal with on your own. If changing the air filter does not solve the problem, you need to call the experts to take care of it.
When the air filter is dirty, it smothers the air conditioner. As a result, the warm air cannot flow freely over the evaporator coil. In turn, the refrigerant becomes colder than usual, and so the coils also turn excessively cold. When the moisture present in the air comes in contact with the too cold coils, it transforms into ice. Therefore, you need to make sure that the air filters are clean and free of dirt.
If you have changed the air filter and yet there is no respite, it means that the root of the problem is somewhere else. The most probable reasons could be a faulty blower motor, refrigerant leak, a stuck expansion valve, collapsed duct or something else altogether. These problems need expert handling, and so your best option is to contact your local HVAC company.
Now that you have read this post, you are well aware of how to safely defrost a frozen AC unit. When the AC is frozen, remember how long it will take to defrost will depend on the ice that has built up on the coils. You cannot rush the matter. All you can do is to ensure that the root of the problem is tackled. Ignoring your AC problems will not make them go away. In fact, that will just compound the issue. The best course of action is to address each issue as soon as it arises. There are many things that you can do yourself and yet there are many which are out of your scope. You need to be able to identify what you can do and what you can’t. If things seem overwhelming, you can always contact your local HVAC technician.
A toasty warm house in winters and a perfectly cool home in summers – who doesn’t want that? We all do, and there’s nothing wrong with it. A house is a place where you want to live as you desire. You want it to be nice and comfortable so that you can unwind at leisure, so be it. Regrettably, your HVAC system will sometimes throw a wrench in your best-laid plans. Have you ever felt that the airflow is not as good as it used to be, or there are hot and cold areas in your home? Well, these are an indication that something is wrong with the airflow. We at Aztil AC often receive complaints about weak airflow from vents in the house. So today we concentrate our efforts on understanding the 5 leading causes of weak airflow from vents in the house.
5 Main Causes Of Weak Airflow
There are many reasons which could lead to weak airflow from vents in the house. However, only 5 of them occur often enough to be of real importance.
1. Dirty Air Filters – The top spot is taken by dirty air filters. We are so busy enjoying the warmth and coolness of the home that we conveniently forget to take care of small things that really matter. All the concentration is drawn by the HVAC unit, and we fail to pay attention to the air filters that cover the vents. The return air vents have air filters to trap dust, dirt, and allergens inside the house. These filters are rated according to their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The higher the MERV rating, the finer the air filter. When these filters get clogged due to dust and grime, sufficient air does not pass through them. In the absence of adequate air supply, the HVAC unit struggles to send out hot or cold air in a steady flow.
How To Solve The Issue – The solution is very obvious. Use air filters that are not very fine and clean them at regular intervals without fail. You can also replace them frequently if cleaning is not your cup of tea.
2. Blocked Ducts – No matter how good an air filter you use in the return air vents, some unwanted particles still enter the ductwork. These particles then stick together due to dampness or static charge and turn into big accumulations. Combined with how small animals or critters enjoy the ducts enough to make homes, you have a perfect scenario for causing blockages. These blockages don’t allow enough air to pass through, resulting in sluggish airflow from the vents.
How To Solve The Issue – The only solution is to clean the ducts so as to get rid of any and all blockages. Duct cleaning is a job best suited for professionals as they will ensure that no accumulations remain anywhere inside your ductwork. Getting the ducts cleaned once a year is adequate.
3. Blocked Vents – Another common cause of weak airflow in the house is blocked or closed vents. Maintaining a pleasing temperature inside your home is possible only when it is able to enter and scatter or disperse with ease. In your house, you will notice vents in the ceiling or baseboards. These vents are used for pumping air throughout the room. Sometimes, unknowingly, we block them with furniture, a mistake that hampers airflow.
How To Solve The Issue – If the vent has been blocked by something like a piece of furniture or some appliance, move the said obstruction to another suitable location.
4. Closed Damper – Vents have a damper to block or direct the flow of air to certain parts of the home. If you need more or less air in any portion of the home, you can open or close the dampers accordingly. When they are closed, the airflow will be weak. In automatic HVAC systems, the damper is controlled via the thermostat. However, in manual systems, the dampers are adjusted manually to appropriate positions.
How To Resolve The Issue – In case of thermostat automatically controlling the opening and closing the dampers, you have no choice but to call your local HVAC company to send somebody who can solve the issue. In the case of manually adjusted dampers, if you know where to find them in the ductwork, you can take care of things yourself by repositioning them correctly. However, if you don’t know, call the experts.
5. Leakage In Ducts – Ideally, your HVAC system should be a completely sealed entity, having entrances and exits in the form of just returns and vents. When the vents get damaged holes and gaps appear. Air leaks through these cracks and loses pressure. When the pressure of air drops, it becomes difficult for air to circulate through the system. As a result, weak airflow from vents in the house.
How To Fix The Issue – If the opening is small, you can tape it. For best measure, call the experts so that they can do a thorough job of patching up all the leaks in the most professional manner.
Heating and cooling systems are built in such a manner that any change in the flow of air entering the system will manifest itself in the form of restricted airflow from the other end. Therefore, to address any issue related to weak airflow from vents in the house first check whether there is any problem in the places where the air is entering the system. Most often than not, you will find the problem. Nonetheless, remember there could be other reasons for weak airflow like misshapen flex duct, blower motor problems, undersized vents, etc. No matter what your diagnosis of the problem, call the professionals to rule out any other probable cause. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system, proper inspections, and diagnostic tests go a long way in ensuring the best performance of your HVAC unit. So never miss out on these critical aspects as they may prove to be a costly mistake at a later date. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Often you would have felt that your home is taking far longer to cool or heat. The reason is mostly restricted or weak airflow. As the flow of air diminishes, the air circulates far slowly, and so it takes longer to achieve the desired temperature. In short, the efficiency of your AC is compromised. When that happens, more power is needed to maintain the home at a pre-determined temperature. What this means is that now you will spend more money on your electricity bill to heat or cool your home. Regularly we receive the complain that our air conditioner airflow is weak. So we decided to address this issue through a well-informed post which even tells you how to fix the weak airflow in air conditioners.
Airflow is nothing but the flow of air or the movement of air in any given area. Air flows due to the existence of pressure gradients. Air id fluid and moves from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. When you stand near the AC, you can feel a stronger flow of air which diminishes as you move away from it.
Symptoms Of Weak Air Flow In AC
How can you come to know that the air conditioner airflow is weak? It’s quite simple.
1. No Air Blowing Or Weak Flow Of Air – This happens to the most common way of knowing that the air conditioner airflow is weak. When you stand directly under the vent which blows cool air inside your home, you will notice that there is no flow of air, or the flow is very slow. So slow that you barely feel it.
2. Hot And Cold Spots – You may feel that certain parts of your house are either cooler or warmer than the rest of it. If the airflow is adequate, there should be no hot and cold spots.
3. Imbalance Of Pressure – Whistling noises, drafty areas, and doors slamming suddenly, all point to the fact that there is an air pressure imbalance. Such imbalances occur when the airflow is restricted.
Why Air Conditioner Airflow Is Weak And How To Fix
1. Dirty Air Filters – More than half the airflow problems occur because the homeowner forgot to change or clean the air filters in their AC unit. Think of the air filter as a sieve. If the sieve is dirty and clogs all the perforations, how will anything pass-through it? On the same line, if the air filter is blocked, fully or partially, it will prohibit the free flow of air.
How To Fix – The solution is simple and cheap. Every month change your air filters. You can do this yourself and need not depend on anybody to come and help you out.
2. Blocked Vents And Registers – If the air vents and registers in your home are blocked by potted plants, decoration items or furniture, air pressure imbalance will occur. Such blockages impede the airflow.
How To Fix – Fixing the problem is as simple as ensuring nothing blocks the air vents ad registers. If there is any obstruction, remove it.
3. Blocked Ducts – Air passes through the ducts and enters each room in your home. When the ducts get blocked, they do not allow the air to pass through freely. The duct system in your home attracts dust; with age, it also develops breaks and leaks. Also, many times, birds and rodents make homes inside them. All these things cause weak airflow.
How To Fix – This is a job for the professionals. An HVAC expert needs to come and inspect the entire ductwork of your home for any tears and leaks. If they find any, they need to be sealed as soon as possible. Also, get regular maintenance of the HVAC unit done and pay special attention to the fact that your ductwork is given a thorough cleaning.
4. Slow Fan Speed – If the blower fan that moves air through the ducts itself is working slowly or sluggishly, the air will also travel equally slow. The reason behind slow fan speed could be dust and grime accumulated on the fan or a weak motor.
How To Fix – Cleaning the fan and replacing the fan motor should do the trick. However, it is something where you need the help of a trained technician.
5. Frozen Evaporator Coil – In your air conditioner, there is a component known as the evaporator coil. This coil is responsible for cooling the air. When it gets too cold, the moisture present inside your home freezes over these coils and forms ice. This ice formation acts as an obstruction and restricts the airflow.
How To Fix – Frozen evaporator coils are usually caused by dirty air filters, blocked vents, a faulty motor, and low refrigerant levels. The first two things you can handle yourself and do the needful as instructed in point number 1 & 2. However, to handle a faulty motor problem and gauge whether the refrigerant level is low, you will have to call for help from a professionally trained person. Since they are trained in all the technical aspects of HVAC units, they will address these problems quickly and efficiently.
Why Is It Good To Call Experts To Fix Weak Airflow Problems?
You know that the air conditioner airflow is weak. You also know it’s nothing serious, then why call in the big guns. To be honest, on the surface, weak airflow seems like a small thing, but if not taken care of timely and efficiently, it can overheat your unit and fry it. When faced with this dilemma, it is sensible to call for expert guidance as they will check all things that could cause the problem. On the other hand, you cannot because some things are just beyond your capability because you are not trained for them.
If your HVAC or AC unit is not too old, the chances are that the weak airflow is caused due to a small thing like dirty filters and clogged vents. However, if you have a decade old unit, it may be time when it is past its useful life and slowing down because of age. Whatever be the reason, there is an obvious solution. So whenever you face any issues with your air conditioner contact the elite team of Aztil AC.
The HVAC unit installed in your home is responsible for its heating and cooling as the weather demands. The unit alone does not determine how efficiently it will work. There are many other factors that play a role in deciding so. One such decisive factor is the duct size. Are you surprised to hear that? But that’s the truth. You must be wondering how on earth can the duct size be important, after all, it just expels air? Moreover, what is the correct duct size and is there an HVAC duct sizing rule of thumb? Well, the purpose of this article is to answer these questions and help you understand the importance of ducts.
Ducts are channels or passages that are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to distribute fresh and get rid of stale air. The HVAC unit fills the supply plenum with either cooled or heated air, as desired. It is directed via the ductwork of the system. When fresh air enters a room, it pushes out the already present air from the room into yet another set of ducts. These ducts then deliver the stale air to the return plenum.
HVAC Duct Sizing Rule Of Thumb
A lot of times, your AC contractor would want to size your AC using the rule of thumb. Since you don’t know what it is, you must be flabbergasted. In the simplest of terms, the rule of thumb states – for every 500 square feet of air-conditioned floor area install an AC of one-tonne capacity.
Why Does Duct Size Matter?
One thing pretty clear is that you need to have appropriately sized ducts for the HVAC to work effectively. But why is that so? Here’s the answer to your question. Ducts that are small in size make your HVAC system work harder to keep your home at the desired temperature. If your duct size is big, the velocity of air gets compromised. It means you will not be able to feel the air flowing through the air vents.
How To Calculate The Duct Size
You have read above about the HVAC duct sizing rule of thumb. Now, let’s have a look at all the things you need to know in order to calculate the best duct size for your home. The formula is a little complicated and involves the following things –
1. Area of your home in square feet.
2. The size of your air conditioning unit.
3. Airflow velocity.
4. Friction loss.
5. The static pressure of the HVAC unit.
In order to calculate the duct size, proceed as follows –
1. Look on your furnace to see how many BTUs (British Thermal Unit) it produces. This information is usually given on the furnace plate. Divide that number by 10,000.
2. Multiply the answer by the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) airflow of your furnace. Commonly, 100 CFM is produced by a natural draft furnace, 130 CFM by an induced furnace and 150 CFM by a condensing furnace.
3. Divide the answer you get in step 2 by 10. What you get is the measure of airflow permitted by the HVAC unit in your home.
4. Now calculate the duct size by multiplying the length with width. For example, if the vent size is 4 by 8 inches, the total CFM is 32 (4×8) per vent.
5. Now divide the CFM per vent by the total amount of CFM for the furnace.
6. Calculate the square feet of each room by multiplying the room length with its width.
7. Finally, divide the number of vents by the total square feet of each room.
This calculation is confusing, and we know that. Your best option is to use an online calculator for figuring out the duct size for your home. Ideally, every room which is 100 square feet or less needs at least one vent and two or three vents for a room size bigger than that.
Using An Online Duct Size Calculator
Even professionals use online calculators or programmed calculators to figure out the duct size. If you also use one, there is no harm. They are simple to use and give reliable output. However, HVAC professionals have more sophisticated tools at their disposal, and hence, their calculations are more reliable and precise.
It is good that you want to design the HVAC duct system of your home. Still, we strictly advise that you consult a professional with expertise in this context to validate your calculations. It is because a mistake on your part can prove to be costly, both in terms of money and effort. The size of your ducts can alter the comfort level inside your home drastically. It also determines the amount that you spend to keep your home appropriately cooled or heated. Since the biggest contributor in your electricity bill is your HVAC unit, you want to get your calculations correct in the first instance itself.
Now that you know how vital ducts are in keeping your home comfortable and managing your electricity bills, you know why they need to be sized precisely. However, you also know that the calculation itself is complicated and based on a number of other factors. Making your job easy are the HVAC professionals. You need not worry about calculating the duct size. Just ask your HVAC company to send somebody who can do the needful and give you the precise size. These people are trained for the job and can deliver accurate results with far less trouble than yourself. In the state of Florida, Aztil AC is at your disposal to help you in calculating the duct size and other problems related to your HVAC. The AC is your home is its very heart, and we are ready to take care of your heart for you. Our team consists of qualified people who know their job well. You can place your trust in us without second thoughts. We guarantee your complete satisfaction.
It’s mostly true that professionals should handle the maintenance and cleaning of the air conditioner. Nonetheless, there are a few things that you can do yourself without any issues. One such thing is cleaning the fins in your AC. Now that you are aware of this fact don’t just jump the gun and dorn your overalls and pull out the garden hose. Fins are very delicate and hence need to be handled carefully. Read this post completely to know how to clean air conditioner fins.
What are The Fins?
Fins are thin slats of metal, usually copper or aluminium, that protect the coils inside the AC unit. They are very delicate and can easily get bent out of shape when pressure is applied. As such, the need to be extra careful.
What Is The Function Of AC Fins?
The fins of an air conditioner perform two basic functions –
1. It keeps the unit safe from dust, debris, and other elements of nature.
2. They do not let warm air from outside enter the air conditioning unit. So the AC runs more efficiently.
Where Are The Fins In AC?
There are two sets of fins in an AC. One set can be found in the condenser unit and the other in the evaporator unit.
1. Condenser Fins – The thin slats of metal that can be seen running along the framework of the outdoor AC unit are the condenser fins. These fins prevent warm air from entering the AC while it is running. If you want your AC to run with maximum efficiency even during the hottest days, you need to ensure that the condenser fins are clean.
2. Evaporator Fins – As the name itself suggests, the evaporator fins surround the evaporator, creating an “A” shape. These fins are charged with the task of cooling the outside air and distributing it through the ducts and vents to cool the entire home. Dirty evaporator fins translate to significantly warmer air, which in turn is an indication of your AC consuming more power.
How To Clean Air Conditioner Fins
To make sure that your AC is working at optimum efficiency, you need to clean both sets of fins. As has already been mentioned, the fins need to be cleaned gently. Pressure in any form can bend and misshapen them. In order to clean the air conditioner fins, you need a special comb-like object called the fin comb. An air conditioner fin comb is a small tool made up of soft bristles. It helps clean both the inside and outside of the fins.
The steps involved in cleaning the AC fins are relatively simple. You don’t have to be a genius to figure them out.
Step 1 – Since your AC is an electronic appliance, the first step is to disconnect it from the power source. You can do this by flipping the circuit breaker switch to the “OFF” position or by unplugging the unit.
Step 2 – Expose the fins by unscrewing the access panel that covers the fins.
Step 3 – Delicately run the fin comb along the fins to get rid of any accumulated dust or debris. Start at the bottom and move the comb upwards. This action also helps in bringing bent fins back in shape.
Step 4 – If necessary suck out the dislodged particles by using a vacuum cleaner. Remember to use it from a distance so that it does not further damage the fragile fins.
How Much Does A Fin Comb Cost & Where Can I Buy It?
Fin combs are cheap and do not make a major dent in your pockets. At most, a fin comb will cost you around $20. You can buy it at just about any hardware store in your locality. Or you can simply buy it online.
Quick Tips On How To Clean Air Conditioner Fins
A few quick tips which will save the day for you are –
1. Use protective goggles and use gloves while cleaning the fins. Goggles will prevent any stray particles from entering your eyes, and the gloves will protect your hands from any injury.
2. Do not use water on the fins in the very beginning as it will cake the accumulated dust and make it difficult to clean.
3. As a preventive measure, keep the area around the fins free of any unwanted elements like grass, leaves, stones, etc. If the area around them is clean, the fins will not get dirty frequently.
How Do AC Fins Get Damaged?
Now that you know how to clean air conditioner fins let us try to understand how they get damaged in the first place.
1. Not Securing Properly During Winter – Air conditioners are sold with a protective cover that keeps large debris from damaging the fins. However, it is of little to no use when it comes to strong winds, hail, and freezing rain. When the summer’s end, you should ideally cover the AC with a tarp or any other waterproof covering so that the fins are protected against the harsh elements of nature.
2. Spring Cleaning – Believe it or not, but spring cleaning is the biggest culprit behind damaged fins. When you are dousing everything with water and that too at high pressure, in the name of getting ready for summers, you often give the same treatment to your AC. The fragile fins are unable to tolerate water at high pressure and get damaged.
After reading this article, from top to bottom, you have sufficient knowledge on how to clean air conditioners fins. Doing this job yourself will save you a few dollars and at the same time, reduce your dependency on others. However, if you want, you can call your preferred HVAC company to do a complete maintenance of your AC. This seasonal maintenance will also cover the cleaning of fins and coils. Needless to say, it is better to get complete maintenance of your AC done by a trained professional rather than just cleaning the fins yourself. As an interim measure, you can clean the fins. In the long run, if you want to extract your money’s worth from the AC, you need to ensure that its maintenance is carried out strictly, year after year.
Coil cleaning tools help flush out the impurities like dust and debris that embed over the coils. They also disinfect and deodorize. Cleaning the coils of your air conditioner or the HVAC unit is not cumbersome anymore. Thanks to the tools that are flooded in the market, you can take your pick. The choice is so wide that you may feel like a kid in the toy store – greedy and excited. But since we are adults, we need to make a wise choice and can’t just pick the shiniest and most colorful looking tool. So here is a review of the 5 best HVAC coil cleaning tools.
5 HVAC Coil Cleaning Tools
The pros and cons of the 5 HVAC coil cleaning tools are discussed below, along with their basic features. Hopefully, this information will help you choose your preferred tool well.
1. Garden Hose – Isn’t that wonderful? You can just use your regular garden hose to clean the AC coils. The biggest benefit is that most of us already own one and those who don’t can buy it really cheap. Your garden hose will also give you a good and plentiful supply of water as long as there is water in the tank. However, is the garden hose the best choice? Probably not and only because the pressure of water is quite low. If you try increasing the pressure by pressing the hose with your fingertips, you will only manage to get short spurts of it. These short bursts of pressure are not sufficient to get rid of caked impurities.
2. Pressure Washer – Overcoming the disadvantage of the garden hose is the pressure washer. This coil cleaning tool has a good amount of pressure to loosen the accumulated dirt and debris and gets rid of them. Its drawback is that it has just too much pressure. So much so that it can damage and bend the fins that cover the coils. The fins in air handlers are usually made of thin copper or aluminium. Being thin, water at high pressure can flatten them or crush them completely. One has to be extra careful while using a pressure washer to clean the coils in the HVAC unit.
3. Pump Sprayer – The coil cleaning chemical is filled inside a bottle or a small container, and pumping action expels it outside and onto the coils. This is why the apparatus is called a pump sprayer. When using strong chemicals using a pump sprayer is a good idea because you do not come in direct contact with the chemical itself. Nevertheless, a pump sprayer just gets half the job done. You still have to wipe away the chemical that was sprayed over the coils.
4. Aerosol Sprays – Using aerosol sprays is not a good idea mainly because they are not environment-friendly. But the fact that they are easily available and come cheap works in their favor. Most people also get taken in by their self-rinsing properties. Yet the truth is different. The chemical is sprayed on the coils, and it stays there until sufficient condensate has built upon the coils to drain it away. The harsh chemical stays on the coil far longer than necessary. It makes the coil more clogged until and unless the condensate helps drain it away. The coils are made of sensitive metals, so it is not advisable to expose them to strong chemicals for long periods of time.
5. CoilJetⓇ Coil Cleaning System – Saving the best for the last, a complete solution is the CoilJetⓇ cleaning system for coils. It is like a wonder tool because it cleans the coils effectively and efficiently. It works well even if you don’t have power or access to an unlimited supply of water. Fitted with two tanks, one for water and the other for chemical, it has a rechargeable battery. The battery life is long, so you need not fret. Forming a unique pattern while spraying, it cleans the coils thoroughly and nicely. The water pressure is such that it does not even damage the fins. The only drawback of this system is its cost. Compared to other HVAC coil cleaning tools, it is a little expensive. Considering that it is a one-man army, the cost is more than justified.
How Often Should The Coils Be Cleaned?
The coils should be cleaned at least once a year. It is a known fact that dirty coils increase energy consumption by almost 30%. So if you want to keep your electricity bills on the low side and increase the life expectancy of your air conditioner, get the coils cleaned annually. Clean coils will also put less strain on the HVAC unit, thereby keeping repair costs to a minimum. You can also get seasonal maintenance of the AC done, and your coil cleaning will be covered in it. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.
Dirty coils in your HVAC unit can reduce its efficiency by 70%. Adding to the troubles is the fact that it also reduces the operating life of the unit. Cleaning the coils is far less expensive than undertaking costly repairs. If you want to save a few dollars by doing coil cleaning yourself, you can do so. It is relatively easy to do, and the cherry on top is the availability of no-fuss products available in the market to do it. You just need to know the proper way of doing it, so that you do not cause further damage to your air conditioning unit. If in doubt, let a trained technician do it for you. If not, pick a tool of your choice and get to the job. Our list on top will get you started in the right direction. If you take sufficient precautions to prevent the accumulation of dust over the coils, your best tool is the garden hose. And if you want to do professional style cleaning, CleanJetⓇ is your answer.
Evaporator coils are an integral part of an air conditioner. They are either located within the air handler or attached to the furnace. These coils perform the important function of absorbing heat from the air that circulates inside your home. If you want your AC to work efficiently, you need to keep the evaporator coils clean. But do you know how to clean the air conditioner evaporator coils? If not, this article is just for you.
Check Whether Evaporator Coils Need To Be Cleaned
The first step is to check whether the evaporator coils are dirty. If they have collected dirt and debris, they need to be cleaned. In some areas, where there is a higher concentration of dust particles in the air, the evaporator coils get dirty more often and may need monthly cleaning. Otherwise, quarterly or annual cleaning is more than sufficient.
Gaining Access To The Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils are not on full display. As mention above, they are located inside the air handler unit. This is that part of the AC which is inside the home. To expose the evaporator coils, you need to remove the access panel. Before you do that, disconnect the AC from the main power source. When you remove the top access panel, keep all the screws and fasteners safely because you will need to put them back again once the coils are cleaned.
How To Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils?
Believe it or not, there is more than one way to clean the evaporator coils. Below is a list of ways in which you can clean them.
1. Compressed Air Cleaning – When the coils are just slightly dirty, you can use compressed air to clean them. It will loosen the accumulated particles and blow them away. Always remember, compressed air should be directed in the opposite or reverse direction of the normal airflow. If you are using air at high pressure, apply it directly through the fins so that you don’t damage them. Also, ensure that you don’t blow in more dust while trying to clean the evaporator coils.
2. Brush Cleaning – You can also use a brush to clean the coils. When there is a small accumulation of dust, the gentle brushing of the coils is enough to clean them. However, if the accumulation is more, you can scrub the coils with a brush to dislodge the unwanted particles. The good thing is that this method does not require you to use either chemicals or liquids on your AC. The only thing of importance is to use a brush with soft bristles so that you don’t damage the fins.
3. Cleaning With Mild Detergents And Water – This is more a DIY kind of solution where you make your own cleaning agent by mixing warm water and some mild detergent. Pour this mix in a spray bottle for the easy application on the coils. Spray the mix generously over the evaporator coils and allow it to sit for some time. This will soak the dust and loosen it. Using a rag or a soft cloth wipe it away. Reapply the mix or solution until the coils are satisfactorily clean.
4. Cleaning With Commercial Cleaners – Nowadays, a plethora of commercial cleaners are available in the market to clean the AC coils. These cleaners are foaming type and drain away through the AC’s drainage system. Commercial cleaners are safe to use and get rid of even the most stubborn particles. Before using any commercial cleaner, read the instructions and precautions as stated on the product itself. Spray the cleaner liberally over the coils and wait for a few minutes to let the foaming action complete its magic. In some cases, the foam will drain away with the debris on its own and in other cases, you may have to wipe it away. This will, however, be mentioned in the instructions, so read them carefully. If need be, you can reapply the cleaner until the coils are completely free of any build-up.
5. Heavy-Duty Cleaning – If the build-up of dust and debris is heavy and persistent, you need to call in the big guns. Ideally, you should not undertake heavy-duty cleaning of the evaporator coils on your own. It is because such cleaning may involve the removal of coils, refilling of refrigerant, etc. These things are best handled by HVAC maintenance professionals. For the heavy-duty cleaning of the evaporator coils, book an appointment with your local HVAC maintenance company. They will send a person with the proper knowledge, training, and equipment to complete the job done in no time.
Once you have cleaned or replace evaporator coils, replace the access panel, and tighten all the fasteners. Restore the power supply to the AC and feel the difference cleaning has made. The satisfaction of completing a job yourself will be immense.
Why Do Evaporator Coils Need To Be Cleaned?
Dirty evaporator coils can cause problems to arise in the working of your air conditioner. They –
1. Increase the consumption of energy resulting in inflated electricity bills.
2. Decrease the cooling capacity, so the home takes longer to cool.
3. Increases the wear and tear of the different components of AC due to continuous strain.
4. Cause severe damage to the AC and also reduce its lifespan.
To get full money’s worth from your AC, you need to get preventive maintenance of the AC done every year.
In The End
Now that you know how to clean the air conditioner evaporator coils, you can undertake this task yourself. Cleaning the coils is not only easy but also inexpensive. Moreover, doing it yourself saves a few extra dollars and reduces your dependency on others. If you want to prevent the coils from becoming dirty, change the air filters often. Florida homeowners can contact Aztil AC any time to take care of these little things as well as anything else that pertains to your AC. we are here to take care of your problems so that you can rest easy and concentrate on what really matters.
Some of us who don’t know much about air conditioners may find this topic a little confusing. So, you may be thinking, Oh! I didn’t know that condenser was made of copper or aluminum. Well, you are not far off the mark. It is not the condenser that is made of these elements, but the coil which is inside. Then, why say copper condenser or aluminum condenser? Because that is the ordinary parlance in which the manufacturers, retailers, and technicians refer to them. Coming back to the central question of the day, which is better – copper condenser or aluminum condenser? To answer this question, let us first understand the characteristic differences between the two.
Characteristic Differences Between Copper And Aluminum
|Cost||Costlier than aluminum.||Cheaper than copper.|
|Weight||Heavy as compared to aluminum.||Nearly half the weight of copper.|
|Corrosion||Corrosion does occur, but the process is slower as compared to aluminum and also easy to clean.||Corrosion occurs at a faster rate and is difficult to keep it clean, so it needs frequent replacement.|
|Heat Transferability||Higher than aluminum.||Lower than copper.|
|Repairability||It can be easily repaired in the field.||Difficult to repair in the field so needs replacement.|
|Pliability||It needs more metal to make the same amount of coil.||Needs less metal to make the same amount of coil.|
|Durability||Stronger and more durable.||Less durable so needs to be kept in sturdy cabinets.|
|Maintenance||Easy to maintain.||Difficult to maintain.|
Now that you know the fundamental differences between the two metals, we can delve deeper into the war between copper condenser vs. aluminum condenser.
Copper Condenser Vs. Aluminum Condenser
When it comes to the air conditioner, you don’t want to take any chances. Therefore, when it comes to buying an AC, you are not willing to take any chances. One of the characteristics on which you may make a purchase decision is the coil element. Let us try to figure out which type of coil is the best for your AC.
1. Thermal Or Heat Conductivity – Copper, has low specific heat as compared to aluminum. It means copper both heats up and cools down faster while aluminum is slow in doing so. In AC, this means that the copper coils in the condenser will radiate heat far quicker than the aluminum coils.
2. Tensile Strength – The malleability of metal is measured in terms of tensile strength. It is usually the point at which the wire will break under tension. Copper has a higher tensile strength than aluminum. This means more force is required to bend copper into the desired shape when compared to aluminum. Thus, the manufacturing cost of appliances using copper will be higher. An air conditioner with copper coils will be costlier than one using aluminum coils.
3. Oxidation – Oxidation is the process where metal reacts with air and as a result, corrodes. Aluminum is highly susceptible to such corrosion when compared to copper. In your AC, air continuously flows over the coils, so oxidation is a normal occurrence. However, here one thing that works in favor of aluminum is that once an initial oxide layer is formed, it prevents further oxidation. On the other hand, in copper, the oxidation continues until it is completely consumed.
4. Maintenance & Repairing – Copper condenser demands far less maintenance in comparison to aluminum condenser and hence, last longer without any issues. Aluminum condensers are prone to leakages and cannot be repaired on-site. They need to be taken to the service center. Where AC repairs are concerned, you would want to get it done at home so that the AC becomes operational as soon as the repair work is done. You would ideally not want to wait for the repaired condenser to come back from the service center, which could take a day or two or even more. This is especially true during the peak of summers when the heat is unbearable.
5. Long Term Star Rating – Star rating is the measure of energy efficiency. In the case of the copper condenser, the 5-star rating drops down to 3-stars in a matter of 2 to 3 years. In the case of the aluminum condenser, the same rating drops down to 1 in the same time span.
6. Environment-Friendly – Aluminum condensers get damaged easily. When they get damaged, they release harmful gases (like R22 & R410A) into the environment. Copper condensers are far more durable and energy-efficient. It can thus be inferred that an air conditioner with copper condenser is more user-friendly.
Copper Condenser Vs. Aluminum Condenser – The Better Choice
From the above discussion, it is easy to conclude that in an AC, a copper condenser is the better choice. However, technology has evolved so much in the last decade that strides have been made to make aluminum an equally sought after choice. The biggest challenge of aluminum coils is that they oxidize and corrode easily. To overcome this problem, anti-corrosive material is sprayed over the coils. This is called the “Bluefin condenser”. Also, to protect the aluminum coils, they are enclosed in a strong cabinet. It further reduces their chances of getting damaged.
The war between copper condenser vs. aluminum condenser will still continue in the foreseeable future. Slowly but steadily improvements are being made to make aluminum coils equally safe. Deciding solely on the basis of characteristic properties, buying an AC with a copper condenser is the best choice. But purchasing an AC is not an easy decision to make. You do not want the AC to dig holes in your pocket, both while purchasing and later on in the coming years in the form of repairs. In that context, the decision needs to be based on your budget. So think well and choose wisely. If you are still confused, you can consult others and also ask your local HVAC technician about their honest opinion. Since you already know about the aspects that really matter the choice should not be too hard to make.
Your AC is by no means a piece of cheap electronic equipment. Taking good care of it should be your priority so that you don’t have to bear costly repairs in the future. One crucial part of the air conditioner are the condenser coils. These are located in the outdoor unit of the AC. The condenser coils work together with the evaporator coil to remove heat and humidity from your home. A part as important as that deserves attention so that your home always has a pleasant temperature. Maintenance of the condenser coils in the form of regular cleaning is, therefore of utmost importance. You must be wondering, cleaning is fine, but what is the right way of doing it? So, here is a quick five-step guide that tells you how to clean AC condenser coils. But before that, let us answer a few questions that must have popped in your mind.
How Often Should The Condenser Coils Be Cleaned?
For your air conditioner to work efficiently, you should clean the condenser coils at least once a year or annually. Usually, the best time to do the cleaning is the beginning of the summer season. In fact, rather than just cleaning the coils, it is best to get proper maintenance of your AC unit done. You can contact your local AC technician or your local HVAC company for the maintenance.
How To Prevent Dirty Coils?
If you wish to keep your condenser coils clean, you need to make sure that the area around the condenser unit is free of trash, vegetation, leaves and such. If anything has fallen on the unit, clean it immediately rather than leaving it for a later date.
How To Clean AC Condenser Coils In 5 Easy Steps
1. Inspecting The Coils – First and foremost, you have to do a visual inspection of the coils to see if there is any visible damage. If there is some sort of damage, minor or major, you should seek professional help by placing a call to your local HVAC company.
2. Remove Dust And Debris – Since the condenser coils are in the outside unit of the AC, they tend to collect a lot of things like bits and pieces of paper, blades of grass, leaves and other unwanted particles. Using a coil brush or an unused paintbrush clean all the dust and debris that cling to the coils. Clogged coils hamper the efficiency of the air conditioner.
3. Straighten The Coil Fins – The fins on the condenser coils tend to bend due to external factors like hail, flying objects in high winds, etc. These bent fins need to be straightened. To do so, you need an adjustable fin comb. The fin comb is a small and malleable tool that even removes the deep-seated debris which the brush could not reach.
4. Clean The Coils – A coil cleaner is needed to clean the coils. You can either purchase it online or at your local hardware store. To begin with, take a hose and allow water to wet the coils. The water pressure should not be too high, medium pressure is fine. Now, generously spray coil cleaner over the coils using back and forth motion. The cleaner will start foaming and collecting all the dust and debris. This will help get rid of that debris which has become well settled in the coils. Let the coil cleaner work its magic for at least 10 minutes.
5. Wash The Cleaner – Once the coil cleaner has been allowed to sit for 10 minutes, it’s time to wash it away. Again, use a hose, with medium water pressure to clean. Hitting the fins straight on and gliding your hand in a back and forth manner rinse it away. Remember, the water pressure should not be high as it can damage the fins.
A Few Important Tips
Now that you know how to clean AC condenser coils, here are a few tips to keep in mind –
1. Always disconnect the air conditioner from the main power before cleaning the coils. You can do so by either flipping the circuit breaker to off position or by disconnecting the AC power supply plug from its socket.
2. Since the coil cleaner is a chemical concoction, it is better to wear sturdy rubber gloves. This way, even if the chemical spills on you, your skin will not get irritated.
3. Since cleaning involves water wear anti-skid boots or shoes. You don’t have to worry about slipping and getting hurt.
What If I Can’t Find Coil Cleaner?
If you can’t find a coil cleaner, there is an easy DIY solution you can make at home. It needs just two simple ingredients and of course, a spray bottle. What you basically need to make your own coil cleaner at home are –
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake it well to make a homogenous solution. Generously spray the solution on the condenser coils to give them a good soaking. Let the solution sit on the coils for a couple of minutes and then using a rag, wipe it away. This solution is absolutely safe to use and does not harm any component of the AC. Although vinegar mixed with water is an effective cleaning agent, but sometimes it is unable to clean away all the unwanted matter accumulated on the coils. In such a case, you will need to buy an industrial-grade coil cleaner.
Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, first and foremost, try to minimize the dust and debris that tend to collect around the condenser unit. The idea is to keep a radius of 2 feet around the condenser unit clean. Even then, get annual maintenance of your AC done in which the condenser coils will automatically be cleaned. If for some reason you cannot get the maintenance done, only then undertake to clean the coils yourself. Following the guide given above on “How to clean AC condenser coils”, you will be able to easily tackle the job yourself.
Air conditioner circuit board troubleshooting may sound simple and easy. But it is most definitely not so. For one, there is no direct way of knowing that the problem lies in the circuit board. You have to look for problems everywhere else first. Once you have exhausted all your options, only then it is time to consider the circuit board. Before we move on to the complex matters, let us tell a bit more about the circuit board.
What Is A Circuit Board?
A circuit board is also known as PCB or Printed Circuit Board. This board is the base for physically supporting and wiring the surface-mounted and socketed parts in electronic items, including air conditioners.
How Much Does AC Circuit Board Cost?
If you are a DIY kind of person, you can buy a decent Ac circuit board online for $50 to $250, and replace the old one yourself. However, if you call a trained technician to do the job, the replacement cost would be anywhere between $400 to $600.
Can AC Circuit Board Be Repaired?
It is possible to repair a circuit board, but that can only be done in a proper workshop and not on-site. Having said that, it is always better to buy a new circuit board rather than repair the old one because –
1. The repair job has to be precise; only then it is considered complete. The contact points on the circuit board are so small that chances of error are high.
2. There is also the possibility that other contact points may have weakened so much so that they have a high probability of failing soon.
3. Repairing a circuit board is an intricate job, so it takes time while a new one can be bought and replaced instantly.
Air Conditioner Circuit Board Troubleshooting
The circuit board though small in size, is very crucial to the working of an electrical appliance. Depending on the complexity of the work performed, these PCBs can be intricate or simple. Finding a fault in it is a step by step process. Most things will sound easy enough, but actually, involve a lot of technical know-how. Below is our air conditioner circuit board troubleshooting guide.
1. Your checks will begin by making sure that everything in the AC unit is working fine. Start with the basics like changing the air filters, cleaning the ducts, making sure the contactor is fine, the refrigerant is in adequate quantity and work your way to the issue. Obviously, what and where you look depends on the problem.
2. A circuit board needs power to work. Begin by ensuring that the circuit board is receiving power without interruption. Sometimes the power is drawn from line voltage, and at other times the circuit board gets its power supply from the control transformer. In either case, you need to make sure that the input voltage to the board is proper.
3. Next step is to check the output. Many AC circuit boards depend on a safety check prior to sending an output signal or voltage to the component that is connected to it. This usually involves a check through all the safety circuits. Once all the checks are passed only then, the board allows an output signal. If the limit and pressure switches remain open, the board does not allow an output signal to the connected component. In some circuit boards, you can override the safety circuits. Once that is done, and the AC unit starts operating normally, you know that the problem lies in the safety circuits. If the problem is indeed the safety circuits, do not assume it is because of a bad switch. Try to look for the root cause, which is what caused the switch to open. Searching for the answer is very technical work and involves a complete understanding of how the AC works. Since most of us lack this knowledge, it is best to call your local HVAC company to send their technician. They are skilled in finding such faults and will also take less time to do so.
4. If the issue is not in the safety switches, you need to look for other causes. To do so first kill the power to your AC. Now remove the circuit board carefully from the bracket or mounting pins and have a look at its back. If something on the circuit board has burnt, there will be markings on the back. If you find the burn marks, it is time to replace the circuit board with a new one. Before disconnecting anything from the circuit board, take a picture. This will make the reinstalling work easy. Acting as a reference, the picture will tell how to connect the terminals.
5. On an air conditioner circuit board, there are relays. These look like small black cubes. The work of a relay is to send power to the condenser fan motor or the blower motor. If the fan does not start, the AC does not work. So, take a screwdriver, and gently tap the little black cubes with its handle. Many times, the relay contacts that are inside the black cubes stick. Tapping helps to release them, and they open and close as needed. If tapping does not release them, you need to replace the circuit board. Again, take a pic so that you know what goes where.
Air conditioner circuit board troubleshooting should be undertaken by yourself only if you have the necessary knowledge. Having confidence, but no knowledge can prove to be perilous. When dealing with electronics, remember you can cause harm to yourself as well as your machinery through half baked information. These jobs are best suited to people who are trained for them. The guide above gives you a fair idea of the steps involved in air conditioner circuit board troubleshooting. So, when the technician comes, you will know exactly what will be the sequence of steps they will be following in locating the problem. Having this general idea gives you the power to ensure that the technician does a good job.
HVAC units are very sensitive to electricity voltage. If the voltage is too high, and the circuit breaker does not trip, it can cause the system to fry. Similarly, if the voltage is low, the unit has to work harder, and this can cause it to overheat. It is clear that for efficient working and optimum output, the HVAC unit should get adequate voltage as is required. Anything more and anything less is not acceptable. Today, we shall concentrate our efforts on understanding the causes of low voltage and fixing them. Essentially, what we have below is an HVAC low voltage troubleshooting guide.
Low Voltage And Harm It Causes To Your HVAC
Technically, low voltage occurs when the electrical current falls to 90% of its usual capacity for maybe a minute or more. There are two potential harms which low voltage can cause to home appliances, especially your HVAC unit.
1. It can overheat the unit.
2. It can make the unit malfunction due to insufficient power.
Common Causes Of Low Voltage
There are numerous factors that contribute to low voltage. These are –
1. Overload – One of the most widely recognized reasons for low voltage is the over-burdening or overloading of the system. The hot summer months and particularly the afternoons are the times when the power requirement is high. It is mainly because of the continuous use of air conditioners, which typically demand a lot of power. When the power company sees that the demand has exceeded to more than what they can supply, they resort to 5% power reduction per home. This is usually done region-wise but is the main cause of low voltage during summers. It is common knowledge that household electricity requirement exceeds during summer. So, if you simultaneously use several power-consuming appliances, it is bound to cause low voltage in just your home.
The Solution – There is not much you can do if the power company is resorting to power reduction. However, at your home, be cautious that you are not using too many high power-consuming devices or appliances at the same time. Even something as simple as switching off unnecessary lights will go a long way in improving the situation. Use dim lights to create a more cozy and comfortable environment.
2. Distance The Electric Signal Travels – A lesser-known fact is that homes situated far away from the main power plant will receive lesser voltage. A New York-based company, Utility System Technologies, claimed this through a paper issued in September 2009. They stated that this drop in voltage was due to “low load density”. In cities, people live in close proximity to each other. This density works in favor of the electrical signal making for a fixed voltage for every home. While in rural areas homes are spread over a large area. The electricity has to travel further and because of which the electrical signal may lose its strength.
The Solution – Here, things are out of your hands. The best you can do is file a complaint, along with others who have to face the same issue, with your electric company. You can ask them to take steps to boost the voltage in your area.
3. Load Imbalance – The electrical framework of our homes is such that there are three wires originating from the transformer and leading into the house. One of these wires is the “neutral”. The idea behind this design is to equally spread the load demand. If one wiring is weaker than the other, it can cause a load imbalance. When this happens, more electricity passes through one wire compared to the other. The wire which is overloaded will start giving less voltage, which in turn causes low voltage and weak signals.
The Solution – The solution to this problem lies in ensuring that all wires are of the same strength. You can call your local technician to validate this for you. In case, such is not the situation ask him to do the necessary wire replacement so that you don’t have load imbalance.
4. State Of Wires – Age and corrosion cause the wires to deteriorate. Sometimes the connections become dirty, and other times the insulation becomes questionable. Poor quality and damaged or spliced cables can also result in low voltage. The gauge of the wire has to be appropriate, and if there is an increase in the number of homes, the wires need to be upgraded to a higher gauge. Low gauge wires are often the cause of low voltage.
The Solution – You need to ask your local electricity technician to check the quality of wiring in your home. If it has deteriorated, you need to get it changed as soon as possible. If that still does not solve the low voltage problem, ask your electricity provider to check the gauge of lines supplying power to your area. If needed, they will have to upgrade things at their end.
If You Live In An Area With Perpetual Voltage Fluctuations
The area where you stay may be facing low voltage problems regularly. If that is the case and nothing has been done by your electricity provider, you can install a voltage stabilizer with your AC. Whenever there is a drop in the voltage, the stabilizer will automatically scale up the voltage to the requisite level so that your AC can work normally. There are also small devices called “Compressor Defender” which protect your AC unit from both high and low voltage. The stabilizer and compressor defender will cost a little, but in turn, will increase the life of your unit. As a part of the HVAC low voltage troubleshooting advice, we recommend investing in a good quality protective devices if your residential area is prone to low voltage.
In The End
Voltage, which we take for granted is a double-edged sword. Both high and low voltage is dangerous to your appliances. Thankfully, there are products available in the markets, which make it easy for you to monitor and protect your electronics against damage due to voltage fluctuations. Investing in them is just adding an extra layer of protection. Hopefully, our HVAC low voltage troubleshooting guide will serve you well in understanding the root of the problem.
You love it when your house is nice and cool even when the sun is on its full glory outside, increasing the temperature ominously. Needless to say, this is precisely the time when your AC decides to act up and shuts now. Now your peaceful world comes to an end. Before you panic, allow us to soothe your fraying nerves because most often than not, it is a case of the blown fuse. Now that you know it is nothing big, the question that comes to mind is – “How to tell if AC fuse is blown?”
Before we answer this question, let us take a few minutes to understand the fuse. This knowledge is critical to comprehend the reason behind a blown fuse. Once the reason is known, you can contain the problem.
The AC Fuse
During the hot summer months, when the sun is at its peak, your AC works hard to maintain the pleasantly cool atmosphere inside the home. Sometimes the continuous hours of operation with no respite in-between heats the unit beyond an acceptable level. When this happens, the circuit breaker trips or the fuse blows to prevent any lasting damage to your AC. In short, a blown fuse is just a precautionary measure to protect the machinery.
A fuse is sensitive to heat. Whenever there is a power surge or the unit heats excessively the filament in the fuse melts. This occurrence is the blown fuse. The fuse is designed in such a manner that it can bear the load of fixed amperes only. If the voltage increases beyond its amperage capacity, the fuse blows. Essentially, when the fuse blows, it cuts the power supply to the unit and thereby saving the unit from any further damage.
How To Tell If AC Fuse Is Blown
If you suspect that your AC may have blown a fuse, the first thing you shall notice is that the outside unit of your AC is not doing anything. You may hear a minor humming sound, but that is the extent of it. The humming sound is produced because, despite no power, the furnace keeps asking the AC to run.
Can I Check For A Blown Fuse?
If you understand the basic electrical system of the AC, you can indeed check for a blown fuse yourself. However, not all of us have that knowledge, and yet we try to decipher the problem on our own. This can be quite dangerous. Until and unless you are sure about what you are doing and you have taken the necessary precautions to ensure your safety, you should not try and take remedial actions to correct the problem. Most often, the current is still passing through the wires, which can give you a strong jolt or shock. So refrain from being too adventurous. Contact your local HVAC company to come and inspect your air conditioner.
Checking For Blown Fuse With Voltmeter
The best way to test for a blown fuse is by using a voltmeter.
1. To verify that you have a blown fuse on hand, the first step is to locate the disconnect box. It is usually grey in color and mounted near the outdoor AC unit.
2. Lift or swing open the outer and inner cover of the disconnect box to expose the cables. Locate both the incoming (line) and outgoing (load) wires. Remember both of them carry 110 volts, so be cautious.
3. Check the voltmeter to make sure that it is functioning properly. It should display a reading of zero volts or infinity depending on the model you are using.
4. Attach the voltmeters leads to the lugs joining the two line wires. The voltmeter should read somewhere between 220-240 volts. This means power is coming as far as the fuses. If the voltmeter does not read anything on this side, the problem isn’t the fuses.
5. After testing the incoming wires, it’s time to test the outgoing wires. Join the voltmeter’s leads to the lugs of the load wire. If you get a zero-volt reading, you have a blown fuse. Else, the problem is in another place.
What If You Don’t Have A Voltmeter?
Not everyone has a voltmeter at home. If you don’t have one, the world does not come to an end. You can still check whether your AC has blown a fuse or not. Check the volt capacity of the fuse in the disconnect box. Buy new fuse of the same capacity. Replace the old fuse with the new one and check whether the AC works. If yes, you had indeed blown a fuse. If no, you now have an extra set of fuses on hand. The good thing is that they can be used later when your AC indeed does blow a fuse. Baad thing is that you still have a non-functioning AC on hand.
A Few Tips
1. If you want to check for a blown fuse yourself, make sure that your hands and feet are dry. Also, see to it that so is the floor.
2. If you are not an electrician, take a pic of the disconnect box when you open it so that you bring it back to the status quo while closing it. Pictures are especially useful when you are replacing the fuse. You can verify the exact manner in which they should be placed.
3. If your AC keeps on blowing a fuse, it means there is another problem that needs to be addressed first.
4. Your local HVAC technician is the best person to inspect your AC for any troubles.
By now, the above information has given you a fair idea of how to tell if AC fuse is blown. Even if you cannot do the necessary job yourself, you at least have a good idea of what the AC technician will do. Armed with this knowledge, nobody can try and fool you. It is always better to have some knowledge rather than being completely ignorant.
It’s quite aggravating when your air conditioner keeps blowing fuse in circuit board. If it’s just a one-time thing, you may not think much about it. But, if it happens quite frequently, you have a problem on hand. Electrical problems can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know why they are happening and what to do. So, in our bid to make you more knowledgeable in this context, we shall explain a bit more about the fuse, why your AC keeps blowing it, and what is the most probable solution – armed with this information you can take quick and competent decisions in regards to your AC.
What Is A Fuse And How Does It Work?
A fuse is an electrical safety device which is made of metal filament or wire. It is usually in a cover or casing. The purpose of a fuse is to provide safety to the electrical device from overload or high voltage. The fuse is in the disconnect box or the trip box, connected to your AC.
While your AC is working, if there is a power surge or a short circuit, the filament in the fuse melts. This stops the flow of electricity and thus acts as a circuit breaker. Often this occurrence is also referred to as a blown fuse.
On its own, the fuse cannot be a problem because it is just a part of the safety mechanism. Fuses are very sensitive to overload, and so they overheat extremely fast. Consequently, if the fuse has blown, it means you have a problem on hand for which you may require professional assistance.
Why Air conditioner Keeps Blowing Fuse In Circuit Board?
There could be several reasons why air conditioner keeps blowing fuse in circuit board. The most probable of these are –
1. Loose Electrical Cables – There could be loose electrical cables inside the circuit box or somewhere in your AC which could be causing a short circuit. Only a thorough check by a trained technician will reveal where these loose wires are. Once they are discovered, you will just have to tighten them so that they do not cause repeated short-circuiting, which results in a blown fuse.
2. A Faulty Capacitor – The work of a capacitor is to regulate the flow of electricity inside the AC. When the capacitor develops a fault, it is unable to work properly. This can cause the fuse to blow repetitively. To solve this problem, the capacitor will have to be replaced. Sometimes an old or blocked motor will force the capacitor to work over-time. This puts a lot of strain on the ac capacitor, which in turn can continuously blow the fuse. The perfect solution for this problem is to get the motor checked and take action as advised by the HVAC technician.
3. Problem In Condenser – Dirty coils on your ACs or HVACs condenser can also cause strain on the capacitor, making it run overtime. Consequently, the fuse may blow. Similarly, if the condenser fan has to work harder to cool your home, it may cause electrical problems, one of which is a fuse blowing often. The solution lies in getting regular maintenance of your AC done so that these issues can be found at the very beginning and addressed ASAP before they turn into before troubles.
4. Low Refrigerant Level – When the air conditioner is low on refrigerant, the unit must work harder to cool the home. The extra work which the AC has to perform can trip your circuit breaker or result in a blown fuse. If the refrigerant level is not topped to adequate, the blowing of fuse becomes a regular occurrence. As is clear from the discussion, the solution lies in maintaining an optimum refrigerant level in the AC. A technician can come and check the refrigerant level in your AC and also, if they recommend replacing the coils that carry the refrigerant, pay heed to their advice and take quick action.
5. Dirty Air Filters – Anything that puts continuous pressure on the AC will subsequently result in a blown fuse. For that matter, it can be something as inconsequential as a dirty air filter. Especially on hot sunny days when the AC works overtime, hours of operation under tremendous strain can take its toll in the form of a blown fuse in the circuit board. Replace the air filters every month in summers to prevent this from happening occasionally.
6. Small Fuse – Somewhere down the line, someone replaced the fuse in the AC circuit board with a smaller capacity one which was inadequate to bear the load of your AC. Whenever the fuse blows, you replace with the fuse with a similar capacity one without realizing the folly of this action. Consult an HVAC technician about this and replace the fuse with one that has an adequate load-bearing capacity. Once done, this should solve the problem.
As you can concur, most times it is small things which cause big problems. These small factors can be addressed well in time through periodic maintenance of the AC by a professionally trained technician. Time and again, we have stressed upon the benefits of maintenance for the longevity of your AC. However, this does not mean that no further problems will arise ever again. Problems will arise due to basic wear and tear and also due to things not in your control. At such times, the best you can do is be attentive towards even the smallest untoward sound that your AC makes.
When it comes to an air conditioner that keeps blowing a fuse in the circuit board, it is necessary that you let a trained technician check it out. A thorough inspection of your system, by them, will bring to light any additional issues that might be compounding the problem. If you are a resident of Plam Springs, Florida, the answer to your prayers is Aztil Air Conditioning. We are forever prepared to serve you better.
You pass by the thermostat umpteen times a day without sparing it a second glance. It is that small screen in your house, mounted on the wall, where you set the desired temperature. The day the cooling or heating does not match your expectations is the day when you stop to glance and fiddle with it. Like every other working part, it too is vulnerable to developing faults. Have you ever wondered why your thermostat goes blank then comes back on? This is an indication of some part in the thermostat not working as it should.
A thermostat is a crucial component of every AC and HVAC unit. It senses the temperature and helps regulate it at the defined level. A thermostat works like a switch. It is usually heat activated. A part of the thermostat is the temperature sensor. It causes the switch to open or close, completing or interjecting an electrical circuit which runs the heating and cooling system of the home.
Diagnosing The Issue
The thermostat goes blank then comes back on; this is a classic symptom of short cycling. This is a problem that usually originates within the heating system. On average, an air conditioning cycle lasts around 20 minutes. At times, the number of cycles increases. This issue is known as “short cycling.” Short cycling is a term that refers to the condition where the AC turns on and off in small bursts. When this happens, the house neither heats nor cools effectively. To the naked eye, short cycling is visible as the thermostat going blank then coming back on repeatedly in quick succession.
Main Causes Of Thermostat Going On And Off
A few reasons why your thermostat goes blank then comes back on are –
1. Improper Location Of Thermostat – Your AC thermostat consists of a temperature sensor which registers the surrounding temperature. Based on this reading, it sends the “on” and “off” signals to the compressor of the unit. Ideally, the thermostat should not be installed near a window which receives a lot of sunlight. Neither should it be installed anywhere near a supply air vent. These places will confuse the thermostat about the actual temperature inside your home.
2. Faulty Thermostat – For all you may know, the thermostat itself could have developed a fault which is causing short cycling. It could be as simple as a loose wire or something more severe, which may need replacement. The best person to validate this is your local HVAC technician. A faulty thermostat is not a major issue, replacing it will bring an end to the repeated switching on and off of the thermostat.
3. Refrigerant Leak – Refrigerant leaks occur due to corrosion and wear and tear of the coils. If your AC also has a refrigerant leak, it means that the level of Freon in your unit may be low. The coolant or refrigerant is vital for absorbing heat from the air and cooling it. So, when it is on the low side, the pressure level in the compressor becomes uneven, causing it to turn on and off intermittently. In turn, the thermostat also goes on and off repeatedly. If left unattended, this problem can cause serious damage to your unit. If you see any signs of a refrigerant leak, attend to it straight away.
4. Dirty Air Filters – Your AC may have a dirty or clogged air filter causing airflow restrictions. When the airflow is restricted, the evaporator coil becomes frozen, which causes the unit to turn on and off. As mention above also, this causes the thermostat to go blank and come back on again. Air filters should be cleaned and if necessary, replaced at least once a month. You can do this more often if you stay in a place where dust is always present in the air and if you are constantly running your AC in the summer.
5. AC Too Big For Your Home – The HVAC system installed in your home may be too big for it. This may seem odd because it cools your home faster. But the fact is if an AC unit is big for a home, it cools the house quickly and shuts off shortly after turning on. At first glance, you may think it is a good thing, but unfortunately, it increases your electricity bill as well as the chances of a potential breakdown. Prior to installing a new AC unit, ask a skilled technician to do an assessment of which size of AC is best suited for your needs.
Other Possible Causes
Not all AC units have a thermostat that requires batteries, but some do. Weak batteries can cause the thermostat screen to go blank then come back on again. You need to first figure out if this is the case with your thermostat. If yes, remove the front panel of your thermostat and replace the batteries with fully charged new ones. The task is relatively easy to perform and can be easily accomplished by you.
The Next Step
Now that you know that short cycling involves the compressor, we recommend that you immediately contact your local HVAC company to come and access the problem. If left unattended for a long time, this can evolve into a much bigger and expensive issue.
If you want an easy and permanent fix to all your AC problems, whether big or small, contact Aztil Air Conditioning. If you need help with your thermostat problems, we can carry out repairs and also offer a replacement, as per need. Your AC is the heart of your home. Do not leave its problems for later as by then they could become something bigger and costlier to handle. If you live in Plam Springs, Florida, you can contact us any time either through our website or by calling on +1-888-729-8452. We offer 24/7 emergency ac services so that you can live peacefully.
When your AC is not working as it should, your mind runs through all possible scenarios. You need a quick answer to your questions and a prompt solution to go with them. Many times when the AC malfunctions, the problem is very small, as small as a faulty capacitor. But how are you to deduce what is wrong with your AC? You are in good hands, for today we will tell you all you need to know about a bad capacitor. Moreover, this post will also enhance your knowledge on how to tell if capacitor is bad on AC unit.
Let’s Begin With The Basics…
1. What Is A Capacitor – A capacitor is a device which is used to store an electric charge. It consists of one or more pairs of conductors. These conductors are separated by an insulator.
2. What Does A Capacitor In AC Look like – The AC capacitor looks like a tall and shiny cylinder with wire connectors leading to it.
3. Function Of Capacitor In AC – An AC capacitor is also known as a “Run Capacitor”. Its function is to direct energy to the motor that powers the air conditioning unit. The capacitor in the AC provides the starting boost that is needed to turn it on and also gives constant power for it to keep running. It achieves this task by initializing a phase difference amid two windings that are inside the motor. This generates an initial starting torque which helps to turn the rotor of the compressor ac motor.
4. How Long Do AC Capacitors Last – With great strides in technology, today’s AC capacitors can last as long as 20 years. Some factors, like undersized capacitor and heat exposure, can cause them to wear out and go bad much faster.
Signs Of A Bad AC Capacitor
How to tell if the capacitor is bad on AC unit? This is more a matter of ruling out the most obvious problems first. Start with the basic solutions first, like changing the air filters and cleaning ducts. If one or more of the following symptom still persists, it is an indicator of a bad capacitor –
1. AC does not start immediately instead takes some time.
2. It does not blow cold air.
3. When it starts, you can hear a distinctive humming sound.
4. Your air conditioner shuts off without any reason.
5. The air conditioner fails to start at all.
Your AC taking a while to start and not starting at all are dead giveaways of a faulty capacitor. For the other symptoms, there could be some other reason as well. These could vary from a refrigerant leak to clogged ducts and filters. As already stated above, look for simple answers first.
What Does A Bad AC Capacitor Do To AC?
When the AC capacitor goes bad, it prevents the outdoor AC unit from functioning effectively. The possible scenarios include –
1. The fan may not spin
2. The compressor may not start.
3. The compressor may shudder and balk while starting
4. The compressor may shut off quickly.
5. A humming sound comes from the motor, and yet it does not start.
Any of these possible scenarios will put tremendous strain on the motor can cause the motor to burnout.
How To Tell AC Capacitor Is Bad in West Palm Beach
So your AC takes time to start, or maybe it’s not starting at all, these point to a defective capacitor. But how can you tell if the capacitor is really defective, for sure? Easy enough. Here’s what you need to do –
1. Check Condition Of Capacitor – The outer metallic shiny cover of the capacitor which protects the inside components should not bulge or have any cracks or leaks. If it has either of these, the capacitor is bad. In some extreme cases, you may even see smoke rising from it accompanied by a burning odor. Fluid oozing out from the base of the capacitor is also an indication of a bad capacitor.
2. Multimeter Check – Do this, if and only if, you know how to use a multimeter. First, switch off the power to the AC unit. Then apply leads to the capacitor so as to drain its stored energy. Now, connect one lead to the ground wire by touching it and with the other lead, turn by turn, touch all other wires. This will dispel the electrical charge held by the capacitor. You may then check capacitance across the terminals on the capacitor.
Capacitors can cause serious harm to a person if not handled correctly. Since they hold an electrical charge even when the unit is disconnected, they are capable of giving a strong electrical shock. It is thus necessary to first drain their energy. Once you are sure that the complete power has been dissipated from it, you can do further investigation. Since all of us are not electrically and technically oriented, it is strongly advised that you let a trained professional deal with such a problem. Your local AC technician or your local HVAC company are more than capable of handling these issues.
Choosing A Replacement Capacitor
If the capacitor is indeed faulty, you will have to replace it with a new one. But, you cannot just pick any capacitor as a replacement. The things that matter are not the brand, size, and shape of the capacitor. What truly matters is the voltage rating and the base unit of capacitance (microfarads). This information will be mentioned on the original capacitor. Take its pic so that you don’t forget and have the necessary information handy.
AC Repair Services In Palm Springs Florida
For your own safety, we strongly recommend that you do not try and troubleshoot AC problems on your own. The elite team of Aztil Air Conditioning is always at your service. We are your local HVAC specialists, and we are geared to handle all your AC problems 24/7. You can contact us either through our website, or you may call +1-888-729-8452.
The HVAC system is the heart of your household. It is a machinery which consists of many big and small parts. In machinery as complex as that occurrence of a fault is normal. What is important is that you deal with them promptly and efficiently. The local HVAC company is your best answer. However, being a little proactive, you too should know a little about the things that could go wrong with your HVAC unit. If you have at least some basic knowledge, nobody would be able to fleece you easily. In our bid to educate you about the issues you could face in relation to your HVAC, today we shall deal with the transformer. The transformer of the HVAC unit is also susceptible to developing faults. But how can you be sure of that? This post will help you understand a bit more about transformers and also tell you about bad transformer symptoms in HVAC.
What Is A Transformer?
A transformer is a device which can increase or decrease the voltage of an alternating current or AC. It is a passive device which transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another. This is achieved through electromagnetic induction.
Role Of HVAC Transformers
Transformers are used when the incoming electricity voltage needs to be either raised or lowered to meet the requirements of the other electrical components or parts. The work of a transformer is to change the voltage that travels from the circuit board to the HVAC unit. This progression allows the air conditioner and the fan to work in synergy while cycling on and off. The usage of Electricity can be amplified or diminished depending on how much power is needed.
Where Is The Transformer Located?
In an HVAC unit, the transformer is located inside the furnace. But in a few cases, which is less than 10%, it can be found inside the AC unit situated outside.
Bad Transformer Symptoms In HVAC
There are a couple of things which are indicative of a bad HVAC transformer. These are –
1. Humming And Vibrating – The humming sound in transformers is normal. It is produced due to the expansion and contraction of the laminations or the iron core. However, if there is a drastic increase in this sound, accompanied by strong vibrations, it is indicative of a bad transformer in your HVAC unit. There could be other possible causes of the humming sound and the vibrations like incorrect installation or a faulty capacitor. So, it is best to let a technician come and check out where the real problem lays.
2. Tripped Circut Breaker – When the transformer of your HVAC unit goes bad, the circuit breaker will usually trip. It trips so that there is no surge of voltage. A voltage surge can fry various parts throughout the furnace and AC causing a major breakdown of the said equipment.
3. HVAC Not Working – With a bad transformer, your HVAC unit will not work even when it has an adequate power supply. This is a protective mechanism to save the unit from severe damage.
There is no sure-shot way of confirming that the HVAC unit is malfunctioning due to a fault in the transformer. This can only be discovered through the elimination method. The HVAC technician will start with the most probable and simple causes which could prevent the unit from functioning. When nothing else works, they will tackle the bigger causes, one of which being a bad transformer.
Checking The Transformer Is Bad
Your HVAC unit is not working, and you have worked your way through all possible causes. Nothing seems to solve the problem. It’s time to call in the reinforcements who can validate your findings and look for the real problem. The things you were attributing to a simple problem could actually be bad transformer symptoms in the HVAC unit. In order to confirm that the problem is indeed the transformer, you need to check it. For this, you need a multimeter, as well as the basic knowledge of using it. A faulty transformer gives an infinite or wide-open reading while a transformer without any fault reads between zero to 10 ohms which is indicative of a closed circuit.
Causes Of A Bad Transformer
Bad transformer symptoms in HVAC unit may appear due to the following reasons –
1. Bad Contactor – More often than not, it is a bad contactor which leads to a blown transformer. A bad contactor puts the entire unit under a lot of stress. When the tension or strain becomes too much for the unit to handle it mostly results in a blown transformer.
2. Wiring Issues – Loose wires or cables inside the transformer can cause a short circuit due to which the transformer may fry.
3. Power Surge – An electrical failure in the form of a power surge can also cause transformer failure.
Can I Replace The Transformer In My HVAC Unit?
If you are a trained technician who knows the ins and outs of a transformer, you can definitely do this job yourself. However, if you are not, you better think twice before taking on the job. Ask yourself whether it is worth paying a trained technician to do the job correctly? Or you are willing to foot the bill for a new HVAC unit if you make a hash of things? The answer will lead you in the right direction.
Time and again, electrical equipment malfunction. The good thing is that a malfunction does not mean you need to buy a new one. Today, you can simply replace the faulty or the bad component and your machine will be as good as new. HVAC units are no different. You can replace the part that has fried or melted, and once that is done, it will start functioning as normally as before. A few things to keep in mind are – take good care of your HVAC unit through regular maintenance and try to refrain from carrying out any repairs yourself.
If you are not careful, you may do more harm to the unit and maybe even get hurt or injured. There are people who are trained to care of such things, and they even have the necessary tools and replacement parts to complete the job quickly. Book an appointment with your local HVAC company if your unit is behaving abnormally. They are the most trusted people to take care of things immediately.
AC contactor problems are a common occurrence. But the headache they cause is major. When the contactor malfunctions, the AC does not work as it should. In summers, facing such a problem is both irritating and frustrating. If you want your AC to be in top working order, you should start getting its periodic maintenance done. Most issues can be caught during maintenance itself and do not evolve into something bigger. However, there may be exceptions. You have all possible troubleshooting and just realized that your AC contactor is not pulling in. The problem is identified, but why did it happen? Have you ever wondered if it could have been prevented?
Work Of Contactor In Air Conditioner
The contactor on the air conditioning unit is a switch that permits or stops power supply to the unit. It is a relay switch which directs electricity to the compressor of the air conditioner. When power is not needed, the contactor pulls the electrical contacts apart. It closes the contacts when something needs to be powered.
AC Contactor Not Pulling In – What Does It Mean?
Pulling in refers to the contactor closing the electrical contacts to power the air conditioner’s compressor. When the contactor does not “pull-in”, it means that the connections do not close to power the compressor. As a result, the AC works, but in the absence of a working compressor, it does not cool the home.
Why Is Your AC Contactor Not Pulling In?
AC contactor not pulling in is not a major issue. It can be taken care of without much botheration. Surprisingly, it is something that can be avoided through periodic maintenance. Usually, the contactor malfunctions due to corroded contacts, coil failure, and contactor burnout.
1. Corroded Contacts – The contact points in an AC contactor are susceptible to corrosion because of moisture present in the air. Also, if not cleaned regularly they tend to get covered with dust and other particle matter which gets sucked in with air. This makes the points of contact dirty due to which they do not work as they should leading to contactor failure.
Solution – The answer to this problem is “Contact Cleaner”. A little dab of contact cleaner will get rid of all that which is accumulated on the contact points. A very small amount of cleaner is required due to the small size of the contacts. Once cleaned, the contactor will start pulling in as needed.
2. Coil Failure – In addition to the contact points, a contactor also has coils. Sometimes these coils fail altogether. At such times, the contactor develops a fault, and it may reflect in the form of failure to pull in.
Solution – Again, the solution is not complicated. You can solve the problem by simply replacing the old contactor with a new one. Although it is possible to just replace the said coils, it is not a preferred method. This is because not only reaching the coils is hard, but so is finding the right size to replace them. Moreover, you can buy a new contactor relatively cheap, and its cost of replacement would also be low. As against this, replacing the coil is an intricate task, and so, its cost of replacement will nullify any financial benefit you foresee.
3. Contactor Burnout – When the voltage influx to the contactor is more than its load carrying capacity, it gets fried. Usually, during high voltage, the circuit breaker should trip. When that does not happen, the contactor suffers complete burnout. Even loose cables can cause a short circuit which could lead to the same result.
Solution – The solution to this problem is also contactor replacement. Although the process is simple, because of the sensitive nature of its function, the job is best completed by a trained HVAC technician.
Important Thing To Remember
Your AC contactor will have its important details like the type, model, and voltage either printed on the body or have a sticker with the same information. When you buy a new contactor, it is necessary to match all these details and replace it with an exact replica. Brand differences are acceptable; what is not acceptable is the voltage difference. Replacing with an undersized contactor will put your AC unit under strain. As a result, the AC will either develop some significant problem or the contactor will keep getting fried.
Also, remember whenever you are working with electrical equipment, it is necessary to first switch off the power supply to it. This step is necessary to ensure that you do not get an electrical shock by mistake. To avoid such scenarios, we always recommend using the services of trained personnel. They know of all the possibilities and take due care to ensure their own safety as well as that of your equipment.
If You Can’t Find Exact Replacement Of Contactor
Our recommendation is to always replace a contactor, with the same make and model as that of the original one. Although it is possible that you don’t find an exact match. If that happens, be sure to buy one with terminals that are similar to the one you took out. Most importantly, make sure that the voltage rating is exactly the same as well as its load capacity or amperage.
Your AC contactor is a small switch like device which has a very important job to perform. During the course of annual maintenance, you should ask the HVAC technician to take a look at it as well. If need be, ask them to clean its contacts to increase its productive life. If your AC is not giving cool air, ask the technician to check the contactor for any faults. Though the issue may not be with the contactor, it is necessary to rule it out as a possibility. If you are still not convinced, you can always ask for a second opinion.
We are so used to living in an ideal climate-controlled environment in our homes that it does not matter how the weather is outside. It may be blazing a winter storm outside, but you would be enjoying a warm summer-like climate inside the home and vice-versa. All these thanks to the modern air conditioners. Today’s air conditioners give cool air in summers and warm air in winters, thereby keeping the home comfortable pleasant all year round. A machine which is used so often can suffer breakdown due to a multitude of reasons. One of them being a fried circuit board. Through the medium of this post, we shall try and educate you more about its causes and how to bypass the AC circuit board.
Causes Of A Fried Circuit Board
The common causes which can burn or fry a circuit board are –
1. Power Surge – When there is a power surge, the circuit breaker should trip. If that does not happen, the circuit board can fry because of high voltage which it is unable to handle.
2. Wrong Fuse – The kind of fuse that is used in your AC depends on its power. If a small fuse is installed, it will be unable to handle the load of your AC and in turn, fry the circuit board.
3. Loose Wire – Wires which are not fitted or appropriately tightened can cause a short circuit. When that happens, the probability of the circuit board to burn increases.
4. Clogged Filter – Accumulation of dirt and debris over a period of time clogs the air filters. This puts tremendous pressure on the blower motor. As a result, it overheats and burns the fuse which can again make the circuit board go bad.
5. Faulty Capacitor – If the starting capacitor itself is not working properly, it puts a strain on the entire unit. One of its effects could be a burnt circuit board.
6. Weak Blower Motor – Sometimes the blower motor fails. When it fails, the fuse blows, and the AC unit draws too much power. This high power causes a short circuit and burns out the circuit board.
How To Bypass AC Circuit Board
It is highly recommended that you do not bypass the AC circuit board without good reason. Even then, it is advised that you let a trained technician do this job.
For your knowledge, let us understand what exactly needs to happen so that your AC starts giving cold air.
1. First, what needs to turn on is the condenser.
2. The second thing needed is the blower motor.
First Step – Open the fuse box in your home and identify the AC’s circuit breaker. Flip this breaker to the “Off” position. If you are not sure which particular breaker is for your AC, turn off the main breaker which supplies power to your entire home.
Second Step – As a precautionary measure, locate and turn off the power switch that controls the outside compressor unit of your AC.
Third Step – First thing to check is that the transformer is providing a current of 24 volts. If not, you may either replace the transformer or connect it directly to the line power.
Fourth Step – Attach one side of the 24-volt wiring from the transformer to the wire that goes out to the contactor of 24-volts. You can find it in the outside ac condenser unit. If there is a blue wire, use that one to complete this step.
Fifth Step – Attach the other side of 24-volts from the transformer to the red wire. Ensure that the other end goes to the R terminal, which is in the thermostat.
Sixth Step – The next step is to ensure that the other side of the contactor in air conditioner connects to the Y terminal of the thermostat. For this, use the yellow wire. Ideally, it should already be that way. If it is not, you will have to make it that way.
Seventh Step – Connect the high volt, line-in, power directly to the blower motor. This will get the blower motor running continuously to keep your home cool.
Eighth Step – Flip the main circuit breaker or the AC specific circuit breaker back to “On” position, as the case may be. Also, turn on the power switch to the outside compressor unit.
Bypassing the AC circuit board is only a temporary solution. It should suffice until you are able to buy the requisite circuit board to replace the one that fried. Do not use this as a permanent solution.
AC Circuit Board Troubleshooting
In an AC, you need to have proper input in order to get the desired output. However, this is one aspect which is based on technical knowledge. A regular person with no electronics or engineering background will find it challenging to analyze this. Further, whether the problem arises due to a bad circuit board or something else entirely is also tricky. A trained HVAC technician can do this analysis in just a few minutes rather than the hours that you would take. Moreover, they can identify the problem correctly and advise you the best course of action as well. In the interim, if required, they can also give you options which can have you continue living in comfort until the necessary repairs or replacement can be carried out.
How to bypass AC circuit board may seem as simple as disconnecting a few wires and reconnecting them elsewhere. But, do not be fooled by the simplicity of the steps involved as there is no scope for error. Your AC is a piece of expensive machinery. Your mistake may fry your AC beyond repair. That would be a costly blunder. Let people who are trained for these jobs handle the sensitive issue. From your end, all your AC demands are gentle cleaning and regular maintenance from trained personnel. Other than that, you need to just sit back and relax in the cool air of your air conditioner.
Troubleshooting your AC problems is not an easy task. But surprisingly there are many which you can actually take care of yourself. You need not be an engineer to get a handle on them. Instead, all you need is a helping hand in the form of a useful and informative guide. In that context, here is a little guide which will help you understand the AC contactor failure symptoms and what to do when that happens.
What Is AC Contactor?
Yes, we know you must be wondering “what on earth is an AC contactor”? A contactor is an electrical transmitter or relay in the AC. It regulates the flow of electricity to various parts. For example, the contactor sends current to the condenser as well as the outdoor fan motor. Basically, a contactor allows or prevents power to the AC unit.
In layman terms, it is an electrically controlled switch which is used for switching an electrical power circuit. Usually, a contactor is controlled by a lower power level circuit than the switched circuit. For example, a coil electromagnet of 24-volt controls a motor switch of 230-volt.
What Does The Contactor Do In AC?
In an AC the contactor closes to create an electrical circuit. This allows your AC unit to start when the thermostat sends the signal for cooling or heating. When the thermostat calls for heating or cooling, a magnetic action occurs. This forces a connection between the contactor’s volt side (line side) and the load side. The load side is one where the compressor and fan motor are coupled. When the thermostat halts calling for action, the contactor opens. When the contactor opens, it stops all power to the AC.
What Happens When The Contactor Is Faulty?
When the contactor develops a fault or goes bad, it may need replacement. In such a case, it will not pull close. When that happens, the two ends do not connect with each other even when the current is directly run to it. In case your thermostat is clicking on; however, the unit itself isn’t operating, the contactor is most likely completely gone. If that is not the case, it is not getting the much-needed electric current.
AC Contactor Failure Symptoms
There are 3 main signs which indicate a bad contactor in your AC. These are –
1. Chattering – the plunger tends to chatter when the contacts are dirty or when the coil has become weak. The chattering sound can be heard when the plunger is trying to make contact but is unable to do so completely. It fails to engage and instead produces the sound.
2. Humming – When the AC is turned on, you hear a humming sound; however, it does not power on. The humming sound is made by the coil, but the contact is still not made as the button isn’t being pulled in. Manually pushing in the button will get your AC unit functioning normally. The humming sound is also an indicator of weak coils or dirty contacts.
3. Melting – In really extreme cases, you may see that the plastic molding or the plastic casing on the contactor has melted. This too points towards the fact that the contactor needs immediate replacement.
Repairing Or Replacing A Contactor
One thing pretty evident from the above discussion is that there are 3 main reasons for the AC contactor failure. These are –
1. Dirty contacts
3.Complete breakdown or burnout.
In either of the above cases, it is possible to carry out repairs, but ideally, they are not worth the effort. It would be much better to replace the defective component. In the long run, it is a more financially feasible decision. These days replacements are readily available and that too for a fraction of the cumulative repair cost.
Dirty Contacts – On a contactor, there are points of contacts which become corroded, charred, and sometimes even dirty. These can easily be cleaned with the help of some contact cleaner. Go light on the cleaner as the points of contact are really small; there is no need to douse them in the cleaner.
Weak Coils – In case of coils repairing is not possible. They can only be replaced. Replacing just the coils in the contactor is a tedious and troublesome task. It involves taking out the contactor from the AC and then dismantling it to reach the coil. A much more feasible and quick approach is to replace the entire contactor. Residential unit contactors are relatively cheap and cost anywhere between $20 to $30.
Complete Burnout – Complete burnout means there is no life left in the component. That is why it cannot be repaired; instead, it can only be replaced.
While replacing keep in mind the specifications of the original component and replace with one which matches all those. Replacing is easy; all you need is a flathead screwdriver. Switch off the power to the AC unit. From the contactor, disconnect the wires. Remove the feet from the unit by unscrewing. Now, on the new part, screw the feet back on the unit.
Finally, reconnect the wires and the job is done. This job you should do only if you are sure that you can do it properly. Else, call an AC technician to take care of the problem for you.
Save Your AC
Had all air conditioner problem solving been easy, you would never need an AC technician or for that matter the various HVAC companies. The fact remains that your AC is a delicate piece of equipment and needs to be handled carefully. This is why it is strongly suggested that instead of taking matters in your own hands, you should let people who are trained for the job take care of them.
If however, you have the technical know-how to deal with the issues, you can save a great deal in repairing and replacement costs. Whatever you decide, always remember to switch off the power supply to the AC unit whenever carrying out any activity related to repair and maintenance. Also, have your electrical safety knowledge up to date and be extremely cautious.
A bathroom is a sacred place. You go there first thing in the morning, the last thing in the night, and many times in between. Since you frequently use it you want, all items must be clean, tidy, and in proper working order.
It is the place where you find solace in the form of a nice long soak or a fast rejuvenation of the tired soul through a quick shower. Sometimes you may even go there to hide from your little brats and get some quiet time.
At such times, even a leaking and dripping faucet is a big irritation. Even worse is you go in for a bath, and when the time comes to turn off the faucet, it just doesn’t do what it is supposed to. Not only is your precious water running away, but it may also damage the floor and walls. This is a tricky situation and a valid cause for concern. The purpose of this article is to reduce your anxiety and tell you exactly how to proceed when your bathtub faucet won’t turn off.
What To Do When Bathtub Faucet Won’t Turn Off
The situation calls for an expert, which in this case is the plumber. However, he is not waiting at your doorstep, so you need to get a handle on things yourself. The apparent solution is repairing the faucet yourself. It’s an excellent time to learn the basics of faucet repairs now so that in future you can take care of things on your own.
Fixing The Faucet
Sometimes the problem is really simple and needs just a small fix. To begin with, your first course of action should be to tighten the handle screw.
Step 1 – Since the flow of water has not stopped, you need to shut off the water supply completely. The valve that controls the water supply to your home will be somewhere close to where your water heater is fitted.
Step 2 – Take a pic of the faucet and its handles. It will come handy while buying new parts or explaining to the plumber.
Step 3 – Using a flat-blade screwdriver, pry beneath the cover plate to reveal the handle screw. Sometimes tightening this screw will solve the problem. Use a Phillips screwdriver to tighten it.
Step 4 – Restart the water supply to your home and turn the faucet on and off to see if you have managed to fix the problem.
If tightening of the handle screw does not solve the issue, it’s time to aim big. You have to try and repair the end of the stem.
Step 1 – Again, you need to begin by turning off the water supply so that you do not flood the bathroom.
Step 2 – From the faucet, you need to remove the handle. For this, rotate the handle until it comes off the stem. You may need to use a wrench to complete this action. At times, a gentle pull can also do the trick.
Step 3 – Examine the faucet stem end for any kind of damage. Ideally, the stem tip has rims or ridges which attach to the ridges that are inside the handle of the faucet. When these get worn or spoiled, the faucet handle is unable to tighten around the stem. Due to this reason the faucet unable to turn off. You need to replace the part whose rims have smoothened out over a period of time.
Step 4 – Carefully have a peek inside the faucet handle to detect any obvious damage. A handle which is cracked would need complete replacement. Again, this because it will not grip the faucet stem correctly. When the grooves or ridges inside the handle get worn out, the handle can’t attach with the stem properly. As a result, it cannot regulate the faucet.
Step 5 – Clean the stem end to remove any deposits or debris. You can use an old toothbrush to do so. Once done, with the help of a rag wipe the stem dry.
Step 6 – Wrap a couple of layers (one or two) of thread-seal tape all around the valve stem tip. Now, push or firmly press in the handle over the stem through the layers of thread-seal tape. Another way is to rotate the handle over the stem until it locks in position.
Step 7 – Finally, turn on the water supply once again to check whether the fix works or not. If it works, remember, the thread-seal tape is a temporary fix. It will increase the life of the faucet stem and handle from anywhere between a few months to a year or two. Ultimately, you just have to replace them.
When Your Fix Doesn’t Work
It is not necessary that your repair will hold for long or that it even fixes the problem. If the problem does not fix at all, shut down your water supply and call the plumber immediately. If your fix works only for a short duration, you are probably not doing it correctly. Even then you need to call the plumber to come and address the issue once and for all.
Tips To Keep In Mind
1) Cover the drain with a cloth so that no small pieces or spare parts fall into it. These can clog the drain and also make for unnecessary purchases to replace them.
2)Put a protective sheet in your tub so that you don’t accidentally leave scratches or stains of any kind.
3) When working with pipes, wear protective gloves. This way, you will not hurt yourself on any sharp edges.
4) Wearing safety goggles is also advisable so that you don’t get any stray particle inside your eye.
What We Advise
Some works cannot be done by all. There are professionals who are trained to handle them. Having said that, it is not possible to get hold of these people at a moments notice. A plumbers job is one such. In the absence of a plumber, you need to be knowledgable enough to handle a minor crisis. You need to know the basics of handling any situation so that your suffering is limited. Hopefully, this article will help you in the future.