PDA

View Full Version : How to Service your own A/C with pics


Lancear15
07-07-2010, 8:18 AM
I noticed my A/C has been running more than usual this year, and not cooling the house as fast. HVAC companies want about $75 just to come and look, and $100-150 just for a regular "servicing", which is basically a heat exchanger cleaning. So I decided to do it myself, here is how.

Tools used: 5/16ths nut driver, shop vac, garden hose.

Here is my unit:

http://img693.imageshack.us/img693/8770/ac1w.jpg

1. Turn off your thermostat

2. Pull out your service disconnect switch and replace it in the off position

http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/4039/ac2ft.jpg

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/127/ac3w.jpg

3. With a 5/16ths nut driver remove the screws around the very top perimeter of the unit and those holding the cover to the electrical components.

http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/9074/ac4m.jpg

http://img696.imageshack.us/img696/7851/ac5s.jpg

4. The wires that go to the fan that is mounted to the top of the unit need to be loosened and fed into the unit so that there is enough slack to take off the top portion of the unit. You may have to cut a ty-rap or two. Then pull off the top of the unit and place it next to the unit, be careful not to damage the wires.

http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/8162/ac6c.jpg

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 8:19 AM
5. Then remove the screws around the bottom perimeter of the unit and remove the vented side walls. Be careful not to damage/bend the fins of the heat exchanger while removing the side walls.

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/5602/ac8n.jpg

This is what my Unit looked like disassembled.

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/6821/ac7d.jpg

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/9076/ac9q.jpg

http://img808.imageshack.us/img808/6144/ac10i.jpg

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/5713/ac11r.jpg

Very dirty as you can see, a combination of dog hair, vegetation debris, and dirt.

6. vacuum up the large debris inside and out, move the vacuum hose up and down on the heat exchanger so you don't bend the fins. Also be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp fins.

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/4087/ac12w.jpg

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 8:20 AM
7. This is over kill, but I like to do it right and do it once. I took a soft bristle brush (which became a dog chew toy a while back), and gently brush up and down the heat exchanger. It was amazing how much dirt came out, I had to stop a few times just to get some fresh air there was so much dust in the air. This is even after vacuuming with a 6hp shop vac very thoroughly. After brushing I vacuumed again and then brushed again. I know, I'm anal...

http://img641.imageshack.us/img641/7603/ac13.jpg

8. With your hose wash from the inside out the entire heat exchanger.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/9419/ac14.jpg

Here is the final product.

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/3918/ac15l.jpg

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/4186/ac16t.jpg

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/6959/ac17z.jpg

Should be good for another 5 years now.

Reassemble in opposite order:

1. Put side walls back on, screw in base screws (do not tighten completely until entire unit is back together)

2. Put top with fan back on and get screws started.

3. Pull the slack out of the wires feeding the fan back into the electrical enclosure and secure them (ty-rap, tape, twisting, etc.)

4. Put electrical enclosure cover back on.

5. Now tighten all screws on the unit.

6. But service disconnect back into on position.

7. Turn thermostat back on.

Done!

GP3
07-07-2010, 8:24 AM
Thank you!

Untamed1972
07-07-2010, 8:28 AM
So how's it running now? Reminds it's prolly about time to go check mine. Fortunately it's been a mild summer down here so far and I haven't had to use mine yet.....but the summer is still young.

Although the one thing that an A/C would do also as part of a normal service is check/top off your refridgerant charge if it needed any.

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 8:31 AM
So how's it running now? Reminds it's prolly about time to go check mine. Fortunately it's been a mild summer down here so far and I haven't had to use mine yet.....but the summer is still young.

I did it last night after work, I noticed an immediate difference. It took about an hour to do it, and if I had known how dirty it actually was I would have done it a long time ago.

Very much worth the effort.

freonr22
07-07-2010, 8:31 AM
Inside between the supply and the return registers, ideally you are looking for an 18-22 degrees temperature split. on a 70 degree day or warmer.


AWESOME write up!

audiophil2
07-07-2010, 8:32 AM
Great thread. I'll have to do it over the winter as a few hours without AC could be dangerous here.

lewdogg21
07-07-2010, 8:44 AM
Lancear I may name the next island I conquer in honor of you.

Saving this thread for this weekend when I get home.

GP3
07-07-2010, 8:51 AM
I'd like to add to the thread:

Don't forget to clean or replace your blower/evaporator unit filter (pictured bottom right)

http://www.aroundthetownhvac.com/wordpressblog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/how-to-troubleshoot-a-central-air-conditioning-system-11.jpg

jre
07-07-2010, 8:52 AM
sweet! thanks for sharing.

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 8:54 AM
Lancear I may name the next island I conquer in honor of you.

Saving this thread for this weekend when I get home.

Hehe, you're all welcome.

Sticky for the summer months mods?

Hoologan
07-07-2010, 8:59 AM
So many people never think about cleaning their condensing units, let alone changing their evaporator filters every month! Nice work!

dirtnap
07-07-2010, 9:03 AM
Sweet, my neighbor's AC is running hot, I'll pass this info off to him...it would be awesome if it's this easy to fix!

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 9:37 AM
Sweet my first sticky'd thread...:79:

lugar
07-07-2010, 10:56 AM
Did you check the indoor air filter? One of my hats is as an HVAC mechanic and I've never seen a condenser that bad. Good catch.

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 10:59 AM
Did you check the indoor air filter? One of my hats is as an HVAC mechanic and I've never seen a condenser that bad. Good catch.

Yes, I change the return air filters very regularly. I figure most people do too, that's why I didn't put it in the write up.

Crazyhorse
07-07-2010, 11:59 AM
Hehe, you're all welcome.

Sticky for the summer months mods?

We need a how-to forum. Too many pros on this site from carpentry to auto to ac to not have one.

CH

freonr22
07-07-2010, 12:01 PM
Any thoughts on a subforum for do it your self maybe non gun related with stickies, so like the clean you a/c condensor would be easier found?

I agree, Posted in the calguns open letter 1.5 hrs ago,

bomb_on_bus
07-07-2010, 12:05 PM
I second the how to forum!

Wicked Pete
07-07-2010, 12:07 PM
What kind of freon and how do you test pressure(S)?

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 12:16 PM
We need a how-to forum. Too many pros on this site from carpentry to auto to ac to not have one.

CH

Absolutely. I third the motion.

1lostinspace
07-07-2010, 12:18 PM
I don't service mine but that's cool

freonr22
07-07-2010, 12:19 PM
http://www.yellowjacket.com/images/products/ChrgngSystms/Brute-II-F-hosem.jpg
http://www.yellowjacket.com/HVACRProducts.asp?t=HVACR&l=5&c=34&p=322


But you can do a bunch with a thermometer, that way you dont cause potential leaks by getting into the refrigerant side

Gary13
07-07-2010, 12:28 PM
I'd like to add to the thread:

Don't forget to clean or replace your blower/evaporator unit filter (pictured bottom right)

http://www.aroundthetownhvac.com/wordpressblog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/how-to-troubleshoot-a-central-air-conditioning-system-11.jpg

Sorry for my ignorance, but is there always a filter next to the blower? I have a cold air return filter that I replace regularily, and will be preforming this cleaning thanks to this wonderful thread, but not aware of any other filters. I assume that it would be in my attic as that is where my furnace and blower are.

GP3
07-07-2010, 12:37 PM
Sorry for my ignorance, but is there always a filter next to the blower? I have a cold air return filter that I replace regularily, and will be preforming this cleaning thanks to this wonderful thread, but not aware of any other filters. I assume that it would be in my attic as that is where my furnace and blower are.

I'm pretty sure we are talking about the same thing, just the terminology is off. The filter I was talking about is indeed the cold air return filter.

freonr22
07-07-2010, 1:08 PM
There should never be 2 filters inline. You may have more than one filter grille in paralell its ok just not in series

Lancear15
07-07-2010, 1:42 PM
There should never be 2 filters inline. You may have more than one filter grille in paralell it ok jut not in series

Ya, I have 2 filters in parallel, both the same size. I buy the 3M 1000 filters and replace regularly. I also have two Honeywell HEPA air filters from coscto running whenever I'm home. I like clean air, my wife and I both feel we sleep better since getting the HEPA filters.

bden
07-07-2010, 2:00 PM
Thank you! I'll revisit this I'm sure.

rg_1111@yahoo.com
07-07-2010, 3:00 PM
Thanks Lancear15, You just saved me some money.

LoneWolf1
07-07-2010, 6:26 PM
What kind of freon and how do you test pressure(S)?
Freon is just a trade name that was picked up on and is used as a description for different refrigerants.

As for the type of refrigerants, your A/C will either contain R22(currently being phased out) or R410a which is what we use today. It should tell you on the service plate along with the serial and model numbers. They are not compatible and cannot be used together. You need to be EPA certified to purchase or even handle any refrigerants. epatest.com/ (http://www.epatest.com/)

In order to test your pressures, you will need a set of Manifold Gauges, made to match either R22 or R410a. You will also need at the minimum, a pressure temperature chart to verify your pressures. Having a clamp on thermometer to get your temperature differences and calculate superheat and subcool will also be a plus.

spectr17
07-09-2010, 10:24 PM
Thanks for helping members out.

Out here in the 909 I hose off the fins and insides every spring. We get a lot of wind and they get dusty every year. Every 5 years would cost me a lot of money.

The other thing to save on AC bill is silicone off any air leaks in your window frames or door frames. Add weatherstripping to door and window frames too if they don't already have it, about $5 for one door.

Joewy
07-11-2010, 4:06 PM
There often are 2 filters in the return air duct. One is sometimes in the filter grill and the other can be located within the furnace from the factory. You should tale a good look.

Also when you wash your condenser it is advisable to turn off the power to your furnace. Your compressor contactor can be engerized during the cleaning process and result in a burned out control transformer. Most furnaces in California are plugged into the wall but if it is hardwired either find the circuit breaker or just remove the door the the fan cabinet and usually there is a safety switch that will disconnect the power.

Clinton
07-11-2010, 9:32 PM
Good write up! I own a small HVAC company and you wouldn't believe how many people call every year with AC problems that turn out to be nothing more than a dirty condenser coil.

Clinton
07-11-2010, 9:43 PM
That was great advice. Cleaning your condenser coil will also save your compressor by the fact it wont have to work as hard and your not slugging liquid back to it. .


ummm......... go back to tech school. A dirty CONDENSER will NOT cause floodback. In fact it causes the exact oposite problem, not enough liquid to the evaporator coil. If the coils are dirty, it runs hot and the freon doesn't condense to a liquid.
However, a dirty EVAPORATOR coil will cause liquid refrigerant to slug the compressor by not allowing enough airflow (through the coil) to boil off the freon to a vapor. So avoid that problem by changing your air filters regularly!

spegull03
07-12-2010, 7:39 AM
My a/c was not working well last night, I woke up at 2am and it was still running. Usually its off by midnight or so. I hosed it all out but the fins were so thick I couldn't go inside to out. Water would not make it through. I just angled the nozzle so it would blow the junk to the groud not deeper into the fins. Worked well, thanks!

I think I might need some more coolant though, we shall see tonight how well the cleaning worked.

freonr22
07-13-2010, 11:49 AM
My a/c was not working well last night, I woke up at 2am and it was still running. Usually its off by midnight or so. I hosed it all out but the fins were so thick I couldn't go inside to out. Water would not make it through. I just angled the nozzle so it would blow the junk to the groud not deeper into the fins. Worked well, thanks!

I think I might need some more coolant though, we shall see tonight how well the cleaning worked.




Inside between the supply and the return registers, ideally you are looking for an 18-22 degrees temperature split. on a 70 degree day or warmer.


AWESOME write up!



do a temp split test

Never Convicted
07-14-2010, 7:26 AM
Condensor coil is now clean, thanks for the help !

SVT_Fox
07-14-2010, 4:26 PM
vacuum the **** out of it

Lancear15
07-15-2010, 11:25 AM
93 out right now, it is forecast to be 105 :eek: in the central valley tomorrow, thank god I will be working in the Bay... If you haven't done this already, you might want to do it tonight! :D

spegull03
07-16-2010, 8:57 AM
Did the temp split, and it was only a few degrees cooler coming out of the vents. It couldn't keep the house below 86 degrees, so someone is coming out to service it. Hopefully they bring lube :(

freonr22
07-16-2010, 9:09 AM
for any one, whether you have a/c or not, http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll161/gaijin_photo/gablefan.jpg

I installed a gable fan in my attic just like this one a few years ago. really helps cool the house. it's got an automatic thermostat set to 100 degrees. so as long as it stays that temp. up there, all that hot air gets blown to my neighbor's LOL.
prolongs the life of your roof too.


heck even a $20 square box fan, place in the middle of your attic, will lower your attic temp 30 degrees, house temp 10 degrees

spegull03
07-16-2010, 12:10 PM
Did the temp split, and it was only a few degrees cooler coming out of the vents. It couldn't keep the house below 86 degrees, so someone is coming out to service it. Hopefully they bring lube :(

apparently my "superheat" is too high, caused by a faulty TXV? Is this TXV something I can switch out myself, or does it involve pressurized refrigerant lines and what not?

freonr22
07-16-2010, 12:36 PM
Cannot do yourself. Warranty ques

freonr22
07-16-2010, 12:38 PM
Could be debris ie blockage

freonr22
07-16-2010, 12:40 PM
On phone. Should be $250-400

spegull03
07-16-2010, 12:56 PM
They are supposed to be calling shortly with a quote, he said at least $400 on top of the $250 diagnostic :(

freonr22
07-16-2010, 1:07 PM
Exp vlv $100 cost 3 hrs @ $85

Joewy
07-16-2010, 1:25 PM
TXV's rarely fail. When they fail they dont provide any cooling at all. Most A/C units dont have them anyways. Mainly checkflo raters expecially if it is a heat pump. If the guy charged $250 to figure out what is wrong he is either a thief or very stupid.. id call someone else. Where are you at? Perhaps someone here is near to you.

spegull03
07-16-2010, 1:35 PM
I'm in Folsom. The $250 was for the $80 dispach charge plus refridgerant and labor. I called 5 places and they all had the same dispach charge but there guys could come out today. I would love to give business to a calgunner if there is one local.

freonr22
07-16-2010, 1:43 PM
ok, @ pc now, its possible, there is a restriction in the line @ the txv. most units w/ txv are newer and 5 year warranty? also how about installing contractor? r22 (if it is) conntractors pay $230-250 -30 lbs, have them breakl down the bill, materials + labor @ the rate.

spegull03
07-16-2010, 2:07 PM
I bought the house last year, so i have no idea how old the unit is. Maybe I can check my home inspection reports when I get home to see if its still covered

Paul
07-17-2010, 5:08 AM
Did you check the indoor air filter? One of my hats is as an HVAC mechanic and I've never seen a condenser that bad. Good catch.

I just had my 27 year old system replaced ... my condenser wasn't that bad! The "A" coil - the coil inside the house above the furnace did have about 20% of that level of junk. Apparently the previous home owner/renter ran the system without the filter.

tbhracing
07-17-2010, 8:18 AM
Lancear15- Here is my A/C unit, exactly how I bought the house 7 years ago. I want to clean it, but its going to some extra work. Visual inspection from the outside doesnt show any build up. But thanks for the heads up.

Great...:(

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk261/tbhracing/af900a57.jpg

spectr17
07-18-2010, 1:39 PM
Don't forget to clean the coils on the back of your fridge too, they get dirty and make the fridge work a lot harder.

Lancear15
07-19-2010, 6:49 AM
Lancear15- Here is my A/C unit, exactly how I bought the house 7 years ago. I want to clean it, but its going to some extra work. Visual inspection from the outside doesnt show any build up. But thanks for the heads up.

Great...:(

http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk261/tbhracing/af900a57.jpg

I can't believe they permanently fenced it in... not much forethought by the builder I guess.

Not to difficult to work around. I would take a sawzall and cut the posts flush with the earth. On top of the posts still in the ground screw one of these on http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/6213/4x4simpson.jpg,with the open end up of course. Screw it down to the post in the ground, set the fence back on top and screw in the side tabs of the simpson tie. Paint the cut ends of the post (to protect them) and the simpson tie to match, you could even pick a new color and paint the whole fence too.

spegull03
07-19-2010, 7:14 AM
It hit 95* in my house last night, not fun. I even put a box fan in the attic but it didn't seem to help much

glockman19
07-19-2010, 7:46 AM
Don't forget to clean the coils on the back of your fridge too, they get dirty and make the fridge work a lot harder.

Serviced the Fridge this weekend. had to clean the kitchen of the fine black dust/soot after cleaning. What a mess. I got out the air compressor bumped PSI to 120 and blasted away. Needless to say it runs quieter and cooler.

I cleaned airconditioning filters and have much better air flow. As the weather cools down I'll look to servicing my Compressor unit. With the Air running from mid afternoon through the night 3PM-7AM I am averaging 70KWh of electricity a day instead of my normal 30kwh. I'm not looking forward to the next bill.

spegull03
07-19-2010, 9:16 AM
Can anyone in the Sacramento area recommend an A/C repair company? I am getting gouged by this company and I need help.

freonr22
07-19-2010, 11:44 AM
Can anyone in the Sacramento area recommend an A/C repair company? I am getting gouged by this company and I need help.
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=171466&highlight=hvac

Lancear15
07-20-2010, 5:51 AM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=171466&highlight=hvac

Be careful who you recommend, from the department of consumer affairs...

"The license may be suspended at a future date for failure to comply with an unsatisfied final civil judgment.

The license will need a contractors bond to renew active or reactivate."

"License Status -

This license is expired and not able to contract at this time."

Their business license is no longer valid and I have heard bad things about them.

freonr22
07-20-2010, 7:51 AM
WOW!! I guess they moved onto just being the ffl, My sincerest apologies for not reading the entire thread/more research

Bizcuits
07-20-2010, 8:28 AM
Well I do believe you've motivated me to clean out my unit. I had to replace the fuses this last Sunday and changed the filters over the 4th of July, but noticed it was really dirty when I changed the fuses.

Since the woman will be out of town, I think I'll drag my *** out there to do it.

Bizcuits
07-20-2010, 8:30 AM
Can anyone in the Sacramento area recommend an A/C repair company? I am getting gouged by this company and I need help.

What is wrong with your AC? Is it just blowing air while the main unit outside doesn't run? Odds are it is just your fuses. Open up the disconnect box outside, remove the fuses (very easy) then head up to home depot. New fuses are about $10-15 bucks.

Lancear15
07-20-2010, 10:17 AM
Well I do believe you've motivated me to clean out my unit. I had to replace the fuses this last Sunday and changed the filters over the 4th of July, but noticed it was really dirty when I changed the fuses.

Since the woman will be out of town, I think I'll drag my *** out there to do it.

The fuses wont blow unless there is a problem. You should check the amps the compressor is drawing, if it is in a normal range(need to check manual to see what normal is), check the amps on the fan... something has to be wrong for it to blow the fuses.

AndrewMendez
07-20-2010, 10:19 AM
Great write up, and pics too! I spent the last hour doing this, and believe it or not, mine was worse then yours! It is at least 15 years old, and I don't think anyone has done it! Thank you!

Lancear15
07-20-2010, 10:21 AM
Great write up, and pics too! I spent the last hour doing this, and believe it or not, mine was worse then yours! It is at least 15 years old, and I don't think anyone has done it! Thank you!

Sweet, that was my intent when taking the pics. I knew this was something every home owner should do, but might know it, or know how. Glad to help.

caoboy
07-25-2010, 11:10 AM
Would this work for ac units on top of the house? Mine is on the roof.

Also, anybody have tips for getting rid of smells coming from the vents when the ac unit first turns on? This is like a daily thing here.

Clinton
07-25-2010, 8:39 PM
Would this work for ac units on top of the house? Mine is on the roof.

Also, anybody have tips for getting rid of smells coming from the vents when the ac unit first turns on? This is like a daily thing here.

Yes, packaged AC units (like your roof unit) need to have the coils cleaned too. Drag a garden hose up there and clean it.

What kind of odors are you getting out of the ductwork?

caoboy
07-25-2010, 8:56 PM
It is a musty moldy odor type smell. Hard to describe, other than that. You can smell it every time the ac turns on for the day. Once it runs for a bit, you can't smell it anymore, the air smells 'fresh'.

AIMSMALL
07-25-2010, 9:19 PM
Great thread! I think I can do the cleaning part no problem but I have a bigger issue.
The central air system doesn't turn on at all, I replaced the thermostat last summer and it worked fine but now the heat and the air doesn't turn on anymore what should I check? If there's anyone in the San Diego/ North county area that can fix this please PM me with your info. Thanks!

GP3
07-26-2010, 8:59 AM
I did this last week.

It looked clean, but it was far from it.

A ton of silt came out.

Thanks again for this thread.

1_Grendel
07-27-2010, 5:17 PM
There is some good advice and advisers here. I was astonished to see the words superheat and subcool let alone the recommendation to find the “cause” of a blown fuse.
Educating customers on how they can maintain their equipment is a sure fire way to keep a customer.
Keep up the good work

TNP'R
08-31-2010, 1:18 AM
I wanna know why A/C's are mounted on the roofs out here.Back in the east I never seen any mounted on the roofs.

Joewy
08-31-2010, 5:03 AM
Because it is generally the cheapest way to do it and rain and snow are rare to non existant so leaks can take a long time to show up.

TNP'R
08-31-2010, 9:40 AM
Because it is generally the cheapest way to do it and rain and snow are rare to non existant so leaks can take a long time to show up.

Oh gotcha.

Hickok 45/70
09-21-2010, 7:01 AM
Thanks for the information. Everytime I try to repair mine, I screw it up more.

socalsteve
10-01-2010, 11:49 AM
another handy thing is to keep a couple of spare fuses habdy.

One day this week when I got home my air conditioner wasn't working.

I changed the fuses loceted behind the panel - where the original poster shows the on off connection.

Luckily for me it wasn't a Sunday night before a three day weekend.

I was able to get some at Hm Dpt but from now on I'm going to keep a new package (only $3.50 for two) in the garage.

chesterthehero
10-04-2010, 8:18 PM
fuses generaly dont blow "just cuz".. something somewhere is failing/over amping

freonr22
10-04-2010, 9:21 PM
I have replaced over 100 fuses in 20 years, "that just went" .... but I agree. If it doesn't blow shortly after replacement, you should be good to go.

Lancear15
03-30-2011, 3:30 PM
Hot summer days are around the corner. Now is the time to do this if you haven't already.

M.A.B
03-31-2011, 8:11 PM
great thread!! thanks again lancer

JETLAG
04-01-2011, 11:27 AM
So you will do mine for $40? :) lol

Lancear15
04-01-2011, 4:45 PM
So you will do mine for $40? :) lol

If you are talking to me... I'm only available on the weekends so it would be overimte rate of $120 an hour 4 hour minimum... :)

BlackJack
04-01-2011, 5:51 PM
Thanks Lancear15! I'm going to do mine right now. http://184.72.239.143/mu/4cf7da21-8108-ba0b.jpg

Lancear15
04-01-2011, 7:08 PM
Thanks Lancear15! I'm going to do mine right now. http://184.72.239.143/mu/4cf7da21-8108-ba0b.jpg

Sweet, good luck!

BlackJack
04-02-2011, 10:52 AM
Sweet, good luck!

The exchanger didn't look dirty but when I took a brush and garden hose to it an unexpected amount of sediment ran off.

Lancear15
04-04-2011, 6:09 PM
The exchanger didn't look dirty but when I took a brush and garden hose to it an unexpected amount of sediment ran off.

So much build up came out when I cleaned mine I'm surprised it was still working. Glad it worked out for you.

GuillermoAntonio
04-13-2011, 5:44 PM
http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/5713/ac11r.jpg

Very dirty as you can see, a combination of dog hair, vegetation debris, and dirt.

6. vacuum up the large debris inside and out, move the vacuum hose up and down on the heat exchanger so you don't bend the fins. Also be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp fins.

http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/4087/ac12w.jpg

Grainger actually sells a "Phin comb" for about $7.00, that would be a great tool to buy if your AC phins dont look.straight anymore.

Lancear15
04-23-2011, 2:45 PM
Grainger actually sells a "Phin comb" for about $7.00, that would be a great tool to buy if your AC phins dont look.straight anymore.

Good to know, thanks.

Noxx
04-25-2011, 1:02 PM
Mine needed a new run cap this season, interesting note, Home Depot for some unfathomable reason no longer carries common capacitors, had to go over to Grainger to get one. It might be advisable to order a couple in advance just to have around.

powderedtoastman
05-08-2011, 12:02 PM
Good writeup Lance, we just finished the refrigeration module at Wyotech last month. Basically the more crap is on your condenser coil, the less able it is to get rid of the heat from your house. It's crazy how just cleaning it can make a world of difference! Remember to change those duct filters regularly!

freonr22
05-08-2011, 3:10 PM
hey powderedtoast man, tell ted g paul says hello

haole_50
05-16-2011, 8:13 AM
I completed my cleaning tasks a couple weeks ago; the main problem was the screw placement on the housing; the screws were "buried" up under the lip of the lower housing and not easily removed but I did get them out; I replaced only half the screws to secure the lower housing. Cleaning was easy, and after 20 years of abuse this sure helped in keeping the unit running another 20 years. Thanks for the "how-to" with pix.

NotEnufGarage
05-20-2011, 9:14 AM
Great writeup, but just so everybody knows, the cleaning most professionals will do will include the use of an acidic coil cleaner that's sprayed onto the coil fins and foams when it reacts with aluminum and dirt. It will actually push the dirt out from between the fins and gets the coil probably 50% cleaner than just vacuuming and spraying with plain water will do. Also, they should be checking to make sure the pan drains are clear and cleaning the evaporator coils as well.

Luckily for me, my next door neighbor is a 30+ year HVAC/Sheetmetal man. He has all the supplies and services mine every couple years for me. It's amazing what just 1 or 2 years of Sacramento dust will do to reduce the efficiency of the system. I can tell right away, since my programmable thermostat keeps track of usage for the last couple days. For similar days, I have seen as much as a 1 or 2 hours per day decrease in runtime after cleaning.

freonr22
05-20-2011, 11:18 AM
it used to be acid based, but now its alkaline cleaner :)

Lancear15
06-05-2011, 6:16 PM
it used to be acid based, but now its alkaline cleaner :)

Can you give any details on who makes it, where to by it, and how to use it? Thanks.