Wednesday, 12 June 2013

With the winters not so far away, it's perhaps the ideal time to step up  and kick start the planning and preparations on how to stay cozy, warm and comfortable during the upcoming colder months of the year. One of the simplest way of achieving the same is by installing a nice small gas furnace in your household. Not only are they highly energy-efficient, but at the same time gas furnaces have proved to be more than useful in conditioning air effectively throughout the perimeter of the room. Though the experts recommend hiring the services of a professional technician to install such furnaces, installing a gas furnace is pretty simple to be honest that can be managed single- handedly provided you understand the technical aspects associated with the process. Here’s a  short guide explaining how to proceed with the installation process.

      1)-      The first and most important thing is never every experiment with the gas yourself. Do not turn it on/off or connect it to the furnace before the furnace installation is completely over. Remember that gas can be really very dangerous and therefore it should only be handled by someone who is a professional.

      2)-      Before purchasing a gas furnace, what needs to be done is to evaluate the room dimensions, available space and your specific needs. Different furnaces are presently coming in a wide range of sizes especially designed to satisfy particular area requirements. Therefore, it is up to you to understand your requirements and manage to buy the furnace that ideally suits your individual requirements.

      3)-      Carefully check your wiring and duct work and address even the slightest irregularities found within the system.

      4)-      After starting with the installation process, the total process should preferably be completed at a time without any break ups. Therefore, before installing, make sure that you have purchased all the necessary tools and accessories and have them right in front of you. Almost every gas furnace has its own user manual containing a list of supportive tools required for installation. So, just try to ensure you that nothing goes missing midway through the process.

      5)-      After you have accumulated all the required tools, it’s time to get the furnace installed. Before you start, ensure that all your gas connections are switched off.

      6)-      Ideally, a gas furnace should always be installed in the inner parts of the exterior wall of a room to make sure that the gas lines stay outside away from the room.

      7)-      Coming to drilling holes in the walls for venting purposes, remember to make the holes level. Remember that if the holes are wrongly spaced or slant, rain water can easily move across the duct and hurt the pipelines deadly. Along with this, try not to affix the furnace to the wall directly. Rather, leave at least some space between the furnace and the wall.
Air handlers are a common electrical gadget that is used for circulating warm or cold air throughout the rooms. In most of the cases, people tend to combine it with an air conditioner unit to effectively bring down the room temperature but apart from this, it can also be used with a pump to supply heat in the cold countries. For the first time users, below is a precise step by step air handler installation guide for your reference:

      1)-      Try to position the handler centrally so as to reduce the overall length of the copper duct required for refrigerant tubing. Please go through the user manual thoroughly and ensure that you obey the safety precautions listed in the manual including complying with the proposed clearance space from the combustible elements. Also, leave at least 25 inch clearance right in front of your cabinet for easy access.

       2)-      Next, install both supply and return air ductwork in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s suggestion.

       3)-      Using an aviation snip, make a small cut near the lower end of the cabinet to make way for the return duct to get connected with the handler for proper upflow installation.

      4)-      Make a hole in the floor or wall. Tightly fix the return air grilles using screws. Next, fix the return air partition and carefully terminate the rectangular duct horizontally to bring in fresh air. Connect this duct to the cabinet opening.

      5)-      Make an L-shaped cut at the end of the horizontal duct and connect the air filter rack with the return air partition made in step 3. Interconnect this L-cut to the rack. Affix the ducts starting from the topmost elbow to the one immediately below.

      6)-      Fix a metal plenum just over the handler blower compartment. Make a small incision in the body of the plenum for proper take off.

      7)-      Hold the inner side of the duct and carefully install a tab at the end of the duct. Next, place three screws at approximately equal distances from each other. The installation of the take off shall enable you to connect a bigger extended plenum having multiple rectangular ducts. This way, try to cover the total service area.

      8)-      Attach the round shaped ducts to this extended plenum which in turn will help in supplying conditioned air to all parts of the room. Make a few small holes in this plenum and install a few collars similar to the way takeoffs were installed earlier. Next, cut another small hole either in the wall or floor to install a register. Finally, join all the connections using a foil-backed tape.

      9)-      Get the refrigerant lines connected.

      10)-   Following the national, state as well as local electrical codes, install an electrical circuit breaker.

      11)-   Fix a thermostat equipped with digital or programmable capabilities depending on the required specifications. The thermostat should preferably be placed in a closed area away from direct sunlight, doors and windows.

      12)-   Connect the thermostat to the air handler using a low voltage copper wiring.

      13)-   Install tubing at the drain pan and carefully get it routed to the handler floor drain. Pitch the line .25 inches per foot for proper drainage.

      14)-   Finally, make the necessary adjustments to the thermostat and control panel and conduct a trial run of the air handler.
A heat pump is electrical equipment that gathers heat from various external sources and transfers the gathered heat uniformly throughout the area of the room inside. Conversely, in the warm countries, a heat pump can also serve as a cooler by sucking the heat from the rooms and transfer it outside therefore bringing down the temperature of the room. It’s solely the user’s discretion whether to use it as a heater or cooler but whichever way you go, these units are rated to be one of the most efficient ways of temperature conditioning. So, if you still do not have one installed in your household, it's time you get one installed not only to make your house comfortable but in the process bring down your monthly power expenses at least by thirty to forty percent. Here’s a step by step heat pump installation guide that should hopefully help you through the installation process:

     1- Select a proper place where the heat pump is going to get installed and try to leave at least ten inch gap from the exterior walls of your room. Next, stand facing the heat pump and leave minimum eighteen inch space at the rear end of the unit for service access. Try to leave near about 35-40 inches vacant space at the top to ensure that nothing manages to choke the air vents.

      2- Position the heat pump carefully on a thick four inch concrete slab making sure that the slab is not directly connected to the house. Focus on making a uniform slab level and get it surrounded with gravel thereby eliminating the fears of drainage related problems from the pump. Keep a three inch clearance from the pump coil at the bottom for uninterrupted drainage of the frost buildup.

      3- Mount the air handler inside the house. In case you prefer to install the pump and handler in two places separated by fifteen feet or more, remember not to lift the suction lines and coolant too high.

      4- Get the vapor gas channel of the heat pump properly insulated using a .5 inch thick insulation cover throughout the body of the tubing. After the insulation process is over, remember to cover either ends of the tubing so that any impurities or debris does not manage to get past into the tubing.

      5- Join the outdoor unit of the heat pump to the internal unit. Open the valve cap using an Allen wrench, slowly insert the Cu-tubing and get the valve cap replaced. Finally, affix the cap tightly and slowly seal in back into place ensuring the tubing does not get twisted or folded.

      6- Allow a uniform dissipation of pressure from the coil indoor while perforating the copper caps. Connect this tubing to the internal unit to ensure that coil stays dry devoid of any moisture.
Purchasing a suitable air conditioning system for a household itself demands a lot of consideration. However, after a final decision is taken, the next big thing that needs to be done is to get the AC installed in a way that can benefit you the most. Air conditioner installation is nothing too complicated but is certainly not a walk in the park either. There are certain points following which users can hope to get the very best out of the newly installed air conditioners. Before getting into the technical aspects of installation, lets broadly categorize the key aspects of air conditioner installation that should be addressed with additional care.

Proper connection and Placement are the two most vital factors that should be set dead right to ensure the desired cooling effect. So, here’s a few simple Air conditioner installation guides that should help you through the installation process:
      1- Installation Height: The heights at which the air conditioner has to be installed differs for window and split varieties of air conditioning system. Therefore, it’s extremely important to set a proper height without which the efficiency of the device is bound to take a toll. Experimentally, it has been found that for a room of about ten foot height, the ideal cooling performance can be achieved from a split air conditioner by having it installed at a height of somewhere around 7-8 fts. On the contrary, the window AC’s should preferably be housed much lower, about four feet above base level.

      2- Never fix the machine in close proximity to the wall to prevent heat dissipation. A distance of around nine hundred millimeter and more is rated to be ideal.

      3- Place Choice:  Strategic positioning of the air conditioner is extremely important to ensure uniform spreading of cool air throughout the periphery of the room. At the same time, the selected place must provide optimum ventilation without any blockage or obstacles to the air flow.

      4- Under any circumstances, air conditioners should never be exposed to rain, heat, vapors or sunlight. Along with this, additional stress has to be laid on creating a proper drain channel for uninterrupted drainage of condensed water.

      5- Apart from this, the net weight as well as the vibration of the unit has to be withstood without compromising on safety and security.

To conclude, if the installation process is not executed in an appropriate fashion, it can easily lead to far lesser and improper cooling of your room. In the process, the comfort level is going to fall by a considerable extent as the circulation of conditioned air within the area of the room is also going to be affected drastically.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Regular maintenance and servicing is necessary for every electrical device to ensure optimum operation and Heat pumps are not an exception in this regard. Based on their design and architecture, some pumps demands more maintenance than the others. In this article, we are going to look into the various aspects of heat pumps maintenance that should preferably be followed at least twice every year to keep the pumps in perfect working shape. Systematic pump maintenance can easily be completed in about an hour or so but the quality of maintenance should be good.

      1)- Fan Switch:  First, carefully check the switch of the fan to make sure that the on and auto positions are operating smoothly. The mechanical thermostats mostly have steel balls, which if corroded can lead to an open circuit. Along with this, clean the fan to prevent the heat anticipators from over heating.

      2)- Refrigerant Leaks:  Even the slightest of refrigerant leaks can impair the efficiency of the heat pumps in the long term run. Therefore, while cleaning, check for the presence of patches of oil around the refrigerant lines. Traces of oil anywhere in the body of the pump would indicate a refrigerant leak.

      3)- Voltage and Current Settings: Note down the current and voltage setting of the exterior unit twice- first during start up and later after a few minutes of operation. The lower the fluctuation, the better is your system charge and compressor health.

      4)- Blower Operation: Check the blower operation while washing the indoor unit.  Slow air flow draw or sloth start up indicates a weak capacitor. Moreover, dirty fans can also hinder the normal running of the blowers. At times, improper fan cage have also proven to cause troubles.

      5)- Lockout Circuits: Check the lockout circuits by shorting the control circuit with the exterior unit for a few minutes. If it somehow breaks the lock, it indicates a problem in the circuit which has to be resolved.

      6)- Heat Transfer: As highlighted above, the refrigerant system plays a key role in controlling room temperature. Note down the difference of temperature between the return air stream and supply line in either cooling or heating cycle as and where applicable. Ideally, the difference should be in the range of 5-12 degree Celsius.

      7)- Starting Contactor: Check the contactor coil and points and if you find over heated coils or wretched pitted contacts, it is highly recommended to get them replaced.

      8)- Wash or Replace filters: If the filters are washable, get them washed whereas if they are use and throw filters, try to replace the filters at least 2-3 times in a year.

To conclude, following the aforesaid heat pump maintenance tips from time to time will not only enhance the efficiency and performance of the heat pumps but will also minimize the chances of facing technical troubles with the device in the near future. 
Nowadays, gas furnaces are one of the commonest electrical gadgets that are found in almost every household. Much to the delight of the users, furnaces are fairly easy to maintain and operate. However, just like every other technological device, furnaces do require periodic maintenance from time to time to remain in proper working condition. In lack of proper maintenance, gas furnaces can be quite dangerous which enhances the need of servicing even further. Here, in this article, we are going to take a closer look at ten most effective gas furnace maintenance tips:

      1)- Gas Leaks: The first and most important thing that has to be done is to check thoroughly for gas leaks. Leaks are easy to trace, you can detect leaks from the odor of gas coming from the body of the furnace. Smaller leaks can be fixed manually but for bigger leaks, it is always wise to hire a professional to get it fixed.

      2)- Thermostat Setting: If the thermostat does not work to its fullest ability, the furnace may not be able to warm up the rooms properly. So, check the thermostat settings from time to time to ensure that it is set at a proper temperature.

      3)- Control Valve: If your furnace suddenly stops producing heat, by most chances, the problem lies in your furnace’s control valve. If the control valve somehow gets switched off, the furnace is not going to generate heat.

      4)- Air Filter: Cleaning and replacing the air filter is an extremely vital part of furnace maintenance that must be done regularly. A choked air filter not only hinders performance but leaves a negative impact on the furnace as well. Air filters are fairly inexpensive and can be virtually found in almost every hardware store.

      5)- Furnace Body: With time, both the interior and exterior of the furnaces accumulate dust particles, oil and debris. That’s why cleaning the body of the furnace is so important.

      6)- Tension Belt: In case your furnace is making a loud noise, the faulty tension belt can be a possible cause. In such cases, lubricate the belt and if the problem persists, change the belt.

      7)- Pilot Light: Remember that if the pilot light goes out of order, your furnace is just not going to work. So, if the device stops functioning suddenly, check whether the pilot lights are working or not. Ideally, a pilot light should be deep blue; any other color is a clear indication that the light is faulty.

      8)- Motor: Furnace motors generally come with a prolonged warranty and so you really do not have to look into the technical aspects of the furnace motors. However, to ensure uninterrupted functioning of the furnace motor, oil and grease it from time to time.

      9)- Venting: The venting passages must be checked regularly for debris and blockages. Remember that if the ventilation is choked, it could lead to deadly health hazard like carbon monoxide poisoning.

      10)- Shutting Off: When not in use, furnaces should be switched off. So, after the winters are over, change the air filters, clean the furnace and shut it off.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Regular maintenance of the air handlers can help you overcome fears of costly repairs at the stroke of summer. Air handlers, in particular need high voltage input for normal functioning and therefore there is always a possibility of shock hazard with this type of device. Periodic check ups assists in ensuring that the equipment continues to retain its optimum function ability without compromising on performance.
The main parts of an Air handler include the metering device, evaporator, electro-mechanical control systems and the blower motor. Each of these parts should be checked from time to time for consistency. Hiring the services of a competent HVAC professional is highly recommended to make sure that the device is clean and operating properly.

Evaporator Coils: One of the common problems associated with air handlers is that of blocked coils. In most cases, coils are choked with dirt, debris and other foreign particles.
When an air conditioner is powered on, the coils operate much below the dew point. In the process, this makes the coils moist and vulnerable to dust, dirt and impurities. Whenever foreign particles come in contact with the coils, it is going to stick to the walls of the coil. Gradually, this impurity layer will thicken and the device will stop cooling. Improper air flow across the coils shall lead to no heat exchange mechanism.  Therefore, to make the evaporator run properly, it’s absolutely essential to clean the coils and pave the way for a measured volume of air flow.

Refrigerant Charge:Low refrigerant charge can hinder the normal functioning of an air handler. The refrigerant charge tends to reduce with time and therefore it is always advisable to get it checked from time to time by an experienced HVAC professional.

Blower Motor: The blower motor does not require much maintenance; the only thing that needs to be done is oiling the parts and thoroughly checking the motor belt. However, some of the newer models do not have oil ports. Instead, they make use of sealed bearings that do not require oil. This type of blower motors comes with an inbuilt dust cap that can be unpacked, cleaned and greased with ease.

Cleaning the filters, checking the refrigerant charge, ensuring a proper air flow and cleaning the filters are the main elements for ensuring efficient functioning of your air handler. If all these aforesaid air handler maintenance tips are followed, you can expect to get the best out of this small piece of delicate HVAC equipment. Moreover, most of the reputed air manufacturers offer diversified support services at negligible rates. Therefore, even in case of technical issues, getting this resolved is just a matter of a phone call. 
In a dry and sultry summer afternoon, nothing can be as comfortable as sitting inside an air conditioned room. However, just like every other machine, air conditioners also need to be serviced from time to time to enable them to retain optimum performance levels. Although the working mechanism of the air conditioners might appear to be fairly complex, maintaining an air conditioner is rather simple. There are a few basic servicing and preventive methods following which will ensure that your machine continues running at its very best. Take a look at some of the basic preventive measures listed below:

1)- Cleaning the Air Filters: Try to follow the manufacturer’s guide for cleaning (or changing) the air filters on your air conditioner. While some machines require the filters to be changed once in a year, some others might need a more frequent changing of the filters.

2)- Controlling Air Flow: Make sure that your air system is well balanced to overcome fears of negative pressure pulling allergens and pollens from outside into the room. It’s always better to use a dedicated ventilation mechanism to make way for outside air to effectively create a positive pressure with purified clean air.

3)- Check the Humidity Levels: Maintaining correct humidity levels has proven to be more than effective in reducing airborne allergens. Make sure that the coils and pans of both humidification and dehumidification unit are clear and devoid of debris.

4)- Grills: Clean the return grills of the air conditioner to prevent debris, dust and other foreign particles from accumulating inside the ducts and subsequently clogging filters.

5)- Examine the Connections: Check the ducts for separated sections, holes and loose tape that allow proper air infiltration.

6)- Cleaning the Interior Unit: Clean dust particles and debris from the walls of the condenser unit. If the interior appears too dirty, a power wash is highly recommended to get the system cleaned without damaging the condenser fins.

7)- Check your external Condensing Unit: Check the condensing units from time to time and clean accumulated dust particles from the surface of the condensing unit.

8)- Clean the A/C drain line: This happens to be one of the simplest tasks that can cause hundreds in damage if ignored. Most of the modern day drains lines come with a removable plug or cap. Pouring a small volume of bleach into the line periodically can help in keeping the air conditioner drain functioning properly. Even in case your machine does not have any plug or cap; it can easily be installed by a professional service technician.

9)- Check the Thermostat: Try to check the settings of your thermostat at least 2-3 times in a year to ensure that the settings are correct and the device is getting sufficient power to operate normally.

10)- Breakers: Check the breakers and set all the breakers in “on” position. If your air conditioner has metallic breakers, lubricate the breakers with grease or oil whereas for plastic breakers, get them cleaned completely with a dry piece of cotton.