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.