It’s easy to install an air conditioning system and then forget about it. As long as the cool air keeps blowing, you’ve got nothing to worry about, right?
Wrong. When you only wait until the last possible moment to service you air conditioner, you’ll learn an important lesson: it’s much easier to deal with a few minor kinks in the system here and there than to have to worry about a major overhaul down the road.
Like any other piece of relatively complex mechanical equipment, an air conditioning system is only as good as the service that goes into maintaining it. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here, we list the crucial steps you need to take every six months to maintain the evaporator for your air-cooled condensing systems.
1. Check the electrical panel to make sure that all the connections are tight.
Just like a loose shoelace could put you at risk for tripping, electrical connections that aren’t tight can put your air conditioner at risk. Make sure to tighten spade connections if they’re loose, and also have a good look around for wear on terminals and the insulation of the wires.
2. Check the defrost heaters.
You can’t expect anything near ideal heat transfer when your heating system is out of whack. Make sure amp draw and voltage are at manufacturer-recommended levels and that the terminals are in good shape.
3. Examine the fan.
Put the “fan” in fantastic with proper maintainence. First things first: does the thing turn? If it doesn’t – or if it’s quite stiff – you’ll want to replace the motor. Wear and small cracks are also common problems. Replace the blades if this is the case. Even if everything is in tact physically, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning and lubricate the motor’s fittings.
4. Inspect your drain pain.
Drain pans should drain easily and smoothly. If they’re not, it’s probably because there’s something in the way that you need to remove, like gunk or debris. Get it out of there!
5. Wash your evaporator coil.
The surface of your evaporator coil needs the odd rinse, as dust and grime tend to get drawn in and collect over time. A cleaner, especially a foaming one, is great for this. Doesn’t need to be anything too fancy. A commercial-grade product will do.
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We’re going to put it plainly: air cleaners aren’t perfect. That is to say, an air cleaner could be performing at its very best and still not remove every last pollutant from the air.
Some might say you’re better of with an air cleaner than without one, but is that necessarily true? In the following article, we’ll talk about what you can expect from an air cleaner and what it is (and is not) protecting you against.
Like we said before, if you’re looking for an air cleaner that will remove all the gas and impurities from the air, you’re not going to find it. What an air cleaner is going to do is potentially lower the risks associated with some contaminants.
For example, let’s say you’re smoking indoors. This fills the air with smoke and particulates. Your air cleaner may be able to mitigate some of the particulates, but it’s going to have a lot harder time with all of that smoke.
The real kicker is that your air cleaner can actually undermine itself in a situation like this. How? Particulates from the smoke can get hung up in the cleaner. What happens next is a bit ironic: these contaminants can then be spat back out into the room.
That’s not fantastic, is it? Well, if you thought tobacco smoke was bad, you don’t want to know how your average air cleaner handles radon. Answer: it doesn’t, really. And with all the side effects associated with exposure to radon, you’d be smart not to put too much trust in your air cleaner.
Allergies affect a wide range of people. For some, it’s cats that set them off. For others, it’s mold. And for others, it’s pollen.
Whatever your trigger, an air cleaner won’t be much help. Studies have shown that it’s difficult to combat allergens with air cleaners, so keep that box of tissues close.
In fact, you’re almost better off with a properly functioning air-conditioning system alone, especially on muggy summer days. It’s biggest strengths lie in forcing out air from outdoors and reducing damp – two big causes of the sniffles.
For those sensitive to pollutants and allergens in the air (and anyone who cares about clean breathing), a logical first step is to make sure your air-conditioning system is running smoothly. Only if contaminants in the air pose a serious risk should you consider using an air cleaner.
Radiant floor heating is a popular choice for a reason – it’s been used for centuries! With hundreds of years of great results, it’s no surprise that most folks choose radiant floor heating.
With radiant floor heating, there’s no huddling around a single heat source like a fire or a stove (not to mention the general mess associated with these heat sources). The heat radiates up through the floor – hence the name!
This works for a pretty simple reason. Think about it. Where are you coldest? Your toes! Radiant heating starts from the floor up, warming your feet and then on up to the rest of your body. It’s as convenient as it is soothing.
And it’s almost like magic. No noise. No bulky radiators wrecking your living room arrangement. With radiant floor heating, your body temperature and room temperature are ideal.
Compare this to a forced hot air system. With this system, you get air coming in from the outside, you get higher boiler temperatures that decrease the lifespan of your system, and – to put it simply – you simply get less out of your system.
Imagine a pizza stone warming up in an oven. That’s similar to how radiant floor heating works (and what makes it so efficient). A hot concrete slab beneath your floor sends warmth up through the floor boards. It is warmed by either a boiler or a geothermal pump. Now, the catch is that if it cools off considerably, then it will be a bit slow getting hot again. This is why you need to regulate the system properly.
That said, you wouldn’t want a wall thermostat judging temperatures on the floor, would you? Enter the floor thermostat. These vary as to what you’re able to control, but some smarter, fuel-saving systems allow for checking the outside, ground and room temperatures, which can give you that little extra boost toward a cozy home.