Filtration and air purification is so important to your air conditioner, if neglected your AC system’s efficiency as well as the clean air in your home will be compromised. A brand new AC system can be ruined if not equipped with a clean filter and an air purification system or UV light.
The main reason proper filtration is so important to your air conditioner is to prevent debris from building up in your evaporator coil which will then cause your unit to struggle cooling or heating and eventually break down. In addition to filtering debris AC filters also prevent household dust, pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander viruses, and bacteria from polluting your air conditioner and more importantly your home.
The next thing that is a necessity is a UV sterilization system. UV systems are installed inside the indoor unit to kill microbial growth such as mold and mildew as well as sanitize the air that passes through. Your heating and cooling system circulates the air in your home on average 100 times per day. The 3 causes of indoor air pollution are VOC’s, Particulate, and Bioaerosols.
What Poor Filtration And No UV System Will Do
Some home owners choose to skip regular maintenance on their AC system others combine lack of AC maintenance with poor filtration and UV sterilization system. Mold and other forms of microbial growth thrive in dark and wet environments which means your indoor unit or air handler is where these microorganisms will set up camp and multiply. Below are some examples of customers who learned their lesson after I left them with hefty repair bills.
Impacted Evaporator Coil
3 Year Old Bryant AC
Impacted Blower Housing And Wheel
6 Year Old Carrier Package Unit
Dog Hair Impacted Evaporator Coil
5 Year Old Bryant AC
Don’t let this happen to the most expensive appliance in your home. Knowledge Is Power !
Want To Learn How To Charge Your Home AC System To Have It Blowing Ice Cold Like New Again?
Before we begin let me start off by saying your air conditioner should never be low on refrigerant. Freon (R-22) and Puron (R-410a) systems are sealed circuits so they should always have the same amount of refrigerant that they did when they were installed. The only reason you should ever find your AC low on refrigerant is if your air conditioner has developed a leak. Below we are going to simplify checking and charging your AC system all while leaving out the AC mumbo jumbo you don’t care about.
3 Reasons Your AC Develops A Leak
Lack Of Maintenance Or Neglect
Age Of System
Signs Your AC Is Low On Freon Or Puron
Not Blowing Cold Air
Long Run Time
Can Reach Set Temperature
AC Lines Freezing
Checking Freon Or Puron Simplified
In order to check the refrigerant levels on your air conditioner you will need refrigerant gauges. If you do not own a pair or know someone that will lend you theirs I have a special link to contractor priced gauges here.
Once you have your gauges turn your air conditioner on cool mode and then attach the blue hose to the larger of the two copper pipes on the outdoor unit.
Read the label on your outdoor AC unit to determine what kind of refrigerant your system takes. Air conditioners installed 2009 and before are typically Freon (R-22) and those installed after are most likely Puron (R-410a).
If your air conditioner runs on R-22 the desired PSI is 75.
If your air conditioner runs on R-410a the desired PSI is 125.
If your system is more than 5 PSI below the desired number your AC desperately needs refrigerant. In order to handle refrigerant or purchase by law you are supposed to have an EPA license. For those DIY home owners and handy folks R-22 and R-410a are available through Amazon. R-22 is being phased out by the EPA therefore the price of it is extremely high so I have provided a links for an R-22 alternative 407c as well as the real stuff.
With blue hose attached to the copper pipe attach the yellow hose to your refrigerant canister.
Open the valve on the refrigerant canister all the way. For R-22 and 407c do this right side up. For R-410a do this upside down as well as charge upside down.
turn the handle on your gauges to allow refrigerant to charge in 10 second increments with a 1 minute pause in between to allow refrigerant to cycle through air conditioner.
Home Owners Beware ! If you purchased a Goodman or Amana AC system from 2007 to 2013 there is a good chance you’ve had a Freon or Puron leak. According to Classaction.org there is an open lawsuit against Goodman Manufacturing Co. due to these systems being sold with defective evaporator coils. Although you may have received a so called “10 Year Limited Warranty” that will only cover the cost of the evaporator coil itself not the labor or the refrigerant recovery, disposal, and recharge.
Whats The Problem ?
The evaporator coils in certain Goodman air conditioners are allegedly too thin, and can corrode or crack, causing refrigerant to leak. Goodman changed to an all aluminum coil as opposed to the copper and galvanized metal coils amidst all the issues but the evaporator coils still continued to leak refrigerant causing multiple other issues such as compressor failure, flooding, and more.
What Problems Are Being Caused by the Defective Evaporator Coils?
Goodman and Amana brand air conditioners, air handlers, and heat pumps are designed to provide both heating and cooling. In air conditioners, the evaporator coil is composed of piping connected to the unit and is usually made of galvanized metal and then filled with refrigerant. The refrigerant works to cool the air when the unit is working properly. According to the class action lawsuit, the evaporator coil in Goodman and Amana air conditioners is defectively designed and can crack and leak refrigerant, impacting the effectiveness of the unit or rendering it entirely inoperable. If the unit is working inefficiently, consumers’ electricity bills may increase as the air conditioner will require more power to adequately cool the air. If leakage of the refrigerant from the evaporator coil leaves a unit completely ineffective, consumers may be forced to pay a repairman or technician to diagnose and address the problem.
According to Classaction.org accusations in the class action lawsuit filed against Goodman Manufacturing include:
Goodman breached its warranty by failing to provide a product free of defects
The defects were not discoverable upon reasonable inspection
Goodman failed to adequately address the defect despite being notified in a timely manner
Goodman misrepresented the quality of its air conditioners and heat pumps
Goodman engaged in deceptive business practices by selling products they knew to be defective, failing to notify consumers of defects, and failing to repair defective products
Customers suffered financial damages because they purchased Goodman products
Changing you AC filter is the most important thing you as a home owner can do to improve the longevity of your air conditioner. Improving indoor air quality, protecting your coils from harmful dust and debris, and keeping your AC efficiency levels at their peak are just a few reasons why changing your AC filter is a must especially during the summer months.
Dirty Filters Can Cause
Increased Electric Bill
AC systems now run off of the R-410a refrigerant AKA Puron. These Puron systems require much more airflow than your previous R-22 or Freon systems therefore it is best to steer clear of the ultra-thick filters. Below I have listed my top 3 filters on the market based on my first hand experience in the field.
3. The Filtrete Electrostatic Healthy Living Filter
This filter does a great job of eliminating dust, pet dander, pollen, viruses, and other air pollutants from your home all while allowing maximum air flow for your air conditioning system. This Filter is a 3 month change. For A Special Deal On A 6 Pack Click HERE
This filter is similar to the Healthy Living so it is electrostatic but it also reduces odor in the home such as smoke, mold, and pet smells. This filter is also a 3 month change. For A Special Deal On A 2 Pack Click HERE
1. Six Stage Electrostatic Washable Permanent Home Air Filter
This heavy duty filter is the best on the market right now because is allows more air flow then your typical disposable filter as well as maximum dust and particle capture. The best part is this filter is permanent so you aren’t continually shelling out money for replacement filters. I recommend washing this filter with water only once per month. This filter is normally $99 but you can order yours for $36 HERE
Spray foam insulation or (SFI) is a spray-applied plastic that forms a continuous insulation and air sealing barrier on walls, roofs, around corners, and all other surfaces. The liquids react very quickly when mixed, expanding on contact to create foam that insulates, seals gaps, and can form moisture and vapor barriers. Spray foam insulation resists heat transfer extremely well, and it offers a highly effective solution in reducing unwanted air infiltration through cracks, seams, and joints. In other words spray foam insulation can knock your electric bill down significantly!
Spray foam insulation can save up to 40% on your electric bill
Heating And Cooling Expenses:
Use Spray Foam Insulation
And SAVE Up To:
100% Air Tight Seal Keeps Cold Air In And Hot Air Out And Vice Versa In The Winter
No Moisture Absorption, And Therefore Prevents Mold And Mildew Entrance To The Home
100% Air Tight Seal Prevents Bugs As Well As Allergens From Entering The Home
Summer is right around the corner and the last thing you want to have happen is an AC breakdown. So rather then a hefty repair bill go ahead and take care of a few key things to avoid a system failure.
Change Your Filter !
The run time on your AC system is going to increase dramatically in the upcoming months. Be sure to change your filter to ensure your AC’s air flow is not restricted.
Clean Your Drain Line !
With Summer just around the corner you can guarantee high humidity. Your AC system’s main purpose is to remove moisture aka humidity from the air. This moisture exits through the drain line make sure to put AC Drain Clean or Vinegar down your drain line
Cleaning your condensing coils is a very important routine maintenance that is often forgotten. If you AC coils are impacted or clogged that can impede airflow and cause a breakdown or worse…..compressor failure. Acid washing and removing debris is critical in assuring maximum efficiency and performance from your air conditioner
Ever wonder if your AC system is the cause of your high energy bill? The Power companies collectively say that your central AC system accounts for 50-60 percent of your entire power bill. The Compressor which is located inside the outdoor unit is the main consumer of power.
How Hard Is My Compressor Running
Finding out how hard your compressor is running is very simple. First you must locate the information panel on your outdoor unit. Look for the compressor RLA.
The RLA is the max Run Load Amps your compressor can take before if fails and causes a breakdown. According to the AC manufacturers the ideal amp draw for your AC system is 30-40 percent of your units RLA. The Carrier AC system pictured above has an RLA of 21.8 meaning ideally it should be running between 6.54 – 8.72 amps. In order to test your equipment’s amp draw you will need an amp meter if you do not own one I have provided a link to purchase a very affordable but reliable amp meter below.
Checking Amp Draw
In order to check your amp draw your system must be running. First remove the electrical panel door on your AC system. Next find the wire going from your compressor to your capacitor this wire is typically blue.
Turn your meter on and attach clamp to compressor wire only to test amp draw.
Ideal Amps- 6.45 to 8.72
Lets See !
This Carrier system is running at 8.19 amps which means its running at manufacturer specifications.
What To Do If Your Amps Are High ?
Check Out My Tutorials Below To Help Lower Amp Draw And Increase Your AC System’s Efficiency !
Every day your outdoor air conditioning unit is besieged with falling leaves and debris that enter your system. Once inside your unit, these particles impede drains, filter, cause rust, and become a breeding ground for insects. Being in the field as a heating and cooling specialist i can tell you, this can dramatically reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner and lead to a break down. The Leaf Guard comes in many sizes and comes with adjustable straps to fit any unit. I highly recommend adding this to your AC system it takes just a few minutes to install.
Ever been told your Air Handler or Furnace has mold, mildew, or microbial growth inside? Your AC company probably told you that you would need to spend anywhere from $500 to $1000 or more on a UV light installation. Before scratching a check to your technician allow me to shed some light on what UV sterilization systems are and how they work. After some education I will kindly show you how to install one yourself for a fraction of the cost if an HVAC company will charge you. UV lights were first installed in fish tanks and ponds to kill algae and many years later were brought into hospital’s and school’s HVAC systems. In the past 8-10 years UV Sterilization Systems finally hit the residential market. Believe me when i tell you these UV Systems are not a gimmick they really do work and if you don’t already have one in your air conditioning system now is the time to start doing your research.
What Does It Do?
UV systems are installed inside the indoor unit to kill microbial growth such as mold and mildew as well as sanitize the air that passes through. Your heating and cooling system circulates the air in your home on average 100 times per day. The 3 causes of indoor air pollution are VOC’s, Particulate, and Bioaerosols. With indoor air pollution is not eradicated it can cause SHS. Sick Home Syndrome or SHS kills upwards of 1 million per year so it is very important for you and your family to breath clean air.
How Does It Work?
The low micro watt economical unit is effective at killing germs and controlling allergens on surfaces that are irradiated. UV Systems use germicidal UVC to kill harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The ultraviolet lamps reproduce natural germicidal rays that are not a chemical treatment but are deadly to micro-organisms that spread throughout your home. A properly installed UV System poses no threat to people, equipment, or indoor environment
Ordering UV System
UV systems are not sold at your local home improvement stores. In order to find the right UV system you must find the nearest HVAC part house that sells to the public or order online. Below I’ve listed Two different systems that I know work very well and are listed at a very competitive price point. Both UV systems come with a magnetic bracket to help easily install the lamp. The only difference between the two UV systems is the price and the bulb life span. The first system has a bulb life span of 1 year the latter has a lifespan of 2 years. ORDER NOW
Estimated Job Time: 1 Hour
Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill, Screwdriver, Wire Strippers, Wire Nuts.
Turn Off The Power- Turn breakers and/or disconnect box off!
Remove The Panels On Air Handler- Using a 5/16 or 1/4 nut driver depending on brand of unit take out between 4-10 screws to remove air handler panels.
Locate Main power Line- This will be easy find the 2-3 wires coming into the side of the air handler. One wire will be black, one red, or occasionally the red could be a white wire instead. There will always be a green(ground wire). The black and red wires will often be wired into bottom of the breaker inside the air handler.
Insert Wires- First, with a flat head screwdriver loosen red and black wires. Next insert the black and red wires from the UV kit in with their matching colors (red with red black with black). Then tighten screws and tug on wires to make sure they are all tight.
Grounding UV System- Find the green wire that is mounted by a brass or green screw. Then loosen the screw and insert green wire and tighten. Check to make sure to tug the wire to make sure it is tight.
Mounting UV Lamp- Attach lamp to magnetic bracket and find somewhere in the air handler to mount so that the UVC rays can reach the most surface area.
Put Air Handler Back Together- Screw panels on tight to avoid air leakage.
Restore Power- Turn power back on at the breaker panel and disconnect box and start reaping the benefits of hospital quality air !
*NOTE- UV lamps will need to be replaced after 1 or 2 years depending on which kit you purchased weather or not the lamp is still glowing.
Do not ever look at UV lamp without protective eye gear UVC rays will cause irreversible damage to you eyes.
Cleaning your outdoor coils also know as the condensing coils is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent a breakdown on your AC system. The condensing coils are the copper tubes and aluminum fins that surround your outdoor unit. The purpose of these coils is to transfer the heat from inside your home out. To maximize efficiency the coils need to be free and clear of dirt and debris. If you fail to keep the condensing coils clean and airflow is impeded your compressor will overheat and cause a breakdown. The best way to clean the coils is to remove the top of the unit and clean coils from the inside out.
What You Need
Estimated Job Time: 15-30 min.
Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill Or Nut Driver, Water Hose, Coil Cleaner
First Turn the power off at the disconnect box or breaker panel.
Remove screws from top of AC unit or fan.
Spray coils a generous amount and let stand for 3-5 minutes.
Rinse coils thoroughly from the inside out.
Replace top of unit or fan and fasten with screws.
Restore power at disconnect box or breaker panel.
For best results perform this cleaning bi-annually.