Home Owners Beware…

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.

Goodman System

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.

Goodman Evaporator Coil With Leak

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

Ways To Prevent Your Coils From Leaking

fixityourselfac.com/preventing-a-freon-leak

fixityourselfac.com/uv-systems

For More Info On This Class Action Lawsuit

https://www.classaction.org/goodman-amana-lawsuit

 

 

Top 3 AC Filters

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

Insufficient Airflow

Increased Electric Bill

Impacted Coils

Drain Clogs

System Failure

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

2. Filtrete Allergen Defense Odor Reduction Filter

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

 

 

3 Tips For Under $10 To Avoid A Breakdown

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

More Drain Line Tips

ac repair do it yourself

         

Clean Your Coils !

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

Coil Cleaning Tutorial

hvac repair     ac drain line repair

ac drain line repairHome HVAC Repair

Is Your AC Working Too Hard?

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.

RLA- 21.8

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 !

Clean Outdoor Coils 

Add A Hard Start Assist Kit

Change Capacitor 

What Temperature Should Set My Thermostat To?

What temperature should I keep my thermostat set on ? This is a question I’ve been asked on a daily basis for numerous years. If your’re wondering as well your’re probably not going to be very happy with my answer.

Keep Your Thermostat Set At whatever You Want !

I’ve come across homeowners that keep their thermostat set anywhere between 68-82 degrees. The 2 biggest factors that should determine  what your temperature setting is include your comfort level and what your are willing to pay for your electric bill. The bottom line is the lower you set your temperature the higher your electric bill will be.

I myself keep my Nest Thermostat on a schedule to ensure maximum efficiency. You must have a programmable thermostat for the scheduling feature. A programmable schedule  allows you to have your AC system set at different temperatures at different times of the day.

My Thermostat Schedule

The reasoning behind having a schedule is to not cool or heat the house when it isn’t necessary. As you can see i set my temperature up during my working hours because my wife and I wont be home. It then gradually lowers the temperature throughout the evening when those desired temperatures are easier to achieve without a spike in the electric bill .

Programmable thermostats I Recommend 

For Beginners

Honeywell Pro6000

Easy installation guide included 

WiFi Capable

For Seasoned DIYers

Nest Learning Thermostat

*  I Personally Use This Thermostat

Video Installation Link Included

WiFi Capable  

 

How To Clean Outdoor AC Coils

hvac repair

Cleaning Condensing Coils 

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

   

Cleaning Process

Estimated Job Time: 15-30 min.

Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill Or Nut Driver, Water Hose, Coil Cleaner

Difficulty: Easy 

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. 

 

AC Drain Line 101

Fix It Yourself AC

The most common service call i get throughout the year is a CLOGGED DRAIN LINE ! It does not matter if your air conditioner is old or new this can happen to you. If overlooked this can cause irreversible damage to your AC system and possibly to your beautiful home.  Last year i had 309 services calls related to the drain line an average of almost 1 per day. This Problem is by far the easiest to fix as well as prevent.

Why Does The Drain Line Clog?

  • Dirty Filters
  • Algae Build Up
  • Lack Of Maintenance
  • Outdoor PVC Blockage

What You Will Need 

For cleaning (1 of the 2 will suffice)

           

Then for prevention (1 of the 2 will suffice)

           

Don’t use bleach. Bleach will damage copper, plastic and PVC. It will also caused the joint to leak by eating the glue away. People say use it when the AC is on in the summer because the water is washing it right out. However that’s not the case when it’s clogged or when there is little humidity the bleach can sit in there.Why use something that will eat the pipes and glue. Use Drain line cleaner or vinegar. Both work  just as good and does not damage the pipes.

Cleaning The Drain

Estimated Job Time: 10-15 min.

Tools And Equipment Needed: Shop Vac or Mighty Pump

Difficulty: Very Easy

Find the drain line. most commonly the drain is located near the condenser or outdoor unit.

Example
Example

Then attach  Mighty Pump or wet/dry vacuum and proceed to clear drain completely.

Example
Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prevention

Estimated Job Time: 5 min.

Tools And Equipment Needed: Drain Cleaner or Vinegar

Difficulty: Very Easy 

Locate the air handler or indoor unit and remove the PVC cap from the drain line. Using a funnel or Pyrex, pour instructed amount NU Line or 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. Repeat this Process every time you change your air filter.

Want To Add 5 Years To The Life Of Your Compressor?

how to fix ac

Does your compressor make a hellacious noise upon start-up?

Do your lights dim every time your unit turns on ?

Adding a Hard Start Assist to your system can erase those problems and add at least 3-5 years to the lifespan of your compressor. That’s not even the best part, the best part is you can install it yourself for under $50.

What is a Hard Start Assist?

A Hard Start Assist stores energy inside it’s capacitor and when the unit turns on it uses that energy to aid the compressor upon start-up. After start-up the Hard Start Assist then uses the power from the unit to recharge itself so it’s ready to help again on the next heating or cooling cycle.

                        

1-3 Ton Kit                                         3.5-5 Ton Kit

Installation

Estimated Job Time : 20-25 min.

Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill or Nut Driver, Hard Start Kit, Hardware

Difficulty: Easy

  1. Turn Off The Power- At the main breaker and disconnect box.
  2. Open Electrical Panel- On the outdoor unit remove the screws to the electrical panel.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  3. Attach Both Wires To Capacitor- Attach both wires to the capacitor. One wire to the HERM and one to the C (common). It does not matter which wire goes to which.

    Example
  4. Mount Hardware- Attach the Hard Start kit with the screw and zip ties included in kit and put the panel back on.

    Example
  5. Restore Power- Turn power back on at the breaker panel and disconnect box.

Installing A Capacitor And A Hard Start Kit

How Much Should I Pay For A New AC Unit?

ac repair tips

Purchasing a new heating and cooling system for you home can drive you crazy. What Brand? What SEER rating? Heat pump or Straight cool? First things first don’t loose sleep over deciding on your new machine. Buy from someone you like and who works for a company with a good reputation.

What you should look for when selecting your company.

  • Google Reviews, Customer Testimonials, BBB rating. In that order just because a company is A+ on BBB doesn’t mean they’re the right company
  • A technician that knows their stuff and loves the company he or she works for
  • Warranties and Guaranties offered that go above and beyond the manufacturers warranty
  • 24 hour service
  • Offers financing and/or rebates

What To Know When Deciding On SEER rating 

SEER rating stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating. So basically the higher the SEER rating the lower your electric bill will be. Right now the minimum SEER rating is 14. In order to Qualify for most government rebates you will need to install 15 SEER. Anything you purchase that is 16 SEER and up i highly recommend changing your ducts as well. The reason i say that is because often times 16 SEER equipment requires much larger ducts to achieve the efficiency.

What Brand

Brand of equipment isn’t nearly as important as you might think. 90% of your unit’s lifespan is going to depend on Installation and maintenance. If you are really interested in which brands i think are the best please refer to my previous post AC Unit Power Rankings.

How Much

There is no right answer to this question. My company charges between 6 and 10k for an installation price all depends on size, SEER rating, and the company. Whatever you do don’t let friends or family dictate your purchase. When purchasing a heating and cooling system you want it to be your decision don’t let anyone force your hand you will know if you got a good deal or not once the whole experience is over with.

The Purchase 

After you have gathered your estimates, hopefully no more than 2 or 3  PULL THE TRIGGER! Just do it your life is way too important to waste time getting 10 estimates or researching model and serial numbers.

*TIP 

When calling the company you choose tell  the Technician or Manager you are willing to proceed with the work if they can do it for $500 cheaper.

 

 

FREON?

Has Your AC guy ever told you that you need to add Freon to your machine? Did you really need it? Today I will be sharing some info on what you need to know about Freon.

KINDS OF FREON

R-22: The old stuff. If your heating and cooling system was installed before 2009 there is a good chance this is the refrigerant your machine runs on. This
refrigerant is currently being phased out by the EPA due to the fact that when it leaks the gas depletes the ozone. R-22 is  expected to be gone by 2019.

R-410a: The new stuff also known as PURON. All new AC systems since 2010 are manufactured to run on PURON. R-410a does not contain bromine or chlorine which causes ozone depletion This refrigerant also allows for a higher SEER rating on your air conditioning and heating system.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ADD FREON

The answer to this question is simple…..NEVER. Your heating and cooling system is a sealed circuit. The condensing unit outside pumps the Freon as a liquid to Your air handler where the evaporator coils change it from liquid to gas. The gas then proceeds back to the condensing unit where the condensing coils change the FREON back to liquid. If your AC guy tells you that you need to add FREON ask him why. There are two reasons you will be low either someone let it out or most likely you have a LEAK. Don’t let your AC company charge you for FREON every year without finding out if or why you actually need it!

Target PSI

*Pressures may vary up to 5 psi higher or lower due to outside temperature

R-22:           200 over 75

R-410a:     300 over 125