DIY Home AC Recharge

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

Manufacturer Defect

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.

          

Charging Refrigerant 

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.

For Ways To Prevent A Freon Leak 

Preventing A Freon Leak

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

 

 

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  

 

Leaf Guard

ac drain line repair

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.

GOOD
BAD

 

 

Leaf Guard
Leaf Guard

 

   

For best results i recommend checking out the HowTo on cleaning your AC condenser and then add the Leaf Guard after you clean the coils and debris out.

PremierAcCovers – Leaf Guard Summer Open Mesh Air Conditioner Cover – Keeps Out Leaves, Cottonwood and Debris – 28×28 -Black

Surge Protection

 

When you purchased your HVAC system weather or not you got a 5 year warranty or 10 year extended warranty there is one thing your AC company often forgets to tell you…..your manufacturers warranty does not cover LIGHTNING STRIKES OR POWER SURGES! So yes that means your precious AC equipment that you paid thousands of dollars for could be damaged as a result of a power surge and you will NOT be covered. Please note that even if you have a surge protection device through your power company it only covers the appliances inside your home. The outdoor AC unit also know as the condenser where the heart of your air conditioner (the compressor) is located resides outside of your home therefore is not covered. Surge protection is a must have for all heating and cooling systems young or old.

Selecting Your Surge Protection Kit

HVAC and electric companies mine included charge anywhere from 250-500 to install a surge protector. The step by step tutorial you are about to watch shows me installing a surge protector in under 5 minutes. The only thing you will need is a flat head screw driver and a surge protection kit. The Surge Kit i recommend is the ICM Protection Kit because the cover up to $10,000 in damages.

Estimated Installation Time: 20 min.

Tools And Equipment Needed: Screwdriver, Surge Kit

Difficulty: Easy

CLICK HERE TO PROTECT YOU AC SYSTEM

ac drain line repair

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO DISCONNECT POWER AT THE BREAKER PANEL AS WELL.

ENJOY!

 

Questions Or Comments Welcome.

 

DIY Duct Work Sealing

Weather or not your AC system is old or new this applies to you! Your duct system serves as the respiratory system of your beautiful home. Depending on the size of your heating and cooling system (1.5-5 tons) that size will determine how many tons of air the machine needs to output as well as intake through the duct system. If your ducts are leaking air into your attic or sucking in hot air from your attic that could mean your air conditioner is in big trouble. Not only is this bad for your air conditioner its bad for the indoor air quality in the home because leaky duct work equals DUST ! On 50-60% of my service and maintenance calls I find that the  home owners duct system is not mastic sealed and just taped. Over time the heat from the attic combined with the air pressure from your AC system causes the tape to peel and eventually your duct system will begin to tear and start leaking.

How Do I Know If My Duct Work Is Leaking?

Make sure the AC is on Check in your attic or under your home depending on where your duct system is located. First look to see if the duct system is mastic sealed. When you have leaks in your duct system you will often find that your attic is cooler then it should be.

Examples of Leaky Duct Work

Examples Of Properly Sealed Duct Work

When your duct system is properly sealed you will achieve maximum airflow throughout your home  as well as  maximum efficiency for your heating and cooling system.

Mastic Seal Your Ducts Yourself

Estimated Time Required: 45 min.

Difficulty: Easy

What You Will Need

          

  • Tape Around Every Joint And Connection In Your Duct System
  • Generously Apply Mastic Seal Over All Joints And Connections

 

Preventing A Freon Leak

When your AC repair man tells you that you have a Freon leak you can almost certainly say RIP to your air conditioner. A Freon leak in the HVAC world is comparable to terminal cancer you can keep spending money on Freon to keep your AC going but eventually your air conditioner will pass away. The Evaporator Coil is without a doubt the most common place to develop a Freon leak. Your Evaporator Coil is located in the indoor unit aka the air handler. The purpose of Your Evaporator Coil is to change your Freon from liquid to gas and then your blower fan will spread that cold temperature throughout the home. The cooling process creates condensation on the coils thus causing them to rust out and develop a Freon leak. Today I’m going to share a secret with you to stop or prevent this from happening to your AC or furnace.

What Your Coils Are Supposed To Look Like.

 

Rheem Evaporator Coils
Goodman Evaporator Coils

What Your Coils Are Not Supposed To Look Like.

Goodman Evaporator Coil With Leak

 

Goodman Evaporator Coil With Leak

How To Prevent Or Stop Evaporator Coil From Rusting Out

There is one method that is tried and true in the HVAC industry to Stop and Prevent your coils from rusting out and developing a Freon leak and that is Galvanizing Spray.

Galvanizing Spray is is an organic, single-component zinc coating with a minimum 92% (weight) zinc in the dry layer that cures on your Evaporator Coils and seals them without out doing any harm or damage to your AC system. The best part is It’s cheap and easy to apply.

Order Galvanizing Spray

Applying Galvanizing Spray

Estimated Job Time: 5-10 min.

Difficulty: Very Easy

First turn off your air conditioner at the breaker panel

Remove the screws from the front of the air handler.

hvac repair tips

Galvanizing Spray is applied just  like a paint so cover the entire face of the coils where the copper and metal are, DO NOT spray the aluminum fins.

Before: Rheem Evaporator Coil With Leak

 

After

Let dry and replace the air handler panels and fasten the screws as well as restore power at the breaker panel .

Repeat This Process Twice A Year!

UV Sterilization Systems

uv light

UV Sterilization Systems

(UV Lights) 

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

1 year lifespan on bulb CLICK TO ORDER

2 year lifespan on bulb CLICK TO ORDER

 

Installation

Estimated Job Time: 1 Hour

Tools And Equipment Needed: Drill, Screwdriver, Wire Strippers, Wire Nuts.

Difficulty: Medium

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.

 

Example of Air Handler with panels off

 

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.