Archive for the ‘Cooling’ Category

When it’s HOT you’re making lots of water.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

I apologize for skipping a month on my blog. With record heat you can imagine how busy I’ve been and tired. It’s still hot but not as humid. I have cleaned a lot of plugged condensate lines over the last few weeks including my own.

Furnace and condensateThe condensate line is that small white tube running from the coil on your furnace and possibly changing into a clear vinyl tube and then running into your floor drain or sink. Since most people have their furnace/cooling coil located where they do laundry it is not uncommon for the tube to become plugged with…….. you guessed it, lint. The lint gets wet and makes a big ball and eventually …… you get water all over the floor.vinyl-tube-to-floor-drain.jpg

Vinyl tube fittingIf you can pull the tube from the fitting or if you have vinyl with a vinyl fitting make sure you have another fitting as most will break. Have a bucket ready so it can catch the water.

With hard pipe you can snake the pipe pushing the offending ball of lint out of the pipe. If you don’t have one of those handy any type of small diameter pipe that is just smaller than your pipe opening will work.snake1.jpg

Vinyl tubeVinyl pipe you can see where the pipe is backed up. If you’re not a smoker you can probably blow a few times on the end of the tube and expel the plug. If that doesn’t work the same method I mentioned above will work or a wet vac can usually do the trick.

Your Cooling System and How It Works – Part One

Friday, June 10th, 2011

After that 102 record breaker heat wave your air conditioner got a work out. The good news was is was a dry heat wave vs. the usual humid weather making it a little easier to cool the air in your home. Some common issues for houses that don’t seem to cool are restricted air flow from the cooling coil in your furnace. More often than not the coil is too small for the physical opening of your furnace. 

 If this were the opening of the furnace at the top the indoor coil should fit the actual physical opening. There are times when the coil may be a little smaller but it should not reduce the opening by more than 20%.  If the coil is smaller the reduction in the “push” of the air increases meaning the unit works very hard to distribute the cooler air in your home. Longer run times equal bigger bills from the electric company. The square footage is your home might only need a 2 Ton Cooling system but the 2Ton Coil might be too small for your furnace. This can be avoided by using the same brand cooling system as your furnace. The coils are usually manufactured for the furnace size opening, Using a different brand may not fit properly so BEWARE those reduced pricing air conditioning deals. Replacing the coil with the correct size will pay for itself in one cooling season and you’ll be more comfortable.


Another problem is a dirty coil. It’s very common for the heating and cooling systems to be in the same room as your washer/dryer. The lint from your dryer is sucked into the furnace and gets distributed through your furnace if you don’t change your filter frequently. Another common cause is pet hair and just plain old dust/dirt in your home. Yes, the picture below is a real picture. This is a coil that never got cleaned from a home where the filter boot return was at the bottom of the furnace (not recommended) that sucked air from the floor. The picture on the right is a clean coil. Check back later for part two.